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 Standards

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 this Committee. Students and their families will be notified of their acceptance by Thursday, April 12, 2018.                                  

Participation Standards

The Summer Scholars Program is a concentrated academic experience. Classes and enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the program. Each student will be required to participate actively and positively in all scheduled classes and activities. In addition, each student is required to complete all assigned work. Assignments may include the keeping of journals, response papers, research, and collaborative presentations. The Summer Scholars program is designed to challenge students. The students are expected to meet the challenge.

The Summer Scholars Program is a concentrated academic experience.  Classes and enrichment activities are scheduled throughout the week.

Scholars register at the beginning of the program and 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 not permitted except in emergency situations, and only with the permission of the Program Director.

Students may not drive any vehicle at any time during the program. In addition, students will not be permitted to bring a car or other motorized vehicle or bicycle on campus. Students are also not allowed visitors during the program.

Students wishing to participate in religious services will be able to participate in services held at the campus where they are located. With prior notification to the Summer Scholars Program Director parents and guardians may make arrangements to take the student to the service. (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.

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. 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 from private schools pay a participation fee.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  1. Current high school juniors and sophomores (2017 - 2018 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 15 (Sunday)

Program Begins - 12:00 pm

July 16 (Monday) - July 26 (Thursday)


July 26 (Thursday)

Student Presentations - 7:00 p.m.                
Dutchess Community College - James & Betty Hall Theatre (Hudson Hall)


The 2018 Program Description


The 2018 Summer Scholars program will analyze The War In Vietnam after 50 Years from political, historical, literary, and media perspectives. 

What were the historical and political causes of this conflict which resulted in thousands of American and several million casualties in Southeast Asia, and what are the consequences that continue today in subsequent conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the various wars on terrorism?

The War In Vietnam: After 50 Years will examine the Tet Offensive and major battles, including Hue, in 1968, the deeply divided political and social situation in the U.S., the assassinations of President Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy, the civil rights struggle, and the on-going reality of asymmetric warfare (9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the various wars on terror).

Students will consider many questions about the war, including:

  • Did America have good reasons to fight a war in Vietnam?
  • Who won the Vietnam War?
  • Is U.S. engagement in proxy wars justifiable?

The course will offer objective analyses, and it will enable students to evaluate America’s wars now and, in the future, especially when our students must make critical decisions as adults and as participating and involved citizens. 

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:

Chris Fiorentino
Director, Educational Resources
Dutchess BOCES CTI
5 BOCES Road
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601
v: 845.486.4840 ext. 4614
f: 845.486.4832

COMPLETED APPLICATION PACKET (Application, Two Essays, Two Faculty Recommendation Forms, and School Nomination Form) ARE DUE TO YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR BY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2018.