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Summer Success and College Preparedness Program


Congratulations on your admission to an American college program! While your time in the States will be filled with tremendous lifelong learning experiences both academically and personally, as an international student you and your families are sure to have many questions about how to ensure your experience is successful.


Our Summer Success and College Preparedness Program will allow you to achieve in four weeks what most students do not achieve in four years. Additionally, as a core tenet of the EEC philosophy our program aims to educate the “ whole student.” Our course is designed to prepare you for the academic aspect of college as well as guidance navigating the cultural facets of college life and living in the United States.


The goals of this program will be achieved through a four-week course, which will expose students to interdisciplinary subjects including language, cultural systems, both American as well as the unique world of college life, in addition to classes that will provide students with techniques and insights on how to successfully approach academic learning and life in the United States . This course is exciting, interactive and intense and will include nightly homework assignments.


Our Promise: By the end of the course students will be able to:

Learn how to properly research and write American-style A+ academic papers

Know how to carry on an American-style A+ debate

Effectively participate in university classes so as to earn the highest grades

Engage in appropriate extracurricular activities so as to build their resumes and support network

Navigate the stages of culture shock and avoid adverse effects

Identify and take advantage of the appropriate services offered at colleges in order to succeed.

Learn departments are responsible for what services at U.S. universities and outside of school and how to properly navigate them

Understand the meaning behind course numbers and levels and how to get into the classes they want

Learn how to properly compose and structure essays, term papers and research projects for the U.S. university classroom.

Understand the principles behind the concept of class participation and what is required to earn positive class participation marks.



Sample Lesson Plan

Please note the following lessons are based on previous programs. Each session is modified to accommodate the individual students enrolled. Days 1-10 are fairly consistent, while days 11-20 are created based on individual student needs.


Day 1:  Introducing Ourselves and Conversational Cues

Introductions and how to know what someone is REALLY saying and how to respond appropriately and respectfully.

Idiomatic expressions/colloquialisms/slang/ body language.

Discussion about debate topics; class proposes and votes on topic and teams are formed.

Homework: Choose debate topic and begin gathering supportive facts/evidence.


Day 2:  Debate Structure and the Meaning of Class Participation

Use chosen topics to learn how to:

Debate arguments

Argue your intended points

Politely interrupt

Win a debate

Understanding the importance of in-class unsolicited participation in an American college setting and applying that knowledge to earn top marks.

Homework: Use material learned in class to continue preparing for debate at the end of the course


Day 3: College Life Outside of Academics

Role playing assignments and language learning activities to engage and prepare   students for interacting with U.S. college students and how to approach common U.S. university scenarios and cultural differences.

Understanding the role of participating in experiences outside of academic studies:   socializing, joining clubs, volunteer work and how it contributes to the success of a university student.

Homework:Continue researching/refining debate assignment

Create a list of five extracurricular activities/experiences you would consider being a part of and why. Draft a persuasive paper convincing your classmate to join with you.


Day 4: Getting Culture Shock to Work for You

Class discussion and group work defining culture shock and its various aspects.

How to recognize the different stages of culture shock,know what is appropriate and when to ask for help.

Ways to turn those new and overwhelming situations into positive experiences and avoid potential pitfalls.


Practice first draft of debate with a partner

Short writing assignment: What do you think will be the most exciting and challenging things about studying and living in  the U.S.?


Day 5  Visiting Extracurricular Activities Fair

Students will spend the day engaging at a college extracurricular activities fair

Will come prepared with specific questions to ask the activities organizers

Must engage with at least 5 different organizers and record brief details about their encounter.

2 of the chosen organizers must be leaders of activities that the student is unfamiliar with.

Homework: Use notes and flyers from activities fair to create their own extracurricular activity or student club


Day 6: Understanding Lecture Based Language

Study prevalent language and speech used in collegiate lectures

Determine one’s learning style (visual, auditory, read-write, kinesthetic) and how to use this to your advantage

Tips for how to take notes during lectures and how to choose a method that works best for each student’s learning style (The Cornell Method, The Mapping Method, The Sentence Method, The Outlining Method, The Charting Method, etc.)

Best methods to help you when a professor is speaking too fast or a specific part of the lecture or comments from your peers is unclear

Verbal and Body language clues to help figure out what material is the most important during lectures

Homework: Students will complete readings or other assignment and take notes ahead of chosen class to be audited.


Day 7:  Auditing College Class

Students will attend the class lecture of a class (TBD)

Will use previously discussed note taking and class-participation techniques during the class.

Homework: Gather and organize notes from lecture and prepare for discussion.

Short Writing Assignment: Which part of the lecture did you find most interesting and why? What would you have done differently? Rewrite a part of the lecture to perform for your classmates.


Day 8: Class Discussion of Lecture

Students will use your notes to discuss points and experiences regarding class lecture

Discussion of how college systems/higher education systems differ from those of their home country

Homework: Create a 10 minute lecture on a topic of your choosing to be presented to the clas


Day 9:  Research Methods and College Information Centers

Lecture presentations with teacher feedback

Discussion of various research tools and how to access them

Organization of college libraries and information systems

How to tell whether or not a research source will be useful to your assignment

Introduction on Essay writing

Homework: Write argument for essay topic chosen, for teacher approval (simulating a mock thesis presentation)


Day 10: Spend Day in Library Information Center

Presentation given by head of Library Information Services

Learn the difference between primary and secondary sources and how to use them for academic papers

How to write bibliographies, works cited and reference pages using Chicago, APA, MLA and Turabian

How and when to use electronic citation managers (Zotero, Endnote, etc.)

Begin research for paper


Days 11-20 TBD Based on the needs and interests of the students enrolled as well as subjects that have proven successful with students. Topics may include - writing an American resume, finding an internship, off-campus jobs vs. on-campus jobs, applying for scholarships, how to get extra credit in your classes, how to propose a new club or course offering, how to find a summer job, dating in America, getting an American driver's’ license, how to be a student in good standing, student visa requirements and paperwork.


Day 20: Debate Presentations

Students will present their debate work in front of their peers; peers will take detailed notes.

Students will be critiqued and provided feedback by their peers and the teacher using a rubric designed and provided to them by the teacher at the beginning of class

Homework: Write a paper deciding who won the debate and why. Final homework will be submitted using a google doc and teacher feedback will be provided.


Email Gina Rotundo for more information: