Terp Young Scholars

College Courses. College Credits. College Park.

Terp Young Scholars: July 12-31, 2020

Program Overview

Discover the challenge, excitement, and independence of campus life at the University of Maryland with Terp Young Scholars. With other academically talented high school students, you will pursue an academic interest, engage with dynamic faculty, enjoy UMD’s outstanding facilities and amenities, and get a jump on college by earning three university credits. During three remarkable weeks—whether commuting or living on campus—Terp Scholars fully experience university life at Maryland!

Terp Young Scholars delivers an academic experience that is at the forefront of theory, thought, and technology. Scholars attend class, learn about career opportunities, study, work on projects, prepare for exams, and interact with their peers in a rigorous academic setting. Classes meet every day, Monday-Friday, with meeting times varying according to the specific course. Classes generally meet for three hours a day between 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and may include an afternoon session. Acceptance is competitive and based upon academic performance.

In addition to innovative courses, Terp Scholars also offers optional afternoon, evening, and weekend activities that provide a glimpse of UMD’s rich campus life. For an overview, see Sample Activity Calendar

  • Campus Tours include visits to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Campus Farm, UMD Observatory and Neutral Buoyancy and Robotics Labs.
  • Workshops feature an Undergraduate Admissions presentation, Art and Learning Center drawing and printmaking classes, and fitness workshops lead by University Recreation & Wellness, including Zumba, Yoga, and Bodycombat.
  • Social activities include a weekend day-trip to Washington, D.C., pool parties, mixers, ice cream social (with UMD ice cream), movies, and more.

All students—Residential and Commuter Terp Scholars—are encouraged to attend and participate to the fullest. Commuter Terp Scholars should make an effort to stay late or return to campus to enjoy evening and weekend activities. Upon completion of the program, we ask students to complete a survey. Over the years, these surveys demonstrate that those students who fully participated in the scheduled events were the ones with the highest satisfaction rating.

The Terp Scholars application process includes the following:

  1. Select a Course: Select one three-credit course for which both grade and credit post to the UMD transcript and remain part of the student record. The course may not be taken pass-fail or audit. To learn more, see Courses.
  2. Select Residential or Commuter: Both options are designed to provide an overview of the Maryland experience.

Important Considerations

  • Terp Scholars program admission is competitive and contingent upon space availability. Early applicants are more likely to receive their first course selection and be guaranteed accommodations.
  • Terp Scholars is an academic program. Terp Scholars are admitted as non-degree seeking students to the University of Maryland for the Summer Session. Students are registered for one three-credit university course for which a grade and credits will be earned. The course may not be taken pass-fail or audit. The grade and credits earned will post to the UMD transcript and will be part of the student academic record.
  • Attendance: Students must attend the program in its entirety. Students are not permitted to miss class time, including arriving late and/or leaving early. Anyone who has an obligation such as employment, club sport, travel, or similar commitment should consider whether this will interfere with program requirements. Lack of course attendance can lead to program dismissal or lead to a poor grade posting on the academic record.
  • Acceptance into Terp Scholars does not guarantee admission into a degree-seeking program at UMD.
  • All students must:
    • Demonstrate maturity, self-discipline, motivation, and a desire to succeed, and
    • Understand and agree that attendance for the entire three-week program, including the program’s orientation date, is mandatory.

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, Manager, 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 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 Scholars!

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 Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. Fernando is passionate about breaking barriers to student success and helping students identify their own passions.

Xanh (Sun) Tran, Program Assistant: Xanh is pursuing their Master's degree in Student Affairs at the University of Maryland, College Park. They received their B.A. in Organizational Sociology and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Davis. Their professional background includes diversity programming, intergroup dialogue training, and tutoring. They're dedicated to helping students think critically and engage in respectful community learning.

Mentors: Selected UMD students serve as mentors, and work under the guidance of the professional staff. All mentors complete federal and state child protective services and criminal background checks. The mentors supervise students in the dormitories to ensure safe, appropriate behavior. Mentors also supervise activities, encourage students to explore the University and accompany those students to dinner who are uncomfortable going alone or cannot find a group to eat with, and provide participants with an insider’s view of what college life is like. The mentors live in the residence hall with the program participants (15 students: 1 mentor ratio). Mentors are responsible for responding to any situations that may arise, and for doing nightly curfew checks. Students will be responsible for attending classes on their own and for productively managing their time with minimal supervision during the day. This allows participants to explore the independence of college life while still having a modicum of supervision and guidelines in place.

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