Virtual Campus Experience

High school students in Summer College – Online courses have the unique opportunity to develop valuable skills and acquire knowledge from University faculty who are experts in their field. Summer College students are empowered to be independent and self-sufficient, and to seek academic support when needed. Students are fully immersed in a virtual college campus – inside and outside of their classes.

The Online Classroom

Summer College students build meaningful connections with instructors and classmates in a collaborative and interactive virtual learning environment that emulates an in-person classroom. In 2020, the average instructor to student ratio was 9:1, which allows students to have more individualized attention, guidance, and a more personalized experience.

Pre-college course instruction consists of synchronous content in the form of live video classes with an SU faculty member or instructor. Asynchronous content may include videos, guest speakers, virtual field trips, demonstrations, and end events. Most students will access their courses and non-academic content through Blackboard, the supported Learning Management System at Syracuse University. Students will typically use Blackboard to access their coursework and submit assignments as well as complete their required asynchronous orientation to prepare them before the start of their course.

Syracuse University Summer College precollege student

“The way the classes were structured, I was always able to remain focused and consequently gain more knowledge.”

— Alexa W., Summer College – Online Student, 2020

Levels of Academic Support

Taking a college-level class for the first time can initially be intimidating for high school students. Summer College students are encouraged to take advantage of the academic support services and individuals who are available and happy to help.

Syracuse University Academic Resources

Syracuse University offers a wealth of academic support centers and services including The Writing Center, SU Libraries, Information Technology Services (ITS), and the Office of Disability Center who are available to help Summer College students. 

Click here for a full list of online academic resources and services.

Instructor Support

All Summer College courses are taught by Syracuse University faculty and instructors. Many courses have Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Instructional Assistants (IAs) who provide additional assistance to students. Faculty and instructors are available during virtual office hours to ensure pre-college students have the help they need to be successful in their Summer College course.

Online Support Advisor

Every Summer College – Online student is assigned an Online Support Advisor (OSA). The OSA will check in with students periodically throughout the summer to provide encouragement, support, and guidance. Students can reach out to their OSA via email or they can meet via videoconferencing by request.

Syracuse University Summer College precollege student

“I felt fully supported by the faculty and knew I could ask for help whenever I needed it. I met new people during the icebreakers and “meet the pets” sessions on Mondays, learned more about the schools I wanted to apply to within the college, and became even more passionate about my choice of major. This summer program boosted my confidence in myself as a student, both within my field of interest and in general.”

— Nina G., Summer College – Online student, 2020

Virtual Campus Life

The Summer College – Online experience wouldn’t be complete without the many events and activities planned exclusively for pre-college students. Various schools, colleges, and departments at Syracuse University come together in the summer to facilitate extracurricular activities that bring students together to connect, learn, grow, and have fun.

The Office of Student Living

The Office of Student Living (OSL) creates an online experience for pre-college students that mimics a residential community. All Summer College students are assigned a Virtual Community Connector (VCC), who is also a current Syracuse University undergrad. VCCs help facilitate connections between students through small group discussions, large group conversations, and community events. VCCs also offer support and mentorship to students.

Social Events & Activities

Summer College students are encouraged to decompress and have fun after class! Students can connect with other members of the Summer College community in virtual events and activities (and win prizes!) that are hosted by OSL and the Office of Pre-College Programs. Events may include:

  • Community Kickoff Events
  • Trivia Nights (Sports, Disney, Pop Culture…)
  • Meet the Pets
  • Paint/Art Nights
  • Icebreaker Activities
  • Game Nights
  • Netflix Movie Nights
  • Weekly Challenges

Barnes Center at the Arch & Recreation Activities

It’s easy to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle with help from the Barnes Center at the Arch, the hub for student wellness at Syracuse University. Summer College students have access to:

  • Yoga Sessions
  • eSports Tournaments
  • Vinyasa Flow
  • Strength and Conditioning Classes
  • At-Home Workout Videos

Enrichment Opportunities

Students can gain valuable life skills and learn about the college admissions process in enrichment events and workshops hosted by various on-campus departments.

Career Prep and Skills Building

In collaboration with multiple campus departments, Summer College students have many opportunities to develop academic, career, and life skills over the summer. Events may include:

  • Access to LinkedIn Learning Classes
  • Career Services: Resume Building
  • Financial Literacy Workshops
  • Leveraging Your Summer College Experience Seminar

Admissions and College Prep

Admissions events are designed to help pre-college students prepare for the college application process. Summer College students have the opportunity to attend multiple sessions hosted by Syracuse University Admissions representatives. The small setting of these events allows for conversation and questions.


“Along with everything the classes have provided, I also loved Syracuse University Summer College for the virtual events and activities. All the trivia nights, icebreakers, community connection initiatives, games, and movie screenings allowed me to take a break and make all kinds of new friends.”

— Jessica X., Summer College – Online student, 2020
Syracuse University Summer College precollege student


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