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UMSI’s Community College Summer Institute: 5 reasons the information-curious should apply

Monday, 04/11/2022

What does it feel like to be a University of Michigan School of Information student, and how challenging is it to transfer to UMSI?

To help answer these questions for community college students interested in continuing their studies at a four-year institution, UMSI is hosting the Community College Summer Institute (CCSI) on campus June 9-11, 2024. 

“We love community college students at UMSI, and the fact that students get to come and try the campus on for size makes a big difference,” says Sandra Lopez, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Office outreach coordinator for UMSI. “When CCSI participants come in, we want to make sure that they feel embraced, accepted, included and that this is the place for them.” 

Most of all, it’s important for community college students to know that transferring to UMSI is achievable. The comprehensive institute is designed to build participants’ confidence in navigating the transfer process: They’ll engage content straight from UMSI classrooms, prepare for priority admissions consideration to UMSI’s Bachelor of Science in Information (BSI) program, and earn an Official Transfer Readiness Certificate. 

“The first careers that come to mind when thinking about helping professions are things like nursing or education,” Lopez says. “But UMSI graduates information scientists with helping mindsets, because we’re using technology to improve systems. That’s a nice curveball to throw into the STEM field.” 

When BSI student and CCSI alum William Luna was ready to transfer from Grand Rapids Community College, that curveball made all the difference. “I was going to study mechanical engineering because I got stuck on the idea in high school and was never exposed to another area of study,” he says. “Learning about the potential of data science in CCSI inspired me to take the risk of changing my future plans.” William graduated from UMSI in 2022.

Five reasons information-curious community college students should apply to UMSI’s Community College Summer Institute

1. It’s free to participate

In fact, students will receive a $100 stipend upon completion of the program. Participants will stay at Couzens Hall, close to the Central Campus Recreation Building and Nichols Arboretum. They’ll have meals at the Couzens dining hall, and snacks, water and soda are provided during sessions. 

2. Lessons come straight from UMSI classrooms

“The first year we did CCSI, one of the participants approached me and asked, ‘Did you design this session especially for us, or is this what UMSI is really like?’ I promise, it’s just that engaging and interactive,” says Devon Keen, director of UMSI’s DEI Office. “UMSI faculty are taking activities directly from their classrooms for CCSI.” 

The best part? No background in technology or coding is required. 

“Our faculty are super patient, taking information science content step-by-step and reassuring participants that mistakes happen in STEM,” Lopez says. 

Preparing students for future careers is one of UMSI’s biggest strengths. It’s also part of the CCSI experience. Joanna Kroll, director of UMSI’s Career Development Office (CDO), will lead participants through the CliftonStrengths Assessment and how to apply personal strengths during a career search. Admissions professionals will also work with students on how to write effective application materials like resumes and essays, and how to access financial aid. 

3. Priority admissions consideration

If CCSI participants decide they want to continue their education at UMSI, they’ll have the advantage of priority consideration for direct admission to the Bachelor of Science in Information program. Application fees will also be waived.

4. A chance to explore Ann Arbor

This year, there will be even more space in the CCSI daytime agenda for participants to explore the University of Michigan’s downtown Ann Arbor campus. Student program assistants will also lead optional small group social activities around town in the evening. 

“One of my favorite UMSI memories was the opportunity to work as a mentor during CCSI,” says William Luna, who participated in the institute in 2019. “Being able to give real advice and share my experiences at community college, CCSI and UMSI with others in similar circumstances was awesome.” 

5. Official Transfer Readiness Certificate

After getting familiar with the study of information and receiving guidance on how to turn in a highly effective application, CCSI participants earn an Official Transfer Readiness Certificate. 

“It represents completion of the institute, where students have received support and loads of information on how to navigate the transfer process,” Lopez says.

Apply to participate in CCSI here by April 10, 2024 (priority deadline March 25).