The Summer Scholars Programs helped sophomore Aalekhya Reddam, an avid scuba diver, decide to pursue a career in marine science while she was still in high school.
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (April 2, 2015)—As an avid scuba diver in high school, Aalekhya Reddam wondered if a career in marine science would suit her. For three weeks between her junior and senior year, the University’s Summer Scholars Program allowed her to test the waters—and earn college credits. “The program exceeded my expectations,” says Reddam, now a sophomore at UM who plans to pursue a Ph.D. and a career in marine research. “It showed me I actually enjoyed studying marine science. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”
Open to highly motivated high school juniors and seniors who can live on campus or commute from home, Summer Scholars offers six college credits in a dozen academic specialties—from marine science and digital media production to forensic investigation and theatre arts. As in past years, this year’s program, which will run from June 27 through July 17, will enable high school students to take college-level classes with their peers, learn time management skills, and explore South Florida on weekend excursions—while experiencing college life and learning from renowned UM professors.
For Reddam, an international student from Singapore, the program had the added bonus of bringing her parents an extra measure of comfort when she left home for college. Since their daughter had already lived on campus, made friends, and enjoyed living in Miami, they knew she would feel at home in her new environment. “I knew what to expect so my mother was more comfortable sending me here,” she said.
Employees and alumni may be able to enjoy another bonus. Employees may be eligible to apply for partial tuition remission for the program, and alumni can receive a $500 tuition grant.
“The Summer Scholars Program offers employees and alumni an unparalleled opportunity to share their legacy,” said Rebecca MacMillan Fox, dean of the Division of Continuing and International Education. “And Summer Scholars have an unparalleled opportunity to experience college life and grow both academically and socially.”
Ingrid Vasiliu-Feltes, a UM alumna and faculty member at the Miller School of Medicine, took advantage of the partial tuition rebate last summer. She said her 15-year-old son, Patrick Visan, enjoyed the program so much he plans to sign up again this year and convinced one of his friends at Ransom Everglades School to join him.
“He loved all the choices of courses—there are so many good ones it’s hard to pick—and he loved the labs, the projects, the field trips, the professors and lecturers, and the other kids he met,” Vasiliu-Feltes said.
For Reddam, who spends many afternoons working in the toadfish lab at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Summer Scholars remains “the perfect mix of academics and extracurricular activities.”
“It definitely did help me decide what I wanted to study,” she said. “In fact, it made my decision. It also introduced me to so many new people, some I’m close friends with even now, so starting college with people I knew made the transition easier.”
Applications for this year’s Summer Scholars Program will be accepted until May 1, or until the program has reached capacity. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible to reserve space in their preferred program.
To learn more about tuition remission, employees should visit Education Benefits. For more information about the program, visit www.miami.edu/SSP or call 305-284-5078.