Jump Start Virtual Summer Program

The virtual summer modules are the first component to the Jump Start program.

They give students the opportunity to raise their level of academic preparedness without the traditional on-campus and lengthy summer programs. The virtual summer program allows for students to be ready for college-level courses by having them complete college-level coursework tutorials before their fall semester entry.  (Goal #1)

**Jump Start students continually have higher success rates in both ENGL 004 and MATH 004 than students eligible for the program but choose not to attend. A four-year average of data shows Jump Start students passed ENGL 004 with a C or higher at 90 percent, compared to 68 percent for those who were eligible and chose not to participate. Jump Start students passed MATH 004 with a C or higher at 96 percent, compared to 61 percent for those who were eligible and chose not to participate.**

Online Modules

Jump Start students, through the use of ALEKS and Canvas, are provided on-line learning experiences in math and English. The online modules allow the students to experience learning provided by a Penn State faculty member and staff member prior to the start of the semester. This self-paced learning gives the student an opportunity to refresh their knowledge of the subject matter and prepare for the academic year.            

Math Learning Module

All first-year students regardless of AP, IB, dual enrollment, and CLEP credits will have completed the ALEKS Math Assessment prior to joining the Jump Start program. The ALEKS Math Assessment ensures students' readiness for a particular math, statistics, and chemistry courses at Penn State. Since these courses are demanding, it is important for students to begin in the course most likely to lead to success. Students will not be permitted to take a course unless they have demonstrated readiness. For more information about interpreting your ALEKS score, visit the ALEKS Math Assessment website. 

ALEKS Score Placements
ALEKS Score Placement
0% MATH 001, MATH 003 (Jump Start Eligible)
14% MATH 004 (Jump Start Eligible)
30% MATH 021, STAT 200 (Jump Start Eligible) or other appropriate GQ
46% MATH 022, MATH 026 with MATH 022
61% MATH 026 alone, MATH 110
76% MATH 140

Students who choose to participate in the Jump Start program are required to use the ALEKS learning modules to improve their skills and retake the assessment. Students are given six weeks of access to the learning modules once they begin. During those six weeks, students may use the learning modules as much or as little as they choose. For best results, students should plan to spend one to two hours, five days a week, for the six weeks once the modules are open.

Once the Jump Start student has completed the six-week timeline to improve their mathematics skills, they will retake the ALEKS assessment. The second score the student receives will ultimately give them guidance with regards to their placement into either MATH 004 or an appropriate quantitative course.

English Learning Module

Students' skills in writing will be assessed by the SAT-Writing Test or determination from the NSO Adviser. All Penn State degree programs require English composition, and ENGL 015 is the standard composition course. Jump Start student writing test scores may suggest gaps in their writing ability requiring review before taking ENGL 015.

SAT-READ Score Placements



If your score is 680-800* Schedule ENGL 15 or ENGL 30. Consult with an adviser.
If your score is 520-679*

Schedule ENGL 15.

If your score is 420-519*

Schedule ENGL 15 or ENGL 4. Consult with an adviser.

If your score is 200-419*

Schedule ENGL 4 before scheduling ENGL 15.

If you have no score Consult with an adviser.

*Students with scores that are near the placement cutoffs should consult with an academic adviser before selecting a course

Students who choose to participate in the Jump Start program are required to use Canvas learning modules to improve their skills. Students are given six weeks of access to the English learning modules starting the first week of July. Each week, a different topic will be explored in the area of writing that will directly correlate with the ENGL 004 course the student will take during the fall semester. The weekly topic will
conclude with an assessment to determine students’ comfort with topic.  The English learning module is self-paced. Students have completed the English learning modules in as little time as days while others take the full six weeks. The time to completion is completely up to the student!

Peer Mentoring

Each Jump Start student will be paired with a peer mentor. During the first week in August, the peer mentor will contact the Jump Start student. It is the mentor’s responsibility to reach out to the Jump Start student every week from the first week of August until the arrival of the Early Entrance Experience. Students in the Jump Start Program should use this time to ask questions they may have about the Summer Learning Modules, the Early Entrance Experience, the upcoming academic year, or any other questions to assist in making the transition.