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Summer Bridge Programs

Get a head start on your college career! 


"Doing the program made it so when I came back for my first full semester, it just felt like coming home!"
-Sam M, 2022 Honors Student

"I was able to make friends and have fun while still doing something productive with my summer."
-Samantha D, 2018 Catamount Gap Student

"It's amazing and I wouldn't take it back for anything because now, as I'm entering the fall, I can do anything."
-Bridget W, Academic Success Program Student

Congratulations on being accepted to WCU! Why wait until fall to join us in Cullowhee? Get a head start on your college career by participating in one of our Summer Bridge Programs! 

These 5-week programs provide students the opportunity to develop a network of faculty, staff, high-achieving upperclassmen, and peers in an inclusive learning community environment. Students will receive lots of academic support, earn 6-8 credits toward graduation, and have fun with friends in events like outdoor adventures, movies, and game nights! 

Why choose Summer Bridge Programs at WCU?

  • Get a jump-start on your major or liberal studies requirements! Students take a college transitions course and two additional courses chosen based on students' majors, interests, and transfer credit. 
  • Connect with other students and make lasting friendships! 
  • Build relationships with key faculty members who will continue to support you throughout your time at WCU. 
  • Earn 6-8 credits - half a semester's worth of courses - in just five weeks! 
  • Receive tutoring support from the Writing and Learning Commons and Math Tutoring Center. 
  • Be matched with a high-achieving peer mentor. 
  • Learn the ins and outs of college life during the slower-paced summer session. 
  • Go on a field trip! Classes have visited all sorts of places around Western North Carolina. 
  • Enjoy the adventure opportunities in the beautiful mountains at the best time of the year!

WCU Currently has five Summer Bridge Programs: 

  • The Academic Success Program (ASP) is a conditional admission program in that students who are invited MUST successfully complete the 5-week summer bridge program in order to attend the fall. The program focuses on building academic skills and utilizing campus resources. Students also receive support through the fall semester with an additional transitions course (USI 131 - Thriving in College). Students must be admitted as ASP and cannot opt into this program. 
  • Catamount Gap is for any student, regardless of major or interest! This program focuses on transitioning to WCU. Students can take any of our offered courses along with a transitions course taught by WCU staff members who specialize in helping students. 
  • The Honors Learning Community is for admitted honors students who attend the summer bridge program. This program allows students to earn honors credits in one of their courses and focuses on scholarship. Students must be admitted as Honors and cannot opt into this program. 
  • Summer WHEE Teach is a learning community for students interested in the field of education. Students take EDCI 191 and a transitions course taught by faculty in the College of Education. Students do not have to be education majors to participate! 
  • STEM Scholars is designed for students who are in science, technology, engineering, or math majors. Depending on their placement, students will take MATH 130 (and possibly MATH 100) and a transitions course taught by a staff member closely associated with STEM majors. This program is recommended for any student in a major that requires Calculus (MATH 153). 

May 1, 2024: Claim your seat by submitting your enrollment deposit and the Summer Bridge application 
(ASP students do not need to submit an application: your seat is held by your deposit)
May 30, 2024: Complete pre-registration, orientation registration and payment, and submit immunization forms
June 24, 2024: Final transcripts must be received by this date


Move-in: Wednesday, June 19, 2024
WCU Orientation: Thursday and Friday, June 20-21, 2024
Summer Bridge Session with Students and Families: Friday afternoon, June 21, 2024
Summer Bridge Orientation: Saturday, June 22, 2024
Classes Begin: Monday, June 24, 2024
Classes End: Friday, July 26, 2024
Closing Ceremony and Move-out: Saturday, July 27, 2024

Class #1: USI 130 (The University Experience) or USI 101 (Honors Forum)

Introduction to the univerisity and to higher education. Discussion of issues involved in the transition from high school to college like time management, brain-based study techniques, etc. Overall emphasis on academic and career planning and personal development. 

Classes #2 and #3:

Students choose their preferences and are enrolled in 2 of the following:

  • ART 104: Introduction to Visual Arts
  • COMM 201: Foundations of Communication
  • EDCI 190: Teachers, Schools and Society
  • ENGL 101: Writing and Rhetoric
  • ENGL 190: Freshman Seminar in Literature
  • GEOL 141: Earth History and Prehistoric Life
  • HEAL 111: Stress Management
  • MATH 130: Precalculus I (and MATH 100: Precalculus I Support, depending on placement)
  • PSY 150: General Psychology

Offerings are subject to change prior to the start of the Summer Bridge Programs. 

Class Size: Summer Bridge classes are small, approximately 20 to no more than 25 students per course section, so that students receive personal attention from their instructors. 

Study Hall: In addition to the coursework above, students are required to attend study hall sessions throughout the week. 

Catamount Basics: Once a week, we host a required full-group session with updates and reminders about the upcoming week and to discuss important lessons about transitioning to college. 

Case Management Meetings: Summer Bridge staff meets weekly with instructors to discuss student progress and concerns to allow for appropriate interventions or to celebrate success!

Peer Academic Leader: In addition to staff and faculty support, students are also assigned a Peer Academic Leader (PAL), an upperclassman student who will work with students on their academic and social transition to college. Students are required to meet with their PAL at least once a week and will join a group chat to receive reminders about class and events! 

Summer costs include tuition, fees, room, board, and all activities. 

2024 Summer Bridge*  In-State Students Out-of-State Students
Tuition and fees (7 credit hours) $1,149.12 $2,315.74
Tuition and Fees (8 credit hours) $1,313.28 $2,646.56
Room (double occupancy)* $720 $720
Meal Plan $750.09 $750.09
Total (7 credit hours) $2,619.21 $3,785.83
Total (8 credit hours) $2,783.37 $4,116.64

*This table serves as an estimation of the 2024 Summer Bridge Programs. Actual cost is affected by many factors and is not final until posted to students' accounts. Single rooms are available for additional costs, but are limited. Contact Residential Living for more information. 

An additional fee for Student Health Insurance will be added if a student does not complete their insurance waiver. The amount for summer coverage is yet to be determined, but will be added to the student's bill and removed if a student submits a health insurance waiver for the year. 

Housing and Tuition Deposits ($300 total) will be deducted from the total summer charges. 

Note: students only need to pay one set of deposits for the summer and fall terms. Deposits are non-refundable. 

Orientation charges for students and parents must be paid prior to attending orientation. More information about Orientation will be sent in April. 

The University reserves the right to alter any changes without prior notice upon direction from the appropriate governing authorities. 

Students participating in the Summer Bridge Programs are eligible to apply for federal and state financial aid to cover costs of the program. Students interested in financial aid for the summer must complete the FAFSA for 2023-2024 (this is the PRIOR year than what's required for fall financial aid). Students may apply for summer FAFSA now. Questions about financial aid should be addressed to the Financial Aid Office at 828.227.7290 or

For more information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Already Enrolled?

Please follow these easy steps:

  1. Review the Frequently Asked Questions Page
  2. Complete the Summer Activities Waiver Form. 
    • Scan and email to Pictures from your mobile device will NOT work. 
    • OR fax it to 828.227.7101
    • OR mail it to:
        • Office of Student Retention, ATTN: Summer Bridge
        • 214 Killian Annex
        • Western Carolina University
        • 1 University Drive
        • Cullowhee, NC 28723
  3. If you have disability accommodations from high school or a documented disability, please register with the Office of Accessibility Resources. 
  4. You might have filled out the 2024-2025 FAFSA for your fall enrollment, but it starts funding at Fall 2023. You will need to apply for the 2023-2024 FAFSA which will provide funding for the 2024 Summer Bridge Program. 

Finally, please follow these steps to finish your WCU enrollment:

  1. Refer to the Admitted Students site and follow the step-by-step instructions (if you have not done so already)
  2. Log into your myWCU account and complete any required to-do list items there! 
  3. Submit your enrollment deposit by May 1, 2024
  4. Complete pre-registration, orientation registration and payment, and submit immunization forms by May 30, 2024
  5. Submit your final high school or college transcripts as soon as your classes are complete so they are received and processed by June 24, 2024. 
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