HWS Summer Bridge Program

July 1 - August 4, 2018

Program Overview

First-year students have an opportunity to participate in the HWS Summer Bridge Program, a five-week academically-intensive summer residential program for incoming students. With a focus on writing, analytical and research skills, the program is intended to further develop in students the necessary skills to be successful at the Colleges.

Interested students* are selected to participate in the Summer Bridge Program and take courses on the Hobart and William Smith campus during the summer (July 1- Aug. 4) before their first year. Students take three courses and participate in workshops and services on campus life and activities, taught by faculty members and staff experts.

As the first leg of incoming students' four-year academic journey, the Summer Bridge Program is intended for students who need additional work in foundational skills for college success. The courses are designed to provide small classroom settings where students can work closely with faculty, staff and other undergraduate students in developing their academic skills. In addition to skill development, the program provides students with an in-depth orientation to campus services, learning strategies and time management. Participants are supported by undergraduate students who live in the residence hall with them, many of whom attended similar programs before their first-year on campus. These students provide peer-to-peer mentorship in study, research and writing skills.

Students in the Summer Bridge Program also work closely with incoming first-year students and staff in the Academic Opportunity Program's Summer Institute, an annual program designed to provide broad and varied educational experiences to capable students who might otherwise not have an opportunity to attend college. The two programs share faculty, advisers and students in their preparatory processes.

Participants in the Summer Bridge Program are on a rigorous schedule throughout the five weeks with classes and academic instruction happening throughout the day and evening.

Programs like the Summer Bridge Program and the Academic Opportunity Program are regarded as important first steps to students' success for many students, based on achievement and graduation rates. By creating a supportive academic and social environment before classes start, students enter their first semester with a sense of community, academic confidence and clarity on how to succeed in college.

*Incoming international students are not eligible for the program due to visa restrictions


  • Take college courses with faculty members.
  • Earn college credit before the first semester of the first-year.
  • Develop reading, writing, and mathematical skills that will be useful for the next four years.
  • Acclimate early to the campus and its resources.
  • Learn effective time management and study skills habits.
  • Build relationships with faculty and staff, current undergraduates, and other incoming students.
  • Experience living in a residence hall.
  • Gain confidence in their academic abilities.


  • Students who need to develop their reading, writing, and mathematical skills.


The $6,000 cost for this five-week, immersive academic program includes all housing, meals, materials and field study trips. Scholarships are available for students with demonstrated need.


Because much of what one is asked to write in college requires the writer to express his or her own ideas in a convincing, credible manner, this course emphasizes developing the writer's "voice." The course stresses what habits of mind and work lead to an effective essay with an emphasis on the general mechanics of syntax, sentence structure and grammar. The goal is to meet a new writer's need for focus, cohesion and organization.

The course emphasizes the origins and role of mathematics and quantitative principles in a creative and exciting way. It covers essential topics in algebra, trigonometry and geometry used in calculus and helps to prepare students for courses in research methods, quantitative reasoning and scientific inquiry at the Colleges.

This course provides a foundation in college-level critical thinking skills. The common theme from year to year will be that the course will help students to develop (and build on existing) critical thinking skills for college-level reading, writing, and oral expression. A significant element of the class meetings will be seminar-style discussions.


DeWayne Lucas
Interim Provost and Professor of Political Science

Phone: 315-781-3304
E-Mail: oafa@hws.edu


Fill out the online application or call the Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs at (315) 781-3304.


May 1 - Applications Due
May 15 - Acceptances Announced
June 18 - Fees Due to Colleges
July 1 - Arrival and Move-In
August 4 - Departure


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.