The transition to college can be scary for incoming freshmen who often face the challenge of being away from home and making new connections. To ease this transition, the University of Montana offers a range of pre-college programs for high school students to help them acclimate to college life.

UM Summer Exploration is a program offered to rising juniors and seniors considering the Univeristy of Montana which runs for two weeks in July. Associate Director, Becka Simmons explains that this is their fourth summer and every year is different. “We have people reach out to us and say, ‘Hey you have the summer exploration going would you mind if we came and did a focus group with them,’” Simmons said, “I kinda think of what I think students might like based on what works and what hasn’t.”

UM Summer Exploration has activities such as:

  • Lectures with UM Professors
  • Meals in the Food Zoo
  • Downtown Tonight
  • Trip to the PEAS farm
  • Movie Night
  • Paddleheads Game
  • So Much More.

The UM Advocates, ambassadors of the university, act as RAs during the two weeks and help lead the students’ adventures. “There’s a reason why we pull from the advocates because they really are the cream of the crops of UM and are so knowledgeable and helpful,” Simmons said. Along with all the advocates, volunteers, and coordinators, Simmons hires a counselor from Big Sky High School to provide support for the students who may be struggling one way or another.

For this summer applications are closed for UM Summer Exploration. Applications for summer programs open in January. To view more information on UM summer exploration and other pre-college programs, look up “pre-college” on the University of Montana’s website.

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