Summer Programs to Support Your Student’s Start at Clarkson

Written by Mary Somma, Parent and Family Association Member, 2023

Congratulations to our class of 2027!  As a family you’ve seen your student work diligently on their college prep courses while scoring well on their college admission tests.  In parallel the hunt for the “right” university was ongoing.  Your student has now been accepted at Clarkson and is ready for new challenges.  But along with new challenges are new classmates from many academic backgrounds.  Your new concern is how will your student fare in their college freshman classes.

Clarkson understands the transition can be daunting and is committed to each student’s success. To help navigate this transition, the Office of Academic Support and Student Engagement promotes the two programs “Let’s Get Tech” and “Springboard”. 

What is the Let’s Get Tech program?

Let’s Get Tech summer sessions cover everything from how to study, online math refresher courses, writing skills classes, and STEM-building skills at no additional charge for students matriculating into Clarkson in the fall. These courses are asynchronous.

What is the Springboard benefit and why should your student participate?

Springboard is for incoming freshmen who feel they need some prep work before the fall semester begins. For example, Covid high school years may have left an impact on preparedness in select prep courses. Clarkson offers Springboard courses in Calculus, Business, Computer Science and Chemistry. These sessions include mentorship from current students and faculty as well as first-year program advisors.  All your student needs to do is join.

The residential Springboard courses (Calculus, Business, Computer Science and Chemistry) permit students to move into their academic year rooms early and begin the process of settling into college campus life.

What is Springboard Calculus?

One of the original Springboard classes is Calculus.  The origin of the Calculus curriculum is based on a Clarkson study to determine success factors in Physics. CU found a number of high schools will jump students over pre-Calc to get to Calc by senior year. The study found that students with Calculus will perform better in Physics than those without. They also know that previous Physics experience is not tied to those outcomes – it was how much Calculus a student had going into the coursework. Based on these findings they convinced the Engineering School to alter the Calculus curriculum for freshmen.

Physics at Clarkson is Calculus based and CU’s understanding of your student’s Calculus background is important. The first step is the Calculus pre-test in the summer. Depending on results, students either do nothing, are suggested to take the summer course for a refresher (Springboard), or are suggested to delay Physics a semester.

If its the Calculus Springboard refresher, this course reviews essential topics from algebra, trigonometry and geometry. It provides students an early opportunity to establish a cohort group of like-minded students and build the team study skills characteristic of highly successful Clarkson students.   

The next step is Co-Calculus MA41 which runs parallel to Calculus I during the academic year. As mentioned, some students missed pre-Calc which could be a detriment.  MA41 is designed to provide that pre-Calc information just before the student gets to the topic in Calculus.  In addition there is a Co-Calculus for Calculus II.  Following the Clarkson Calculus path may appear intense but in the end the students do have a firm base in Calculus which is essential for the Engineering program.

What is Springboard to Business?

Springboard to Business (S2B) is an opportunity for incoming first year business students to ease the transition to college life while connecting early on with faculty, staff and professional advisors. S2B is designed to introduce and help prepare students for various required business and economics classes as business students in Clarkson’s Reh School of Business.

What is Springboard to Computer Science?

An introduction to computer science focused primarily on computer programming and software development. It is designed for students with little or no prior background in computer programming and will help them transition into CS141.

What is Springboard Chemistry?

Springboard Chemistry is the latest introductory course. The two main goals of the course are (1) to provide students with reassurance they can be successful in a challenging course and (2) to have students design and carry out their own experiment that is an application of something learned in class. The course is designed to mimic the overall Clarkson experience, providing students with skills that will transfer to their first-year success. Clarkson believes in your son or daughter and wants them to succeed from the start while opening up a network of professors and mentors.  Discuss the two options, “Let’s Get Tech” and “Springboard”, with your student and reach out with questions.  Clarkson is here for you and check out the link at https://www.clarkson.edu/student-life/student-support-services/success-center/springboard.

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