Virtual Summer Modules
Jump Start students may complete online supplemental coursework as part of the admission to the program. This coursework is focused on math and/or English, based on their math and/or English placement results. These modules provide academic reinforcement to help students feel more prepared for college-level work. After successfully completing the modules and showing significant improvement, students may be given the opportunity to retake their placement exams to allow them to enter higher level math and/or English courses.
Helping students enter their academics at the college level not only helps boost their confidence, but can also reduce the total number of courses a student needs to take to meet their major requirements, reducing their overall cost of attendance and helping them graduate on time in two or four years.
Early Entrance Experience
All Jump Start students arrive on campus before Welcome Week in August for an extended fall orientation.
Jump Start orientation is centered around three student objectives:
- Engage: Meet other first year students, faculty, and staff before the start of the semester.
- Experience: Participate in fun, interactive academic and social experiences.
- Learn: Earn your First-Year Experience course credit before the start of your semester.
“Jumpstart helped me by giving me a full support system. Whether it be academic or social, Jumpstart was there no matter what.” Kirsten Tercek, 2016 Jump Start student, 2020 Penn State Mont Alto graduate
Jump Start doesn’t end when classes start in August. As part of the Jump Start first-year experience, you will continue to receive specialized academic coaching and mentoring to help with the transition from high school to college-level academics.
A professional learning specialist will partner with you to identify specific skills that you need help developing, such as studying techniques and time management.
Additionally, the Jump Start team will work with you to create an individualized academic success plan that breaks down your goals – everything from completing classwork on time, to studying for exams, to finishing your major on time – to help you feel confident and in control of your journey.
Perhaps most importantly, you will be paired with a Peer Mentor with whom you will meet regularly throughout your first year. Your Peer Mentor isn’t just here to provide academic coaching; Peer Mentors understand how big the transition from high school to college is, and they can help make that transition easier by connecting students to additional support resources.
Your Peer Mentor can also help you engage with the social side of college life by recommending clubs and activities based on your personal interests. The best thing about your Peer Mentor is that when they tell you that “they get it,” they mean it – most of our Peer Mentors entered Mont Alto through the Jump Start program their first year at Mont Alto, and they can share guidance based on their own experiences.
Jump Start students are often so happy with the Jump Start experience that they become Peer Mentors after their first year.
Your Peer Mentors will
- Support you with your academic and social transition to college
- Connect you to appropriate resources on campus
- Encourage you to utilize successful study techniques
- Promote community building by encouraging you to become involved on campus
- Foster an environment that celebrates diversity
- Act as a liaison with open communication between you and faculty and staff
Beyond the First Year
Once a Jump Starter, always a Jump Starter. After successfully completing your first year, the Jump Start Coordinator will continue to provide academic course counseling , as well as tutoring and academic support services at the level you need.
You will remain connected to your fellow Jump Start students, Peer Mentors, and the Academic Support Center team throughout the rest of your time at Penn State Mont Alto. Jump Start students often enjoy continued relationships with the Jump Start team long after graduation.
“Jump Start provides early connections to other students and allows you to pop in and ask questions of the Jump Start staff. My mentor and I have a close relationship that has lasted from the time I was a freshman until today!” Jamal Artis, 2014 Jump Start student, 2019 Penn State graduate