By Emma Keyes, Currier Times Staff///
Do you know any incoming freshmen with a little anxiety about starting college? Maybe you are one yourself? If so, then look no further than the Curry College Summer PAL (Program for the Advancement of Learning) Program. This three-week program allows students to experience college lifestyles and classes before their journey begins!
Senior, Timothy O’Brien, a Business Administration Major, considers the program to be a “good transition program to college life. Even if I did it online.”
The PAL program, founded in 1971, is a “one-of-a-kind, international program” says faculty member, Dr. Nicole Parsons.
Summer PAL students can earn four credits before they even begin their freshman year, which can help reduce the workload for the coming school year as well as familiarizing themselves with the campus. Students can even attend Curry College Summer Orientation while you are here – a session will be offered during the program. This year’s program is scheduled July 11 to 29, 2022.
Students can make connections with trained PAL Peer Mentors, develop self-awareness and understanding of individual learning profiles, as well as the foundations for critical thinking and self-determination all with a focus on learning how to learn through technology. And of course students are strongly encouraged to make new friends!
Dr. Maria Bacigalupo, the head of the program, says Summer PAL gives incoming students an advantage.
“The advantage is in getting to know the PAL faculty, the PAL Assistive Technology Center, 40-50 other PAL students, and the campus,” says Bacigalupo. “Summer PAL also offers assurance that a student will know their way around campus offices, know who they will eat with in the Stu, and sometimes even to make life-long friends.”
Bacigalupo adds that the program was started to serve as a bridge to the first year in college. The small groups, numbering only seven per professor, also helps.
Sebastian Kee, freshman, says she liked how Summer PAL gave her a feel of what college classes would be like.
“Now having finished my freshman year I can say wholeheartedly that the program and the professors have really prepared me for the college workload coming out of high school,” says Kee. “I think this experience was necessary for me to make that adjustment to living on my own at school and being independent with my work habits.”
Kee adds, “College has forced me to find a balance when I had none and I believe it is important to find that balance between work and fun, especially as a first year student when there are so many new things that you have to learn and adapt to that are just so vastly different from being in high school.”
Maybe your Curry journey will start this summer too, in the Summer PAL program!