What is the Jay P. Rolison, Jr. Summer Scholars Program?

The Summer Scholars Program is a two week residential program for students attending high schools in Dutchess County. The Summer Scholars Program provides challenging academic opportunities for a select number of 10th and 11th grade students. Students who have demonstrated high academic achievement, intellectual potential and creativity as evidenced in their Summer Scholars Program applications will be invited to participate.The academic program is designed to challenge high school students in multidisciplinary projects.

All Summer Scholars will reside in dorms located on the Dutchess Community College campus. Meals will be served three times daily. Dormitory life will be supervised by a Residential Director and Resident Assistants. Twenty-four hour campus security for the duration of the program will be provided by the security staff.

Student Selection Standards

Students selected for the Summer Scholars Program from school districts in Dutchess County will be a diverse group of students willing to engage in collaborative academic inquiry and be part of a social/learning community.

The Summer Scholars Program provides an opportunity for Dutchess County's most eligible students to explore multi-disciplinary topics in depth. Instructors and students in the program enjoy an environment that provides methods of instruction and learning that are usually not available in a traditional, comprehensive high school setting. A conscious effort has been made to ensure that the program offered to Summer Scholars does not duplicate the offering of either high school or college curricula.

Student Selection 

Eligible students are nominated and screened by their schools. At each high school the principal and guidance departments receive information and application materials and can advise students concerning local procedures. High schools are urged to widely publicize the Summer Scholars Program and the opportunities it provides.  Each school has also been asked to form a committee to assure broad participation in the important identification phase of the selection process. Nominations will be made on the basis of program criteria.

Students who are interested in the program should contact their high school Guidance Office for further information. Once nominated, all candidates will be carefully screened. Final selections will be made by the selection committee. Students and their families will be notified of their acceptance the week of April 6, 2020.

Participation Standards

The Summer Scholars Program is a concentrated academic experience. Classes and enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the program. The Summer Scholars Program is designed to challenge students. The students are expected to meet the challenge.

  • Each student will be required to participate actively and positively in all scheduled classes and activities.
  • Each student is required to complete all assigned work.
  • Scholars register at the beginning of the program and are expected to remain in residence for the duration. Participants will not be excused to attend conventions, camps, conferences, workshops, lessons, sports, practices, graduations, or family vacations.
  • Leaves-of-absence are only permitted in emergency situations, with the permission of the Program Director.
  • Students may not participate in any other academic activities, including on-line courses.
  • Students may not drive any vehicle or be permitted to bring a car or other motorized vehicle or bicycle on campus.
  • Students are not allowed visitors during the program.

Conduct Standards and Regulations

Summer Scholars are expected to exhibit high standards of conduct including sensitivity to the needs of others, respect for the rights of fellow Summer Scholars, full cooperation with the program staff, and respect for college property.

Any of the following constitute cause for immediate expulsion from the program:

  • Any type of bullying will not be permitted;
  • Committing any felony as defined under New York State law;
  • Possessing alcoholic beverages or any unauthorized controlled substance or paraphernalia;
  • Possessing explosives, dangerous chemicals, weapons, firearms or fireworks;
  • Destroying property (full compensation will be demanded for acts of vandalism that result in damage to college property or the property of others);
  • Leaving the campus without authorized permission from the Program Director.

Students wishing to participate in religious services will be able to participate in services held at the campus where they are located or with prior notification to the Summer Scholars Program Director parents and guardians may make arrangements to take the student to a service off campus. (Completed release forms will be required and given to the Residential Director on the day of the service).

Summer Scholars represent their home schools and are required to follow all rules and regulations in the SUMMER SCHOLARS COMMUNITY LIFE HANDBOOK, to be issued upon acceptance into the program.

The Summer Scholars Program Is:

The Summer Scholars Program Isn't:

  • a challenging residential academic program for selected students;
  • for students who enjoy inquiry learning;
  • for students who behave responsibly.
  • summer camp for all students who apply;
  • for students who give minimum effort to assignments;
  • for students who require constant supervision.

Program Fees

There will be no tuition for students from participating public schools selected to participate.  Tuition, room, board (three meals per day), books, and enrichment activities are all part of the program package provided to students free of charge. Students from private schools selected to participate will pay a participation fee.

The Summer Scholars are responsible for the actual cost/responsibility of travel to and from the program on the first and last day. In addition, any spending or pocket money is to be supplied by the student or his/her family. The participants will need to bring their own linens and towels. There are stores on campus where personal items (toothpaste, deodorant, candy, etc.) may be purchased.

Evaluation of Student Performance

Neither grades nor academic credit are given to Summer Scholars.  All students who successfully complete the program are awarded a participation certificate following the close of the program.


Dutchess BOCES is part of the statewide system of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services. Through the cooperative efforts of component school districts, Dutchess BOCES is able to offer the Summer Scholars Program. Students selected to participate from a private school will pay a participation fee.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  1. Current high school juniors and sophomores (2019 - 2020 school year);
  2. Legal residents of Dutchess County;
  3. Students attending participating high schools in Dutchess County;
  4. Students identified by their high schools as high achieving, innovative or accelerated learners.

Program Activities

During the Summer Scholars Program, students and teachers engage in intellectually challenging inquiry and fieldwork. Throughout the program, students have the opportunity to interact with experts in the various fields of study and become active participants in learning collaboratively.

As a supplement to the academic program, students will participate in a wide range of enrichment activities which may include lectures, seminars and films. Summer Scholars are expected to be part of a learning community of peers, faculty, and residential staff.

A wide range of recreational activities are available on the college campuses during the Summer Scholars Program.

Motor vehicles, bicycles, skateboards, scooters and roller blades are prohibited.

Program Timeline


Program Schedule

July 12 (Sunday)

Program Begins - 12:00 pm

July 13 (Monday) - July 23 (Thursday)


July 23 (Thursday)

Student Presentations and Closing Ceremony - 6:00 p.m. | Dutchess Community College 

The 2020 Program Description


Following the horrors of World War II most Americans just wanted to get on with their lives. The 1950s did not disappoint. From suburbanization and the interstate highway system to the proliferation of television and rock-n-roll, the 1950s made modernity. The 1950s are frequently looked back on as a decade of relative stability, progress and prosperity. But whose golden age was this? African Americans were politically disenfranchised in much of the country and a system of legal racial segregation throughout the South ended only after great violence in the 1960s. The post-war baby boom, the revival of the “cult of domesticity,” and a preference for women to yield jobs to men returning from overseas circumscribed women’s opportunities to live lives as free as men. The prevailing social conservatism of the 1950s kept it a dangerous time to be outted as gay or lesbian. Unbounded industrialization and pollution would wreak so much havoc as to pave the way for the environmental and consumer rights movements of the 1960s.

The rigidity of 1950s explains a good deal of the tumult of the 1960s, when changes long past due began to take effect. Yet, “The ‘60s” tend to be portrayed as a time of lawlessness, disorder, disrespect for tradition, and decline. This course will critically examine the decade of the 1950s and its effects on subsequent social, political, and cultural developments in the United States and around the world. Many Americans, explicitly or implicitly, have championed policies that would return America to life in the 1950s.

The program will includes college-level writing assignments after classes, and, in the evenings, watching television episodes, films, documentaries, and other theme-related activities. Afternoon seminars will consist of close reading and discussion of the works of James Baldwin, whose fiction and non-fiction called attention to another America that the decade often threatened to forget.


How Can I Get More Information?

If you have any questions or would like more information, which cannot be obtained from your principal or guidance counselor, please call or write:

Jenny Schinella
Director, Educational Resources
Dutchess BOCES CTI
5 BOCES Road
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
v: 845.486.4840 ext. 4614
f: 845.625.1680


COMPLETED APPLICATION PACKET: (Application, Two Essays, Resume, and Two Faculty Recommendation Forms) (School Nomination Form to be completed by Guidance Counselor) ARE DUE TO YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR BY FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2020.



Summer Scholars Application
Parent or Guardian Letter
School Nomination Form
Faculty Recommendation Letter