Summer Advantage shows students the Cougar way


If there is an advantage to be found, Jessica Fernandez is likely to jump on it.

So when the ambitious sophomore from Vancouver saw a brochure for Summer Advantage during orientation last year, it was a no-brainer.

Fernandez now works for Summer Advantage, the program that played a major role in transforming her from nervous high school grad to confident, college freshman.

“A lot of students want to have one last summer at home with their friends and it is sad to leave that, but I’m so glad I did,” says Fernandez. “Pullman is full of great opportunities and fun things to do. There are opportunities during Summer Advantage to establish connections that are really valuable and can help you throughout your time at WSU.”

Summer Advantage and the new Summer Advantage for Transfers program are designed to bridge the gap for students new to WSU. They can earn as many as seven credits in just four weeks—the fastest track to credits available at WSU.


But it’s much more than just an academic jumpstart.

“Summer Advantage is designed in a way that introduces students to WSU while building them a really strong academic foundation,” says pre-college program manager Jordan Keithley. “We pick professors who want to be the very first professors these students meet on campus. They’re introducing them to classes and coursework, but also teaching them how to approach professors. We have really strong residence hall staff, live-in mentors and advisors. We’re giving the students a really strong base so they’re able to achieve everything they want to on campus.”

By plugging in academically and socially, first-year WSU students improve their chances of reaching their goals.

Fernandez was able to connect with professors in her major, Animal Science. She asked questions and put a plan in place to pursue her long-term goal of becoming a veterinarian.

Mentors play a crucial role in the success of Summer Advantage. They serve as guides, liaisons and advisors as the new students explore WSU.

“It’s a culture shock in a lot of ways for new students,” says Courtney Broedlow, a senior who serves as a mentor. “The biggest thing I try to tell them is, it’s not like high school—you have to become independent pretty quickly to adjust. The progression is very interesting to watch. To see them branch out and gain a whole new group of friends by the time Summer Advantage is over, it’s pretty incredible.”

Find out how you can get involved in Summer Advantage at WSU.