Incoming first-year students looking to get a jump start on their college experience can register now for Summer Advantage, a program designed to give them a taste of what university life is like before the fall semester starts.

The five-week program, held entirely in person, lets students engage in academic and recreational programming specifically tailored to their needs and learn best practices for academic success.

Lightening the load

The Summer Advantage curriculum offers foundational courses but also lets student explore their own interests. Students take two classes during the five weeks and can choose from courses in English, ethnic studies, economics, entrepreneurship, and more.

Students can earn up to 8 credits, and most courses fulfill University Common Requirements.

“Summer Advantage is great for any student who wants to lighten the load for their first year,” said Jonathan Stahl, assistant director of Adventure Programs & Experiential Learning with University Recreation (UREC). “We have some students who find that taking a full course load is too demanding, and Summer Advantage can help with that.”

Although Summer Advantage is academically rigorous, it gives participants plenty of opportunities to have fun. The program offers frequent recreational activities—outdoor trips, a challenge course, bike rides to the Moscow Farmers Market—as well as unstructured time for students to explore the Pullman campus and surrounding communities. Perhaps most importantly, it gives students a chance to forge friendships with their fellow Cougs.

“Summer Advantage is great for anyone who wants to put their nerves at ease and know that they’re going to make a few friends before classes start in the fall,” Stahl said.

Benefits for all students

Summer Advantage may be particularly helpful for first-generation students and those coming from small and close-knit communities. Connecting with campus and their fellow Cougs during Summer Advantage makes it easier for these students to dive into the rigors of college life in the fall—and it helps Pullman feel a little more like home.

“We aim to ease the transition into university life,” Stahl said.

Summer Advantage is also beneficial for student-athletes, whose schedules during the semester are busy with workouts, practices, and competitions on top of their classes. The program lets them earn credits and participate in workouts during the summer, and it gives them opportunities to connect with students who aren’t involved in athletics and explore campus and the community—things they don’t always have time for during the academic year.

“That’s one of the things I love most about Summer Advantage—it connects student-athletes to the rest of campus,” said Wanda Tennant, director of academic services with WSU Athletics. “It’s a great way to introduce them to clubs and activities, and to encourage that broader look at the educational process.”

Open to all

Registration for Summer Advantage is now open, and interested incoming first-year students are encouraged to apply soon, as space in the program is limited.

Summer Advantage programming will be held in person, and all classes and activities will abide by current health guidelines. Students will be housed in single-occupant rooms.

The program begins with move in on June 25 (June 16 for student-athletes) and runs June 28–July 30.

For more information and to register, visit the Summer Advantage website.