I’m First, Opportunity Knocks

For students who don’t have a family history of higher education, college is your opportunity to become who you want to be!

I’m First‘s Opportunity Knocks newsletter features campus programs and opportunities for first-generation college students. This edition highlights Summer Bridge & Orientation opportunities at 13 of our College Partners.

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Amherst College
Amherst, MA
Access to Amherst
Matriculated students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in the sciences are eligible for the Summer Science Program, while those interested in the humanities and social sciences are eligible for the Summer Humanities and Social Science Program. The two three-week courses occur before first-year orientation. Approximately 20 members of the incoming class participate in each program and gain assistance transitioning between high school and college. Participants in the science program gain further assistance in learning various approaches to math and science while those in the humanities and social science program develop writing and study skills as well as other skills aimed at achieving success. Read more

Brown University
Providence, RI
Fall Pre-Orientation Programs
Among the Fall Pre-Orientation Programs is an intensive, five-day writing program offered to selected incoming students who would benefit from additional orientation to Brown’s academic culture. The program includes five classes taught by distinguished Brown professors from a range of academic disciplines. Students complete reading and writing assignments and work with staff at Brown’s Writing Center. Brown’s Multicultural Center hosts a community-building event for entering students that promotes interracial understanding. The program helps all students identify and increase their awareness of issues encountered by minority students at Brown. Read more

College of Charleston
Charleston, SC
Speedy Consolidation and Transition Program (SPECTRA)
Through the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), the College offers this challenging transitional summer academic program for students from underrepresented populations and first-generation students who will attend the College full-time in the fall. During a five-week, on-campus experience, students learn to develop successful academic and social networks; bridge the gap between traditional, stereotypical barriers that students of color face on predominantly white campuses; and understand the academic rigors of college life. Read more

Elmhurst College
Elmhurst, IL
Direct Connect
Specially designed for students who are the first in their families to attend college, Direct Connect is a pre-orientation program that aims to link newcomers to the people and resources they need to succeed in undergraduate life. Participants meet other first-generation students, get an advanced glimpse of campus life and learn how to find the people who can answer their questions. Read more

Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA
Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program
Once students deposit they are invited to participate in the Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program (PCPOP), operated by our Office of Diversity and Achievement. PCPOP introduces students to the variety of services available at Grinnell College, such as the Writing Lab, Reading Lab, Math Lab, Science Lab and other tutoring opportunities and pairs PCPOP participants with a currently enrolled student mentor and a faculty or staff mentor. Read more

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO
Hit the Ground Running
Hit the Ground Running is a three-week summer learning program that offers new students an exciting opportunity to sharpen and enhance their academic skills, work with teams on design projects, make new friends, develop leadership skills and learn about college-level coursework expectations. This program is intended to prepare students for college life by letting them know what to expect from their college experience. Read more

Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA
Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI)
Occidental College chooses 50 admitted students each year to participate in a co-curricular program called the Multicultural Summer Institute. A four-week summer program taking place before students begin their first year at Occidental, the Institute prepares students for their academic career by acquainting them with the campus experience. In preparing participants for college life, students participate in academic courses, community service, diversity training and other programs. Read more

Rice University
Houston, TX
Urban Immersion
Urban Immersion is an intensive, service-oriented program that introduces incoming Rice students to the urban issues, social needs and cultural diversity of Houston while having a good time meeting other students. Each day of the program will allow the participants to serve with two different Houston non-profit agencies. Participants will also have short readings about the agencies and social issues and have opportunities to meet local experts and staff from the agencies for group discussions. Read more

Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
Frog Camp
Frog Camp is all about you finding your place at TCU; whether that place is line dancing in the Fort Worth Stock Yards, on top of the tallest climbing wall in Texas, rafting down Colorado’s Taylor River, or building a house with Habitat for Humanity. Each camp is unique, but every camp you’ll make friends, discuss college issues, and prepare for life at TCU. Scholarships are available to those who demonstrate financial need. Read more

University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Muscat Scholars Program
The Muscat Scholars Program (MSP) is a transition program for incoming first-generation first year students who would benefit from an intensive, two-week structured program that provides both an academic and social preparation for the rigors of the First Year and beyond at the University of San Francisco. The program provides participants with two units towards graduation as well as an orientation to the University and the City of San Francisco. Read more

Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Freshman Summer Academic Program
The Freshman Summer Academic Program (FSAP) gives first-year students admitted to Washington University an introduction to the undergraduate academic life at the University. The intensive five-week academic program provides students the opportunity to earn six college credits, make friends, become familiar with the campus and surrounding neighborhoods, and register early for fall courses before other freshmen. Read more

Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL
Minority Student Orientation
The purpose of Minority Student Orientation is to give incoming students of color the opportunity to obtain additional assistance in their transition from home to Western and the Macomb community; meet various staff, faculty, administrators, students and organization leaders at Western Illinois University; obtain information on various departments and services; and get an early start on becoming familiar with the campus. Students and their families will get tips on being successful inside and outside the classroom and will get answers to questions about Western and the Macomb community. Read more

Williams College
Williamstown, MA
Summer Science / Summer Humanities and Social Sciences
About 40 incoming first-year students participate in Summer Science, and Summer Social Sciences & Humanities at Williams, special orientation programs during the month of July. Priority for admission is given to first-generation students. Participants take four courses and engage in research, allowing for an academically enriching experience that familiarizes students with campus life before the fall semester. Students participating in the program will also have the opportunity to meet current Williams students who are doing science research at the college over the summer. Read more