The Division of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) Summer Experience 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
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 weekly office hours. Additionally, students 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, upperclassmen, and DDI professional staff. Additionally, each student attends weekly coaching appointment with their personal academic coach where they can reflect on their experience and discover how to achieve success.
The DDI Summer Experience 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!). Additionally, 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 the DDI Summer Experience program dates.
Coursework – DDI Summer Experience students will complete 6 college credits towards their RIT degree requirements. Students will be placed in either Precalculus, Introduction to Statistics I, or Foundations of Sociology for their morning class. In the afternoon, students can take either Writing Seminar or Literature, Culture & Media. Course placement is based on individual student’s programs (major) and the Student Information Form. A significant advantage of the DDI Summer Experience is the direct access to college professors. Students engage in 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 personal academic coaching and the online Academic Strategies course, students will attend evening study hours where they will have access to a computer lab and math tutors. Students are also encouraged to work with their professors during weekly office hours. Lastly, students will be guided by our trained Peer Advisors, upperclassmen who are eager and available to provide support and share their experiences.
Co-curricular Components– DDI Summer Experience students will be introduced to their MCAS advocate or academic advisor. This is an opportunity to gain valuable information about specific majors, degree requirements, and information about RIT’s co-op program. There will also be opportunities to learn about DDI’s other student programs and partnerships, including CSTEP, McNair Scholars, LSAMP, the Future Stewards Program and the Multicultural Center for Academic Success (MCAS).
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’s plenty of opportunities to balance academics with exploration, discovery, or just relaxing. Cohort- and community-building are the foundation of the DDI Summer Experience, and students are able to make good friends who will be there when they arrive on campus in the fall.
DDI SE Core Values
Building a community takes collective effort and tremendous work. All Summer Experience students, faculty, and staff are expected to operate with the DDI Summer Experience 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.
Participants in the DDI Summer Experience 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 Summer Experience 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 Summer Experience are allowed on floor during the program.
All meals during the Summer Experience 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 ($10), lunch/brunch ($12) and dinner ($14). 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 Summer Experience are required to adhere to all 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 Summer Experience 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 Summer Experience. Violators will be 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 Summer Experience. There’s also the commitment of the DDI Summer Experience faculty, staff, and peer advisors. Their dedication to students is unsurpassed. Years later, past program participants consistently reflect on the positive impact the DDI Summer Experience had on their growth and preparation for college success at RIT. The promise and support students experience in the DDI Summer Experience 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 Summer Experience is a fully comprehensive and inclusive opportunity which provides students with room, board, programming, and tuition for 6 credits. The approximate value of the program is $12,760 per student; however, all costs ar waived with a registration fee.
Students accepted to RIT through the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Destler/Johnson Rochester City Scholars program (RCS), and the New Economy Opportunity Partnership Program (NEOPP) are required to successfully complete the DDI Summer Experience in order to finalize their scholarship opportunity. Therefore, there is no registration fee. Registration materials will be available in April 2022.
All other applicants are encouraged to apply. Finalists will be interviewed and, if accepted, will be charged a $400 non-refundable registration fee. Families with a demonstrated need may submit a plea for assistance in order to receive a reduction in cost once the student has completed the program. Applications will be available in April 2022.