Badger Herald: UW summer programs help first-year students transition

take at class at UW-Madison Continuing Studies this summer and make new connections

Summer Term is not just for current students—incoming first-years can get an early start through programs that orient them to the UW-Madison experience, as reported recently in the Badger Herald.

Say the name, say the name

The advantage to students is clear from the program names. The International Student Summer Institute, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Quickstart, Electrical and Computer Engineering Summer Launch, the Wisconsin Experience Summer Launch, and more offer the chance to come to campus or participate online during the summer before their first year.

Students earn their initial UW-Madison credits toward their degree without the pressure of a full course load. They also connect with fellow students and faculty.

UW-Madison's new approach to Summer Term has attracted a record number of students.
UW-Madison’s new approach to Summer Term has attracted a record number of students.

An effortless transition

“Students who participated in early start programs last summer said they were nervous about starting college life and concerned about fitting in,” said Aphra Mednick, assistant dean for Summer Term.

The programs are designed to ease the transition. They help students feel connected to the university, discover resources and organizations, and avoid the culture shock of shifting from a high school student to a college student—or even to life in a large city.

Extra benefits

Early start participants may have the opportunity to move into their permanent fall housing before most other students arrive.

Those who take Summer Term classes on campus appreciate the chance to get familiar with Badger favorites like the Terrace when the campus is relatively quiet.

But at the top of most students’ lists, according to Mednick, is the increased confidence in their ability to thrive at UW-Madison.

Or as one student said, “It helped me find my footing in this new independent environment of mine.”

Which, according to the program creators, is precisely the goal.