Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS)

Students walking

The Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program provides students at select Commonwealth Campuses with the opportunity to acclimate to college-level learning; build a supportive network of faculty, staff, and peers; and get a jump start on their degree programs before taking a full course load in the fall. During the program, which includes a scholarship for tuition and books, participants complete two 3-credit courses and benefit from a range of programming to prepare them for college:

  • The Math Academy and English Academy help prepare students for college-level learning in these core academic areas.
  • Students participate in educational workshops on a wide range of topics, from financial literacy to health and wellness to time management, which provides further tools for success in college.
  • Every student is paired with a student mentor who participated in PaSSS the prior year and who can answer students’ questions about college life.
  • PaSSS program leaders help students to secure on-campus employment in the summer or fall so that students can earn money and build their resumes.
Visit the program website to learn more about PaSSS.

In 2020, PaSSS students maintained an average GPA of 3.2

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is PaSSS available at University Park?

    While PaSSS is not offered at the University Park campus, incoming first-year students at University Park can take advantage of the LEAP program, a summer transition program that any student can opt into.

  • Where is PaSSS offered?

    PaSSS is currently offered at seventeen Commonwealth Campuses. In the future, we hope to extend the program to every Commonwealth Campus.

  • Can you opt in to PaSSS?

    Students do not opt into PaSSS. Rather, Penn State uses the regular application process to identify students who qualify.

  • Do students live on campus for PaSSS?

    In a typical year, students live on campus for PaSSS. During the coronavirus pandemic, conditions may require that students complete the program remotely.

Get in Touch about PaSSS

Penny Carlson
Assistant Vice President, Executive Director for Academic Services and Assessment
111 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802

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