Smith College: Pre-College Programs | Summer Program Guide | Teen Ink

Smith College: Pre-College Programs

Smith College Precollege Summer Programs offer intellectually stimulating and unique opportunities for high school girls who wish to pursue their academic interests in the classroom and beyond.
Annually, these programs offer over 225 young women the freedom to explore challenging and intriguing subjects, to strengthen their college applications and to sample the Smith undergraduate experience while living and studying with other motivated and ambitious students from around the world.  Here young women are taken seriously and inspired to excel – as scholars, scientists, and leaders.

The Smith College Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP): Do you want to conduct college-level research?  SSEP, now in its 26th year, is a unique four-week residential program that will give you a taste of both college life and college-level science.  You will attend small classes taught by top-notch faculty members.  The SSEP program is a dynamic learning environment that is hands-on, cooperative, investigative, and challenging.

Young Women's Writing Workshop: This unique writing workshop focuses on you, the writer.  Small classes help you develop your interest in writing, tap into your creativity and hone your writing skills. You will work with published authors, participants lay the groundwork for developing a strong writing portfolio and learn the steps involved in getting published.

Discovering Women's History: A training ground for women’s history enthusiasts, this program allows you to explore the lives and legacies of notable women of the 19th and 20th centuries. You will read the private papers of Sylvia Plath, Gloria Steinem and Virginia Woolf.  You will also examine poet Emily Dickinson’s personal diaries, photographs, and letters. You will learn archival research skills and gain college-level experience working closely with Smith and Mount Holyoke College faculty and archivists.

Field Studies for Sustainable Futures: This program is for the environmentally conscious student who wants to explore her interest in conservation in a cohesive, directed way.  You will learn about sustainable living and environmental science and policy in a hands-on, interactive, project-based program.  Much of the program is conducted in the field, and you will engage in a variety of activities including hiking, and visiting local farms and learning about sustainable food and agriculture.

College Admission Workshop:  This new one-week program is for rising high school juniors and seniors who are beginning to look at colleges.  You can learn how to successfully navigate the complicated college application process and gain a competitive advantage when you are applying to colleges.  Learn how to write a college-level essay, to ace a college admission interview and give an introductory speech.  This program may be added to one of our 2-week programs.

Q&A with Smith Pre-College Programs

Q: How is our program unique?
A: Our programs are unique because they are exclusively for young women, and our programs are developed and managed by Smith faculty and staff. This means that when you come to Smith in the summer, you are getting to know Smith, and Smith is getting to know you. We also focus on kinesthetic learning, so you won't be sitting in a classroom, in a lecture. You will be working with award-winning authors, or combing through the archives, or building robots, or testing your blood to analyze your own DNA! We want you to learn as much as you can, and have FUN doing it!

Q: Describe a typical day
A: Classes are Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  The lunch hour is either 11:30 or noon, depending on the program you are enrolled in. All students are in small classes, and all classes have a current Smith College student for an intern, as well as a faculty member. You will have the opportunity to participate in lively class discussions and work in groups with your peers doing college-level academic work .  We offer many off-site field trips and each evening our staff will have house activities planned such as movie nights, guest speakers and performances, game nights and a talent show.

Q: What type of teenager attends?
A: We attract high-performing young women who want to learn more about the topics they are passionate about. Many students who attend comment that they didn't know there were so many girls just like them, meaning, focused, passionate, and hungry to learn - and think being smart is cool!

Q: Where do the participant come from?
A: Everywhere! We have students from almost every state, Greece, Turkey, China, Singapore, Belgium, Ghana...the list goes on!

Q: What is the housing like?
A: Smith's campus houses, feature spacious rooms, each with large communal space for evening activities and movie watching or just relaxing and talking with friends.  Students love the food from breakfast to dinner, where you can choose from many hot and cold options.  Every Thursday night is an outdoor barbecue, and our food has been consistently rated as some of the best college campus food in the country, so don't worry! Our dining services source local food whenever possible and are able to accommodate many diverse diets. We can also accommodate students with allergies, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian diets. We cannot guarantee kosher meals.

Q: What do the students have to say?

A: “The course was very open-ended and allowed us to explore all the things we thought were interesting” 

“We spent a lot of time learning all the skills that we needed, and from there we could expand on and explore all the things we liked.”

“We did a lot of hands-on labs I could never have done in high school.”

“The most valuable experience I had at SSEP was the college dorm experience.  I am much more confident about going to college and meeting people that are interested in what I am than I was before.”

“Being in SSEP was a valuable experience that combines science and engineering learning with a college experience.”

“I really liked how the faculty allowed everyone to be comfortable talking during discussions. It allowed me to learn more by asking more questions.”

“Having to share my work gave me more confidence about my writing. I learned so much more in this class, but at the same time had a ton of fun.”

“I loved the classroom dynamics, with both my peers and the faculty inspiring me to write more often and more freely. By the end of the first week, the class felt like a community. It was truly an amazing experience like no other.”

“It was a positive environment, and there were absolutely no limitations put on writing style, word choice or topic. This created a very open-ended and comfortable feel.”

“It was truly inspiring to interact with a professional writer who also happens to be an excellent teacher.”

Ages: 14-18

Gender: Girls-Only

Type: Overnight/Residential

Physical & Mailing Address:
Smith College Precollege Programs Office, 30 Belmont Ave, Room 201
Northampton, MA USA 01063

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This summer program has 7 comments.

jbksmithie said...
on Jan. 21 2015 at 10:10 pm
I did the writing program in summer 2013 and could not be more grateful for the experience. I learned a new medium for expression, but, even more, I made friendships and gained support that I hold with me today. I loved it so much that I chose to attend Smith College! I plan on giving back to this program by being a counselor, myself, one summer.

on Jan. 14 2015 at 11:04 pm
I have always felt at a loss for the apparent lack of appreciation for Sylvia Plath (in high school, at least), but at Smith it was/is the opposite. That was one of my favorite parts of the Summer Program– everyone referred to Sylvia Plath on a first-name basis, and a typical Saturday night consisted of bonding over dream tattooes/deciding which quotes would be inked where, and condemning Ted Hughes. But yeah, the food was good, too.

Neuronerd said...
on Jan. 14 2015 at 10:27 pm
I attended the Summer Science and Engineering Program and it was one of the greatest and most life changing experience I have ever had. I want to start off with the wonderful girls I met in the program. I have made true life long friends from that program and these girls are truly some of the smartest and most talented girls I have met. One of the greatest parts of the program was the way it empowered girls to push beyond the boundaries made for us by society and make a change in the world. Just being surrounded by girls that had this attitude changed my outlook and has inspired me to try to do the same. Also the Neuroscience class I took at smith with Dr. Adam Hall and Dr. Allison Anacker was the most interesting class I ever taken even though it was only two weeks long! I learned many interesting things in that class and am inspired to study Neuroscience in college. This program at Smith is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had and I would definitely recommend it to other girls!

on Jan. 14 2015 at 9:59 pm
I spent this past summer, at Smith, doing the Science and Engineering Program. It was honestly the best experience I was ever offered. It allowed me to not only get an idea of going to college would be like but it got me to see what studying science in college would be like. But besides that, you get to meet the most amazing people. I still talk to the girls I was close to during the summer. You build bonds with people all over the country and some even from different countries. It was honestly an amazing summer and I wouldn't have changed it, or had it any other way. It helped me decide what schools to apply to, and what to major in, and gave me amazing friends. Madison McCarthy

on Jan. 14 2015 at 6:21 pm
Hermy448 SILVER, Albertson, New York
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Haha, I'm in the first picture. Anyway, going to Smith's Women's Writing Workshop was quite an amazing experience. I felt completely comfortable and even felt empowered by the other young women there. Shortly after the program, I submitted a poem to Teen Ink that was published to the print magazine- the best part was, I had written it in my poetry class at Smith. It was the first time I really felt part of a dedicated community. I miss the fun times I had there, and I can say that it's definitely an experience all writers should try.

KenzS said...
on Jan. 14 2015 at 5:03 pm
KenzS, Orange, Connecticut
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Summer at Smith was the highlight of my summer! In my two weeks there, I learned a ton about writing, enough to place out of the creative writing course at my school, and I was able to learn in a community of writers who were just as passionate as I was. The wonderful young women in the program made Smith feel like home, so much so that I hope to make Smith my home for the next four years. The Young Women's Writing Workshop has inspired a lot of my work so far, and Summer at Smith will continue to be a huge influence in my life to come.

RavenFowlkes said...
on Nov. 30 2012 at 6:37 pm
I learned about Summer at Smith during my junior year when I was looking for precollege programs to apply to. I found that Smith's Writing Workshop was the best program for me because of my passion for writing. The program impacted me in so many ways in only two short weeks. I learned so much about writing and how strong women can be in a community. Interacting with the teachers and the other girls taught me a lot about myself as a writer an a person. Summer at Smith has really been a life changing experience! 

Reviews of the Smith College: Pre-College Programs

By PurpleFeather BRONZE Canton, Connecticut

Five girls sit in the cozy dorm lounge in silence, their faces bathed in blue phosphorescence as they type, scroll, tap and click at laptops and iPads. Some typ...
PurpleFeather BRONZE, Canton, Connecticut
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Favorite Quote:
"The pen is mightier than the sword." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton