College Prep Workshops Full Description

UMass Amherst Summer College is designed to give you an early start on your college career. The Summer College intensives are designed to help you explore areas of interest and develop the skills and abilities that will help you succeed in any college or university. And, as highly motivated high school student, you are certainly on your way to success. But there’s more.

The question of how young people become successful postsecondary students is a big one today. After all, only 51 percent of incoming students at four-year institutions complete a bachelor’s degree within six years. And for every year past your four-year graduation date, not only do you pay more in tuition and fees, but you lose the opportunity to earn more.

Research tells us that students who spend time exploring their personalities, interests, and strengths before college are more likely to choose a major they are satisfied with, find an academic environment in which they flourish, feel committed to their educational experience, and graduate on time with a degree they use in a career that is satisfying. Consequently more attention is being paid to the academic development and social skills graduating high school students need to be successful in college. With these ideas in mind, UMass Amherst Summer College has created a new series of workshops designed to guide you through the process of exploring self and interests with the goal of developing a sense of commitment to college and ultimately leading to a successful college career.

These four free one-hour workshops are offered in the evenings. To participate, just sign up when you check in.

Who Are U: Connecting your interests to academic majors and careers.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” may sound intimidating, but exploring your answer to that question should be an important part of your college search. After all, research tells us that your personal interests influence both your choice of major as well as your likelihood to stay in that major (and ultimately to graduate on time with a degree you will use). Students who understand the relationship between experiences they enjoy and their goals for the future are more likely to find a major and a college that feels right to them.

Of course, “What do you want to be?” isn’t an easy question to answer. In the first part of this workshop, you will use the Strong Interest Inventory to assess your own interests, skills, and strengths. You’ll use your results to explore the careers that may be most satisfying and the college majors that are related to those careers. And with time to reflect specifically on what you might want to be and what you are interested in studying, you’ll explore the variety of colleges and universities that can best fit your personality type and your needs, and can support you in pursuing your interests and goals.

Finding the Right Fit: Choosing a College and a Major

Finding a college that fits and is committed to you, your interests, and your goals is a key step on your path to college – the next is to convince the college admissions department of your commitment to them. With the help of admissions officers from UMass and Amherst, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges, you will gain an inside perspective of the college admissions process at selective colleges and universities. You will have the chance to talk about the importance of location, size, tuition cost, and available majors as well as how to make the most of a college visit or interview, the role of your high school extracurricular activities, tips for writing a successful essay, and finding money to help pay for school.

What are your academic strengths now? What skills will you need to develop as you prepare to succeed in the college classroom? Together, we will explore a variety of topics including interacting with professors, participating in seminars, academic writing, and taking exams.With UMass academic advisors, you will talk about the skills you use in high school and how you can strengthen them as you pursue your academic interests in college. You will explore what you do if — despite your strong study skills — that math class gets too hard or you’re struggling to start that paper for your English seminar. And we will consider how the development of study and communication skills can lead to success during your summer at UMass as well as in the future at school, work, and in your community.

Living and Learning

In our last workshop of the series, we’ll return one last time to considering our interests, skills, and strengths and how those can support success not just in your academic life, but in your student life as well. Speaking with UMass Resident Assistants, you will explore strategies for sharing space with a roommate, living in a dorm, and balancing an academic and social life. You’ll consider the opportunities for self-exploration, goal setting, and developing a sense of social connection and connection to your school — all factors that lead to a successful college experience.