New Program Gives New Students a Jump on Fall

18 free summer classes offer something for almost everyone

By Zoe Binder ’23, USF News Posted Thu, 06/03/2021 - 05:46

A new program of summer classes gives incoming first-year and transfer students a taste of USF before they arrive in August.

The 18 summer classes in the JumpStart USF program — free, one-credit, remote — enable students to visit with classmates, meet professors, become accustomed to college-level academics, and get to know USF. Subjects include calculus, drawing, entrepreneurship, public policy, writing about race, and education as liberation. 

A Call for Courses

Lester Deanes, assistant vice president for student engagement and a member of the summer planning committee at USF, said “we sent a call out to all faculty and said give us your ideas” for JumpStart USF. Out of numerous pitches, the committee chose 18 courses.

In the course called Pandemic Pedaling, students learn the best bike routes in the city while also studying bike sharing and transportation equity.

In Drag Queens and Queer San Francisco, students “get an introduction to drag from its earliest forms to RuPaul and beyond.”

In Gene bio JumpStart, biology and pre-health professions students learn the genetics and evolution fundamentals that they need to succeed at USF.  

A Warm Welcome

The summer planning committee wants to help new students feel comfortable at USF, said Deanes. “We want to get you connected with a familiar face before you arrive in the fall. We want you to know that you are now a Don, starting in June.”

Deanes said that word about JumpStart USF has gotten around, and a few continuing students have asked to enroll in the courses. While the classes are available to first-year and new transfer students only, he said, in the future he hopes the classes might be offered to all students.

“I think it's something we could consider for continuing students to also have one unit on a topic that sparks their curiosity and keeps them on track to graduating.”

All JumpStart classes are capped at 25 students and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration closes on June 4. More details