Summer Success Academy

Jun 16, 2014

Last year, Eastern Maine Community College took an innovative and proactive approach to supporting students with the launch of the Student Success Center, a resource that empowers students to take personal responsibility for their learning and provides a variety of free resources to help them succeed at the college.

This summer, the Student Success Center will be the hub for EMCC’s Summer Success Academy, an intensive two-week program aimed at developing math, writing, and college-readiness skills that are critical to post-secondary success. The Residential Academy, where students live on campus for the duration of the program, will begin on June 15th. A Commuter Academy will kick off in July.

Thirty-two students have enrolled in the Residential Summer Success Academy. The curriculum is active and intensive, with students meeting all day everyday – even weekends – for the entirety of the two weeks. According to Liz Russell, dean of student success, the program was designed to accelerate students through their developmental work in order to get them into their core technology classes faster.

“The Summer Success Academy will give motivated students the opportunity to set themselves up for success at EMCC before they truly enter the doors,” Russell says. “The curriculum consists of innovative, activity-based methods and material, group work, and engagement activities that will help students to move quickly through development work to their actual college courses.”

Students will spend their days attending a variety of hands-on courses in writing, mathematics, as well as a First Year Experience course and number of team challenge activities. Their evenings are spent exploring different parts of the Bangor community, in which academic activities will be embedded. Examples include a downtown Bangor scavenger hunt, tour of Mount Hope Cemetery, and visit to the Penobscot Theatre.

“The idea is for students to form a network of support for one another,” Russell went on to say. “The internal motivation from the group is a huge piece to their success. We are also envisioning them being able to serve as mentors to other students on campus.”

Another significant piece of the academy is preparing students for the environment of college. The curriculum reinforces to students that they are in control of their education, and provides them with tools and best practices for navigating college. This environment of support doesn’t end with the culmination of the two-week academy. Students will be able to use the resources of the Student Success Center through the duration of the summer, with access to faculty, tutoring, and developmental software for continued assistance.

All in all, the Summer Success Academy connects back to Eastern Maine Community College’s dedication to improving student success. Come the fall, the students from the summer academy will be armed with the skills and support that will propel their post-secondary success.

To learn more about the Summer Success Academy, contact Liz Russell, Dean of Student Success, at or 974-4684.

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