2023 Pre-Scholars Summer Institute (PSSI)

Millersville Pre-Scholars Summer Institute



The Pre Scholars-Summer Institute is a free program that prepares first-year students for the transition from high school to college by providing higher level academic skills and strong peer networks through participation in a diverse learning community, centered on academic excellence.  By cultivating the talents and proficiencies of PSSI participants, students are empowered to navigate the University environment, utilize systems and resources that support their success, and maximize their involvement in the diverse vibrant campus.  Throughout the first academic year, PSSI participants will receive customized services that can include mentoring and coaching, as well as networking and social opportunities.  Students are expected to excel in a rigorous academic experience that is supported with strong advisement, personal counseling, and a vibrant living/learning community.  Most importantly, the connections that are made as a Pre-Scholar Student will last through their college years and beyond.

PSSI is a free five-week, six credit (2 courses) intensive program from July 13- Aug 14th that focuses on academic, community, and interpersonal skill development in a highly structured and highly supportive environment.  Students learn to embrace a positive attitude towards their education and gain the skills necessary for success in higher education. PSSI participants participate in program activities Monday through Sunday.  All program classes and activities are mandatory.  Space is limited and there is a competitive application process.  Completed applications are due May 15 and reviewed on a rolling basis.

WHO QUALIFIES for this FREE Program?

To be eligible, students must be:

  • Admitted for the 2023-2024 academic year. This program is designed specifically for students who are in any of the following groups: 
    • First-Generation students (neither parent or guardian has completed a 4-year degree program)
    • Students that have been in the foster care system
    • Students from our Talent Search and Gear-up High Schools (Allentown - William Allen HS, Allentown - Dieruff HS, Columbia HS, Harrisburg HS, Lebanon HS, Lancaster - McCaskey HS, Norristown HS, Pottstown HS, Reading HS, and York - William Penn HS)
    • Milton Hershey School students

To learn more about the PSSI program, join us for an informational session:


PSSI enables first-year students to jump start their university careers as Scholars.  Aside from engaging in a curriculum designed to cultivate college readiness, participants also receive a comprehensive orientation to campus and academic requirements. Our goal is to ensure that each PSSI participant transitions into Millersville smoothly which in turn facilitates a solid foundation for student success.  Many benefits are gained by participation in the program, including:

Academic Benefits

  • Understanding of faculty expectations and University culture
  • Preparation for traditionally challenging first-year courses, such as college-level math, anthropology, and English
  • Comprehensive, effective, and efficient study strategies based on individual learning styles
  • Exploration of career options in relation to student's life goals, academic skills, and aptitude
  • Knowledge of campus resources

Social Benefits

  • Establishment of early relationships with key university faculty, professional staff, and administrators
  • Opportunity to make lasting peer friendships before school Fall Semester starts
  • Integration into a strong support network with peer mentors and leaders
  • Opportunity to grapple with issues of social concern or significance

Learning Outcomes

  • Deeper awareness of self and others through critical dialogues inside and outside the classroom
  • Expanded understanding of the diverse racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, and geographical backgrounds that constitute Millersville’s global student community
  • Development of critical life skills in moving toward becoming an independent and interdependent member of society
  • Students will know of resources on campus through networking programming

Program Activities

Academic Success

Students will take two college courses for credit (English and Anthropology) to prepare for the rigor and pace of college-level academics.  Through working with Millersville faculty, professional staff, peer mentors, and outreach counselors students will learn the skills needed to achieve academic success.  This includes how to manage time during the fast-paced Millersville term, how to strengthen study skills, and how to manage stress throughout the year.  Students will also use personal self-reflection to better understand past challenges while setting goals for future success.


These workshops provide critical information about navigating the college experience at Millersville University.  Topics include financial literacy, academic resilience, and academic persistence, lifestyle education programs, student wellness, requirements of being a Millersville student, and creating place and voice at our university. Students will meet with professional staff from departments such as Counseling, Center for Health Education and Promotion, Academic Advisement, MUPD, Financial Aid and more.

Community-Building Activities

During the five-week program, students will participate in residential, interpersonal, and cultural activities, such as food insecurities in Lancaster County, museums, Lancaster Barnstormer games, and Lancaster community back to school backpack giveaways.  These activities will build friendships and embrace Lancaster as a part of our community.


  • Who can apply to the Pre-Scholars Summer Institute (PSSI)?

    Any student who is admitted to Millersville University for the 2023-24 academic year.

    Enrollment must be confirmed by May 1, 2023.

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  • How long does the program run and what are the hours of participation?

    The PSSI program runs from July 13-Aug 16. Students will move in:

    • July 13, 2023 Orientation

    • July 14, PSSI programming begins

    • Program runs Monday through Sunday

    • Classes, math workshop, resilience workshops, Grit assessment, and programming M-F

    • Sat-Sun Community service, workshops, Movie events, Barnstormers games, plus more

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  • How many students will be selected to participate in the program?

    Enrollment is typically capped at 50 students.

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  • What materials will I need to participate in the program?
    • Laptop or tablet

    • All textbooks or other materials required will be provided

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  • What is the cost of the program?

    The program is FREE to selected students.

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  • Do you earn college credits for participating in PSSI?

    Yes, students will receive six credits for courses successfully completed.

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  • Will students have Millersville University professors as their instructors?

    Yes, Millersville University faculty teach the classes, professional staff run the workshops and undergraduate students are mentors in the summer program.

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  • What classes will I be taking during the summer?

    You will be enrolled in an English and Anthropology class as well as a Math workshop.

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  • Are students expected to attend every day during all five weeks of the program?

    Yes, participants are required to attend every day during all five weeks of the program. Due to the pace, rigor, and interactive nature of the program, participants are strongly discouraged from having outside commitments. Missing too many classes may result in your participation in the program being revoked.

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  • Can students work or have other outside commitments during the program?

    No, see answer in above question.

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