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High School Summer Program

Our High School Summer Program gives participants a taste of college and an opportunity to join a learning community in which all the members are dedicated to academic achievement, mutual respect, and personal change and growth. We offer a learning environment where students—and teachers—understand and share these values.

Download the 2018 brochure and application! We will begin accepting applications for the 2019 program soon. Check back here, or complete a request for information form and it will be mailed to you when it becomes available.

Traditional Track:
Dates: Sunday, July 14–Saturday, August 3, 2019
2019 Cost: $5,630, plus $75 refundable damage deposit (cost includes double occupancy residence hall room, all meals, and activities)

Social Pragmatics Track:
Dates: Friday, July 12–Saturday, August 3, 2019
2019 Cost: $6,800, plus $75 refundable damage deposit (cost includes double occupancy residence hall room, all meals, and activities)

The High School Summer Program is for rising juniors and seniors who are between the ages of 16 and 18. The program is highly structured and designed to expose students to skills and strategies that will help prepare them for college-level work.

Learn More about:

Program Highlights:
The three-week program encourages students to develop a greater appreciation of learning through experiential and practical activities. Students will learn to apply writing process strategies, understand their academic strengths and personal learning style, integrate stronger academic strategies and practices, and begin to focus on the development of better daily habits for success.

The program curriculum is separated into three segments of course work: a core course that will provide a foundation for other coursework and activities in the program; a writing class that covers the basics of good writing; and general electives that will provide students with an opportunity to apply what they learn in both the core and the writing class. Students take these three academic courses each weekday, participate in an engaging activities program every afternoon, attend structured academic prep four nights a week, and attend group programs and activities each weekend.

We know that not everyone learns in the same way. Our experience with young people who learn differently suggests that a sense of self and a good insight into one’s individual learning style can make a big difference in outcomes at school.

Our experienced summer faculty and friendly staff will help students:

  • Begin to understand individual learning differences
  • Develop a writing process that uses proven techniques to write faster, more clearly, and with fewer struggles
  • Integrate strategies and practices into content courses
  • Begin to focus on the development of better daily habits

NOTE: Students must be between 16 and 18 years of age, have completed their sophomore year of high school, and be returning to high school in the fall. Participants are not required to have a diagnosed learning disability to participate in any Landmark College summer program.

Financial Aid:
Financial Aid is available for the High School Summer Program. Students must be accepted to the program before receiving an award. Financial aid applications for the High School Summer Program are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. We encourage parents to submit an application for financial aid as soon as possible, preferably along with the application, due to the funding limitations of the program. UPDATE: As of June 28, 2018 Financial Aid Funding for the High School Summer Program is almost completely depleted. Financial aid isnot awarded until AFTER a student is accepted—so the sooner applications are completed, the better the chances are that the student may receive an award.

What Parents Say:


“The Landmark High School Summer Program has made a positive and palpable difference in my daughter’s self-esteem. The daughter we picked up from the program had become noticeably more mature in a mere three weeks’ time. It was one of her best learning experiences ever, and has helped both academically and emotionally to prepare her for college.”

“Our son had an amazing experience at Landmark! It was a great boost to his self-esteem and his learning skills.”

“We were very pleasantly surprised at the shift in attitude, self-confidence, and pride.”

“The social interaction available to our son was terrific for him. It gave him a glimpse of what college could be like.”

“The program was a perfect fit for my daughter. We would have liked a longer program to develop her writing skills, as well as her reading comprehension skills. After high school, we may send her back to Landmark’s Transition to College program before beginning college.”

“The social skills and the pre-college experience were invaluable!”

“I can’t say enough good things about the program! My son is so much more confident now. He loved it so much, he’s applied to attend Landmark next fall.”

“The greatest benefit from the program was in meeting other kids who are like him—he is maintaining these friendships and feels a lot less ‘different.’”

“We noticed significant growth and maturity in our daughter!”

“I think the program was terrific. It’s just too soon in the school year to see whether our son will show any benefit at this point. Given his particular issues, I’m not surprised. I didn’t expect a dramatic result from a 3-week program. That said, we’re sold on Landmark—and he is, too. We’re hopeful he’ll be able to attend as a full-time student next fall.”

“My daughter had an absolutely positive experience. She made new friends that she is still in contact with. It helped her to see that many people have learning disabilities like her. Our high school has a very strong support services department, so I don’t think there was a whole lot more for her to learn about her disability—although she was able to complete a very well-written college essay at Landmark.”


Office of Admissions

The High School Summer Program features three academic courses: a core course, a writing class, and an elective.

Core Courses

Learning Strategies Seminar

Required for all students in the Traditional Track

Students will explore the “science” behind learning—from how our brain processes information to why factors such as nutrition, sleep, exercise, and learning differences affect how we learn. The course will also reveal the “art” of learning by integrating a variety of learning strategies that can improve each student’s ability to learn, including the use of technology. The course will also cover such important areas as perception, attention, emotion, memory, and motivation, as well as how we communicate what we learn through speech and writing.

This class orients students to elements of goal setting, organization of time, materials, project planning, strategic learning, self-advocacy, and meta-cognition through a highly interactive, hands-on curriculum. Students will be encouraged to consider their own learning styles and diagnoses as they study brain-based research about learning. The use of technology will be discussed, and the skills of active reading, note-taking, test taking, and summary writing will be introduced. Students will practice these skills and make an oral presentation focusing on their individual learning profiles.

College Living and Academic Strategies

Required for all students in the Social Pragmatics Track

This course will help to prepare students for the demands of living on a college campus and attending college classes. There will be four prongs to this course: interpersonal communications, emotional well-being, physical well-being, and study skills. Throughout the three weeks, students will work toward creating a portfolio for college success.

Students will consider their own learning styles and diagnoses and determine their strengths and areas for improvement. Once the strengths and areas for improvement are identified, students will use this information to consider long-term goals. Students will engage in discussions and projects about becoming socially involved, tactics for success with academics, and more. During the last week of the course, students will complete their portfolios and present them to the class.

Writing Classes

Students will select one course from the options listed below:

Research and Writing

For students who are comfortable with the basics of writing, this course introduces students to the requirements and expectations of college-level writing. Students will learn how to structure and develop essays for college, including how to write research papers with in-text citations and lists of sources. Research & Writing will focus on active reading and on opportunities to research and write the research essay. Students will write two or more essays. The first essay will be a description of and reflection on one or more personal adventures of special significance. The second essay will concentrate on an investigation and analysis of a journey of historical importance.

Building Confidence as Writers

For many people, producing writing on a deadline is a challenge. This course is designed for students who find it difficult to generate effective writing in an academic setting in spite of their honest efforts to do so. By focusing on structure, process, and self-understanding, students can develop strategies and approaches to increase their success. High interest topics and assignments are designed to engage students and to encourage them to find meaningful connections to their writing.

Writing the Effective Essay

Writing that is clear, honest, concise, and persuasive is a general requirement for academic success at the college level, and it is what colleges look for in application essays. Students will be introduced to the goals and structures of personal and persuasive writing and will work to develop a personalized and strategic approach to their own writing process. Using prompts typically found on college applications, students will write an essay that can be used as a model for their own college application essay.


Electives provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn in the Core Course and the Writing Class to more conventional academic offerings. Course content is intentionally varied. These courses are true electives, and students are encouraged to enroll in a course that might not ordinarily be available in a typical high school curriculum.

General Elective courses include:

Digital Photography

Students who choose this elective should bring a digital camera with a minimum resolution of five megapixels. Preferably, but not essential, the camera should also have the ability to control shutter speed and aperture. This introductory course in digital photography is designed for students with limited or no experience in the art of photography. Through instructor demonstration and field experiences, students will learn to master the skills of basic camera operation, digital processing, and print development.


This course is an introductory course in drawing, but will also provide continued instruction for seasoned mark makers. Emphasis is on strategies, methods, and techniques for translating three-dimensional form and space onto a two-dimensional surface using the language of line, value, and the illusion of depth and texture. Mark making and its expressive and descriptive qualities will be examined.

High School Math: Algebra II Preparation

This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take Algebra II this fall. Specific content includes the study of algebraic functions, their graphs, and trigonometric basics. Building on a strong foundation of mathematical knowledge, this class is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, helping them to prepare for Algebra II.

High School Math: Pre-Calculus Preparation

This course is intended for higher level math students preparing to take pre-calculus this fall. Students will review and be introduced to the concepts necessary for a smooth transition into pre-calculus.

Sports and Culture

Are you interested in sports in America? In this course, we will look at the role sports play in our society. Using materials from a variety of sources, students will examine the relationships sports have to individuals and social organizations. The course will cover current issues in sports, such as the nature of competition, performance enhancement, violence, gender issues, and multi-million dollar contracts.

Technology for Learning (Assistive Technology)

Do you wonder how you can use technology to help you become a better student? Have you ever been told you should try Dragon or Kurzweil, but haven’t known where to begin? Are reading and spelling challenging for you? In this course, you will learn about three of the assistive technologies used at Landmark College: Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech), Inspiration (concept/mind-mapping), and Dragon NaturallySpeaking (speech-to-text). Additionally, we will present other technology options, including OneNote and many free options such as Readability, WebNotes, StudyBlue flashcards, Wunderlist, LeechBlock, and ToDoist. You will learn through a process of classroom discussion and activities, small-group interaction, hands-on training, homework assignments, and a final evaluation. This course will present you with a solid foundation for pursuing AT upon returning to your high school or going on to college.


Students in the theater elective will experience play-making through improvisation. Students will learn how to harness their artistic voices and turn their ideas and opinions into performance that makes a statement! The students will work as an acting company functioning in various roles, such as actor, writer, or stage hand. We will be working with theater games from the beginning of the course. As a group we will define areas of interest to explore and create scenarios and characters to work with. We will add and refine material for our play, which will culminate in a public performance at the end of the program.

Vermont Field Biology

Learn about local wildlife, plants, and ecosystems, along with other basic concepts of ecology. Take field trips to local areas, such as streams, rivers, wetlands, mountains, and meadows to study ecosystems and to practice scientific observation. Students will keep a field notebook, do a simple a field project, and will be expected to hike over varying terrain. Weather permitting, students will observe a biologist in the field netting and banding wild birds.

Academic Prep

Academic Prep is offered four evenings each week. This provides a structured time for students to review the class work of the day and/or prepare the work required for the next day or for ongoing class projects. Students are able to work alone, in groups, or in a supervised setting. Academic Prep is also a time for students to gain expertise in the use of Assistive Technology. All Academic Prep locations feature desktop or laptop computers for student use.

The Residence Halls

Not only will students be immersed in rich academic work, they will also live among their fellow students within residence halls on campus. Residence hall rooms are double-occupancy, so students will have a roommate. The halls are wing-based, and students will be separated based on gender. Residence halls are appropriately staffed by professional Resident Directors (RDs) and a host of college-aged mentors, known as Resident Assistants (RAs). This team helps students to bridge the gap between their classroom experiences and the rest of their day and evening. These RDs and RAs, many of whom also have identified learning differences, help students engage in the community and ensure a secure living and learning experience. Students experience a safe, supportive, college-like setting during their three-week stay in the residence halls at Landmark College.

The Dining Hall

Students will enjoy meals together in our dining hall, which offers a wide variety of choices, including an array of hot and cold entrees, soup, pizza, a sandwich and salad bar, and extensive vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Weekend Activities

We also work to make sure students have plenty of fun during their experience on campus!

Saturdays and Sundays provide an opportunity for students to participate in supervised, well-planned group programs. These excursions are more than fun experiences—they also teach students how to handle themselves in larger groups and provide opportunities for greater independence. Students will enjoy a rafting trip on the Deerfield River, where they will experience some mild, white-water negotiation. (For more information regarding the rafting trip, please visit Zoar Gap Rafting.) Other weekend activities include an on-campus carnival day featuring fun games and activities like a giant slip ‘n’ slide and possibly even a visit from the Kona Ice Truck, as well as an ever-popular Student Talent Show.

Afternoon Activities

Afternoon activities are an important part of the full program and run every weekday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m. They provide a balance to the day and a chance for each student to try some new kind of engagement. Students are asked to sign up for an activity in which they will participate in on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the entire program. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, groups of students will rotate through a series of activities including a visit to nearby Brattleboro, a chance to try out our on-campus zip-line and ropes course, as well as a quick walk to a nearby mountain peak that will afford views of the southern Vermont and New Hampshire mountains.

Some of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday activity options offered in the past include: basketball, ceramics, art, lawn games, music, soccer, theater tech, Magic: The Gathering/Dungeons & Dragons, film & discussion, and yoga. Students sign up for activities after enrollment in the program.

2018 Daily Weekday Schedule for the High School Summer Program (both tracks)

7:30–8:45 a.m. Breakfast
9–10:15 a.m. Class Period 1
10:30–11:45 a.m. Class Period 2
11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m. Lunch in the Dining Hall/Free Time
1:30–2:45 p.m. Class Period 3
3–5 p.m. Extracurricular Activities (Structured Time)
5–6:30 p.m. Dinner in the Dining Hall/Wing Meetings/Free Time
7–9 p.m. Academic Prep (Study Hall on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thur)
9–11 p.m. Free Time
11 p.m. All Students in their Residence Hall
11:30 p.m. All student in their wing (Residence Hall)
Midnight All student in their room, lights off, door closed
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