Summer Scholars Program

What is the Jay P. Rolison, Jr. Summer Scholars Program?

The Summer Scholars Program is a week-long residential program for students attending high schools in Dutchess County. The Summer Scholars Program provides challenging academic opportunities for a selected number of 10th and 11th graders. Students who have demonstrated high academic achievement, intellectual potential and creativity, as evidenced in their Summer Scholars Program applications will be invited to participate.The academic program is designed to challenge high school students in multidisciplinary projects.

All Summer Scholars will reside in dorms located on the Vassar College campus. Meals will be served three times daily. Dormitory life will be supervised by a Residential Director and Resident Assistants. Twenty-four hour campus security for the duration of the program will be provided by the security staff at each college campus.

Student Selection Standards

Students selected for the Summer Scholars Program from school districts in Dutchess County will be a diverse group of students willing to engage in collaborative academic inquiry and be part of a social/learning community.

The Summer Scholars Program provides an opportunity for Dutchess County's most eligible students to explore multi-disciplinary topics in depth.  Instructors and students in the program enjoy an environment that provides methods of instruction and learning that are usually not available in a traditional, comprehensive high school setting. A conscious effort has been made to ensure that the program offered to Summer Scholars does not duplicate the offering of either high school or college curricula.

Participation Standards

Each student will be required to participate actively and positively in all scheduled classes and activities. In addition, each student is required to complete all assigned work. Assignments may include the keeping of journals, response papers, research, and collaborative presentations. The Summer Scholars program is designed to challenge students. The students are expected to meet the challenge.

The Summer Scholars Program is a concentrated academic experience.  Classes and enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the week.

Scholars register at the beginning of the program and remain in residence for the duration.

Participants will not be excused to attend conventions, camps, conferences, workshops, lessons, sports, practices, graduations, or family vacations. Leaves-of-absence are not permitted except in emergency situations, and only with the permission of the Program Director.

Students may not drive any vehicle at any time during the program. In addition, students will not be permitted to bring a car or other motorized vehicle or bicycle on campus. Students are also not allowed visitors during the program.

Students wishing to participate in religious services will be able to participate in services held at the campus where they are located. With prior notificatoin to the Summer Scholars Program Director parents and guardians may make arrangements to take the student to the service. (Completed release forms will be required and given to the Residential Director on the day of the service).

Summer Scholars represent their home schools and are required to follow all rules and regulations in the SUMMER SCHOLARS COMMUNITY LIFE HANDBOOK.

What the Summer Scholars Program Is...

What the Summer Scholars Program Isn't...

  • a challenging residential academic program for selected students
  • for students who enjoy inquiry learning
  • for students who behave responsibly
  • summer camp for all students who apply
  • for students who give minimum effort to assignments
  • for students who require constant supervision

Program Fees

There will be no tuition for students from public schools selected to participate.  Tuition, room, board (three meals per day), books, field trips and enrichment activities are all part of the program package provided to students free of charge. Students from private schools selected to participate will pay a participation fee.

The Summer Scholars are responsible for the actual cost/responsibility of travel to and from the program on the first and last day. In addition, any spending or pocket money is to be supplied by the student or his/her family. There are stores on campus where personal items (toothpaste, deodorant, candy, etc.) may be purchased.

Evaluation of Student Performance

Neither grades nor academic credit are given to Summer Scholars.  All students who successfully complete the program are awarded a participation certificate following the close of the program.


Dutchess BOCES is part of the statewide system of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services. Through the cooperative efforts of component school districts, Dutchess BOCES is able to offer the Summer Scholars Program. Students from private schools pay a participation fee.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  1. Current high school juniors and sophomores (2012-2013 school year)
  2. Legal residents of Dutchess County
  3. Students attending high school in Dutchess County
  4. Students identified by their high schools as high achieving, innovative or accelerated learners.

Student Selection

Eligible students are nominated and screened by their schools. At each high school the principal and guidance departments receive information and application materials and can advise students concerning local procedures. High schools are urged to widely publicize the Summer Scholars Program and the opportunities it provides. Each school has also been asked to form a committee to assure broad participation in the important identification phase of the selection process. Nominations will be made on the basis of criteria provided by the Program Director. Students who are interested in the program should contact their high school Guidance Office for further information. Once nominated, all candidates will be carefully screened by the Selection Committee. Final selections will be made by this committee. Students and their families will be notified of their acceptance by June 14, 2013.

Program Activities

During the Summer Scholars Program, students and teachers engage in intellectually challenging inquiry and fieldwork.  Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to interact with experts in the various fields of study and become active participants in learning collaboratively.

As a supplement to the academic program, students will participate in a wide range of enrichment activities which may include lectures, concerts, field trips, seminars and films.  Summer Scholars are expected to be part of a learning community of peers, faculty, and residential staff.

A wide range of recreational activities are available on the college campuses during the Summer Scholars Program. Athletic equipment and sports facilities are available at each campus and are at the disposal of the Summer Scholars Program.

Motor vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, scooters and roller blades are prohibited.

During the weekend, the Summer Scholars will participate in "trust-building" activities designed to promote group cohesiveness and allow the students and staff to become better acquainted with each other. All aspects of this program are designed and directed by highly trained and experienced professionals.

Program Timeline


Program Schedule

July 6 (Saturday) Program Begins
July 7 (Sunday) - July 12 (Friday)
July 9 (Monday) - July 13 (Friday)
July 12 (Friday evening)

Closing Ceremonies -Spackenkill High School




The 2013 Program Description


The United States has been involved in two major wars since the terrorist attacks on 9/11. These wars were considered essential by President George W. Bush in the global “war on terrorism.” The American public was told that the preventive March 2013 war with Iraq was waged in order to destroy the Iraq’s ability to construct and to use Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and to eliminate the support by Iraq for Al Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for 9/11. The WMDs were never found, and President Bush disclosed well into the war that they did not exist and that there were no links by the Iraqi Government to Al Qaeda. The war with Afghanistan began in 2001 to eliminate the Taliban from controlling that country because it had provided safe haven for terrorists operating there and in neighboring Pakistan. President Obama withdrew American troops from Iraq at the end of 2001, and he has promised to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. The estimate cost of these wars by the end of 2011 was $3.3 trillion plus thousands of American casualties, many thousands of people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many Americans returning from these wars with physical and psychological life altering injuries. The situation is still politically unstable in Iraq and the Taliban is still a major force in Afghanistan. This course will critically evaluate these wars, their human cost at home and abroad, and the role of the U.S. in these and in future conflicts. The “war on terrorism” will also be a focus of the course.

Using the methodologies of college-level History, Political Science, and English courses, the Summer Scholars Program will use lectures, film, fiction, and student writing, workshops to present students with a rich, multidisciplinary understanding of these conflicts and their consequences for the United States.. All activities will enable students to become stronger critical readers, thinkers, and writers with an emphasis on mature and sophisticated classroom participation and clear academic writing.

The emphasis on student skills will involve developing and enhancing their ability to evaluate evidence objectively, to utilize primary and secondary sources, to analyze data, to review events and issues from a multidisciplinary approach, to analyze and to integrate the information presented from a variety of sources, including the Internet, to engage in precise, logical, and clear thinking, and to write clear and coherent analyses.



How Can I Get More Information?

If you have any questions or would like more information, which cannot be obtained from your principal or guidance counselor, please call or write:

Jodi DeLucia
Director, Educational Resources

Educational Resources

Dutchess BOCES CTI
5 BOCES Road
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
v: 845.486.4840 ext. 4614
f: 845.486.4832