Terp Discovery

July 19 – 31, 2020

Terp Discovery: July 19-31, 2020

Application Opens: February 18
Application Closes: June 15
Orientation (Check-In) Day: Monday, July 19
Program Final Day: Friday, July 31

Overview | Program Staff

How Terp Discovery Works

Terp Discovery welcomes academically talented middle school students (rising 6th, 7th and 8th graders) to an outstanding learning opportunity at the University of Maryland. For two weeks, Terp Discovery Scholars students expand their skills and experience an early introduction into campus life. Terp Discovery is a commuter-only program designed for students to challenge themselves, develop social skills, and discover the possibilities at UMD.

Terp Discovery Scholars are exposed to intensive learning through high standards and expectations. In the application process, Discovery Scholars select one non-credit course and are encouraged to make a second choice in the event that the course fills. Courses meet 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. Students meet, learn, and study in the same world-class facilities enjoyed by UMD students. In the classroom, innovative instructors encourage creative reasoning and problem solving as students attend class and work on projects. To learn more about the offered courses, including course descriptions and syllabi, visit Courses.

Terp Discovery is designed to introduce middle schoolers to a college experience at UMD. The program offers activities that provide a glimpse of UMD’s world-class facilities and rich campus life. In the afternoon, Discovery Scholars participate in campus tours and enjoy social activities from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. For an overview, see Sample Activity Calendar.

  • Campus Tours include visits to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Campus Farm, and Campus Recreation Center.
  • Workshops feature a College 101 Session and exercise/game workshops lead by the Mentors.
  • Social activities include Terp Zone, Trivia Bowl, Banner Contest, and more.

Terp Discovery program admission is competitive based on academic performance. Early applicants are more likely to receive their first course selection. All students must demonstrate maturity, self-discipline, motivation, and a desire to succeed. Acceptance into Terp Discovery does not guarantee admission into a degree-seeking program at UMD.

Daily Check-In/Check-Out Protocols

Terp Discovery is a commuter-only program. Mentor staff provide supervision at the drop-off and pick-up locations. The schedule is as follows:

  • Early Bird Drop-Off: 6:30–7:45 a.m. Additional charges apply. Breakfast is provided.
  • Regular Drop-Off: 8:00–8:45 a.m. No additional charges. No breakfast is provided.
  • Pick-Up: 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. No additional charges.

Authorized Pick-Up Form: During the drop-off period on the program’s first day, Terp Discovery parents/guardian will be directed to complete an Authorized Pick-Up Form and note who is authorized to pick up their Discovery scholar.

  • In the mornings, the authorized adult must escort the student into the designated drop-off location and sign in their student for that specific day.
  • In the afternoons, the authorized adult must arrive to the designated pick-up location, show proper identification to mentor staff, and sign out their student for that specific day.
  • Program mentors will use the Authorized Pick-Up Form to release the student. If the adult is NOT listed on the authorized list, the student WILL NOT be released until the parent or guardian is contacted. Any changes to the Authorized Pick-Up Form must come from the parent/guardian email of record.

Supervision & Daily Schedule

Terp Discovery enforces a strict supervision policy. While on campus, Discovery scholars remain under program mentor or course instructor supervision at all times. UMD instructors teach all Terp Discovery courses. Instructors and mentors supervise students in the classrooms. Terp Discovery mentors are undergraduate students and, as a condition of employment, complete federal and state child protective services and criminal background checks. Below is a daily schedule with supervision:

  • 6:30 – 7:45 a.m.: Early Bird Drop-off. Mentors receive Discovery Scholars at drop-off location.
  • 7:45 a.m.: Students in Early Bird Drop-off are escorted by Mentors to the South Campus Dining Hall.
  • 8:00-8:45 a.m.: Regular Drop-off. Mentors receive Discovery scholars at drop-off location.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Mentors escort students from South Campus Dining Hall to drop-off location.
  • 8:45 – 9:00 a.m.: Mentors escort Discovery scholars to classrooms.
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: UMD course instructors and mentors supervise students in campus classroom.
  • 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.: Mentors escort Discovery scholars from classroom to lunch; following the conclusion of lunch, students are escorted to afternoon activities.
  • 2:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Afternoon activity instructors and mentors supervise students. See Sample Activity Calendar.
  • 4:30 – 5:45 p.m.: Mentor staff supervises Discovery scholars at pick-up location. Students released to authorized parent/guardian only.

Dining Services

The Discovery program package fee includes lunch, Monday – Friday, at the South Campus Dining Hall.

  • For more information, including Kosher, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free options, see Meal Plan and Dietary Accommodations.
  • Students who require meal options and/or dietary accommodations will submit a request after admission.
  • Early Bird Drop-Off: Breakfast is provided for Discovery Scholars if the parent/guardian selects this option (for an additional fee) during the admission process. Breakfast takes place 7:45 – 8:30 a.m. in the South Campus Dining Hall.

Program Staff

Matthew Nessan, Associate Director, Programs: Matthew has been working in higher education since 2011. His professional experiences include university teaching, post-secondary accreditation, program development, and program management and administration. He received his BA in English from Texas Christian University and his MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Southern California.

Lenaya Stewart, Manger, Programs: Lenaya is dedicated to supporting academic success. She loves helping students discover the many resources that University of Maryland has to offer. Her professional background includes teaching freshman composition courses at UMD and supporting academic growth in the University’s athletic department. She is no stranger to UMD’s Pre-College Programs and has been a student and teaching assistant with Terp Young Scholars. Lenaya earned her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature at UMD. She is excited for a great summer with Terp Scholars!

Ashley Mena, Pre-College Coordinator: Ashley is pursuing her Master's degree in Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her B.A. from Rutgers University in Latino and Caribbean Studies. Her background includes working as a college readiness mentor and summer bridge program administration. She is passionate about helping students grow into better versions of themselves and looks forward to spending the summer with Terp Young Scholars and Terp Discovery!

Fernando Lopez, Program Assistant: Fernando is pursuing his Master’s degree in Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his B.S.B.A. in Marketing from Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. His background includes student advising, residence life community building, and safety coordination. He also participated in the Robert E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program. Fernando is passionate about breaking barriers to student success and helping students identify their own passions.

Mentors: Selected UMD students serve as mentors, and work under the guidance of the professional staff. Terp Discovery mentors are undergraduate students and as a condition of employment complete federal and state child protective services and criminal background checks. Mentors ensure safe and appropriate behavior. Mentors greet and supervise students in the morning and accompany students to class. Two mentors remain in the classroom with the course instructor. After class, mentors accompany students to lunch. Mentors escort participants to afternoon activities and provide overall guidance. Finally, mentors hand-off participants to a designated parent/guardian in the afternoon.

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