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 Dutchess Community 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 (2014 - 2015 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 05, 2015.

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 26 (Sunday)

Program Begins - 12:00 pm

July 26 (Sunday) - July 31 (Friday)


July 31 (Friday evening)

Closing Ceremonies - 7:00 pm
Dutchess Community College



The 2015 Program Description


1969-1979: A Decade That Changed America

In this course, we will study the impact of this decade on American political institutions, on domestic politics, on foreign policy, and on issues of war and peace. The goal of the course is to provide tools that will enable students to understand how this decade influenced American politics from then to now. The topics will include: detente between the United States and the Soviet Union and normalization of relations with China; the end of the war in Vietnam and its meaning and consequences; the Arab-oil embargo and the consequences for energy dependency at home;the conservative revival; and the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan.

Using the methodologies of college-level Political Science courses, the Summer Scholars Program will use lectures, class discussions and film to present students with a rich, multidisciplinary understanding of how American domestic politics and foreign policy worked in this period and the changes that are still with us today. All activities will enable students to become stronger critical readers and thinkers 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.



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