DDI Summer Experience

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion Summer Experience (DDI SE) is a four-week intensive residential pre-freshmen academic program that consists of credit-bearing courses, academic enrichment, and various community-building activities for 70 incoming first-year students.

The goals of the DDI Summer Experience are:

  • Student Academic Preparation
  • Community Engagement
  • RIT Acclimation

Participants live in the dorms and are supervised by trained Peer Advisors, and each student receives a debit budget for daily meals. All students take two credit-bearing college courses, earning up to six credits towards their degree requirements. Faculty work closely with students and are available to meet one-on-one during office hours. Students also complete an online Academic Strategies course which provides a wide range of study strategies and information on time management, organization, motivation and procrastination.

In addition to the academic components, there are a variety of carefully selected programs, co-curricular events and cohort-building activities where students interact with their peers, upperclass students, and DDI professional staff. Each student attends weekly coaching appointment with their academic coach where they can reflect on their experience and discover how to achieve success.

Time Commitment

Students dancing

The DDI SE is a commitment, but it’s a commitment that can be a life-changing experience. Participants are expected to attend their classes and arrive on time (or even early!). All students are required to participate in all scheduled workshops, events and activities during the program. Some of the scheduled activities include field trips, team-building exercises and recreational/social outings. All students must live on campus for the duration of the program and will be unable to leave for work, graduation parties, etc. Because of the intensity of the coursework, DDI SE students cannot enroll in other college classes during program dates.


Students signing

Coursework – DDI SE students will complete 6 college credits towards their RIT degree requirements. Students will be placed in either College Algebra or Foundations of Sociology for their morning class. In the afternoon, students can take either Writing Seminar or Literature and Cultural Studies. Course placement is based on individual student’s programs (major), a student’s Math Placement Exam Score, and the information the student provides on the Student Information Form. A significant advantage of the DDI SE is the direct access to college professors. Students engage with course materials, expand their knowledge, build new skills, and explore how interesting topics connect to their life.

Academic Support Initiatives – In addition to the weekly academic coaching and the online Academic Strategies course, students will attend evening study hours where they will have access to a computer lab. DDI SE math students will attend evening recitation with math Teaching Assistants. Students are also encouraged to work with their professors during weekly office hours. Lastly, students will be guided by our trained Peer Advisors, upperclass students who are eager and available to provide support and share their experiences.

Activities – Whether it’s off-campus outings, on-campus activities, trips to the Hale-Andrews Student Life Center for the gym, pool or courts, there are plenty of opportunities to balance academics with exploration, discovery, or just relaxing. Cohort- and community-building are the foundation of the DDI SE, and students are able to make good friends who will be there when they arrive on campus in the fall.

DDI SE Core Values

Students doing coursework

Building a community takes collective effort and tremendous work. All DDI SE students, faculty, and staff are expected to operate with the DDI SE Core Values in mind: First Impressions, Responsibility, Respect, Academic Excellence, Personal Growth and Community, Humility, Sacrifice and Commitment, Trust, and Legacy. As a true community where everyone is accountable to and communicative with one another, we will build a dynamic and supportive community and experience that is focused on excellence.


dorm room

Participants in the DDI SE are provided with housing in a residence hall on campus. Each participant will share a double room with a roommate. Each floor has a community lounge with a TV. The DDI SE dorm halls are supervised by trained Peer Advisors who also live on the floor. Peer Advisors are overseen by a Residence Coordinator. Students must abide by RIT’s Housing and Residence Life policies. Due to liability, students are not allowed to leave their residence hall room between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am, and only members of the DDI SE are allowed on floor during the program.


dining photo

All meals during the DDI SE are covered. Students will use their RIT ID cards to access various dining locations with a daily budget for debit to purchase food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Catered food will be provided during off-campus outings. Cooking any meals in residence hall rooms is strictly prohibited. However, each room includes a microfridge which is a combination of refrigerator, freezer, and microwave which can be used for snacks or leftovers.

Rules and Regulations

All students participating in the DDI SE are required to adhere to all DDI SE program guidelines, RIT policies, procedures and regulations, as well as local, state and federal laws. According to RIT’s Honor Code, all members of the RIT community must “demonstrate civility, respect, decency and sensitivity towards our fellow members of the RIT community, and recognize that all individuals at this university are part of the larger RIT family, and as such are entitled to that support and mutual respect which they deserve.” Inappropriate or disrespectful behavior is not tolerated. Alcohol or any state or federally illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in the residence halls, regardless of age. DDI SE participants are strictly forbidden from consuming alcoholic beverages and/or using state or federally illegal or controlled substances, including prescription drugs not prescribed to the student, during the DDI SE. Violators will immediately be suspended from the program without waiver or compromise.

Commitment, Value and Program Acceptance

We recognize the level of commitment on students’ part when they participate in the DDI SE. There’s also the commitment of the DDI SE faculty, staff, and Peer Advisors. Their dedication to students is unsurpassed. Years later, past program participants consistently reflect on the positive impact the DDI SE had on their growth and preparation for college success at RIT. The promise and support students experience in the DDI SE continues throughout their time at RIT through continued academic coaching, tutoring, events, activities, and a strong sense of community.

In terms of value, the DDI SE is a fully comprehensive and inclusive opportunity which provides students with housing, dining, programming, and tuition for 6 credits. The approximate value of the program is about $14,000 per student; however, students accepted to RIT through the Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) are required to successfully complete the DDI SE in order to finalize their scholarship opportunity. Students accepted through the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars program (RCS) are highly encouraged to attend. There is no registration fee for HEOP or RCS students.

Incoming first-year students who are not part of the HEOP or RCS programs may apply for the DDI SE using the application link below. Non-HEOP/RCS students will be assigned an academic coach from the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS) who will work with them during the DDI SE and throughout their time at RIT. Students accepted to the DDI SE who are not affiliated with HEOP or RCS will be charged a $350 registration fee. Space is limited.

Students are responsible for their transportation from home to campus July 6th and back home on August 2nd. Please plan to arrive on campus July 6th between noon and 2:00 pm. Registration materials will be available in April 2024 and will be sent to HEOP/RCS students by email.