July 11, 2017, BY Matt Hughes

This summer, 27 high-achieving community college students are getting an inside look at life and learning on the Bucknell University campus. They're spending days climbing ropes and rappelling down towers at the CLIMBucknell Challenge Course and nights studying and honing skills they'll need to thrive in a challenging academic environment. At the end of the six-week program, they'll know if Bucknell is the place where they want to culminate their undergraduate education.

Bucknell's Community College Scholars Program has supported outstanding students from five partner community colleges in pursuit of their four-year degrees each summer since 2007. Every year, around 30 students from community colleges in Pennsylvania and Maryland are invited to attend a six-week summer session at Bucknell, where they live on campus, take two classes and attend workshops to build the study and time-management skills they'll need to excel at a four-year residential university. The program allows the students to see that they can be capable of completing bachelors level study, and opens further avenues of academic opportunity for them.

After completing their two-year associate's degrees at their home community colleges, the students will become eligible to apply to transfer to Bucknell, where each year between 15 and 20 enroll and receive full scholarships to complete a bachelor's degree in a further two years. This year's class marks more than 300 scholars who have taken part in the program since its inception, approximately 200 of whom have gone on to graduate from Bucknell.

"The diversity of life experiences these students bring with them during the summer, and after transferring to Bucknell, enriches the campus, as well as the courses and programs they choose to enroll in," said Professor T. Joel Wade, psychology, the program's academic director.

See how the latest class of Community College Scholars is spending its summer below.

Community college scholars get to know each other at a karaoke icebreaker.
The scholars push their limits at the CLIMBucknell Challenge Course. 
The scholars lend a hand at the CLIMBucknell Challenge Course.
Program adviser Robert Midkiff, Bucknell's associate provost, registrar and dean of graduate studies and summer session, leads a seminar inside the Carnegie Building.
Community college scholar Liu Repsys takes a break from his studies at Uptown, a student-run event venue.
The scholars tour Bertrand Library with Jason Snyder, librarian and manager of communication and outreach.
The scholars visit a local institution, the Lewisburg Freez. 
Scholars Farah Fazloon and Jessica Morris-Stoltz relax on the Bucknell campus.
The scholars celebrate the 4th of July on the Malesardi Quadrangle.