About LEAP

What is LEAP?

LEAP is an opportunity for new students to start their Penn State career in a small-college atmosphere within the larger University. LEAP is only for first-year students offered admission to the University Park campus and is available only during the summer session. Students offered admission for the fall semester can change their admission to the summer session to participate in LEAP if they’d like. Entry to LEAP is limited. Students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis.

How does LEAP work?

Students select one of the academic “prides” described in “The LEAP Prides” section of our website.  A pride consists of two linked 3- or 4-credit courses. A pride also means the same students will be in both of your courses. One course is from a specific academic area and the other is usually either English composition (ENGL 15) or effective speech (CAS 100A or CAS 100B). Both the English and the CAS course are required for all Penn State students.  Once students enroll in LionPATH for the two courses that make up their pride, they are registered for LEAP. Instructions on how to register for LEAP can be found at this site by following the LEAP Registration link. If the student was admitted for fall semester, they must change their admission to summer by May 1st to be eligible to participate in the LEAP program.

What are the benefits of LEAP?

There are many, including:

SMALL CLASSES – Each Pride is limited to twenty-four students, which allows you not only greater interaction with faculty and the other students in your class, but also to take both of your classes with the same group of students. All of the students in the LEAP classes are first-year students – a real advantage! A few classes combine larger lecture sections and discussion groups.

INTEGRATED CLASSES – The faculty work to integrate the material from the two classes that you are taking. You compositions or speeches in one class are based on the material you’re learning in the other class and vice versa.

A MENTOR FOR EACH PRIDE – An upper-level student mentor is there to show you the way with study-skills sessions, library and computer help, social activities, and tips about college life.

LEAP HOUSING – As a LEAP student, you will live in residence halls with other LEAP students and your LEAP mentor. Students admitted for summer who register for LEAP after the May 1st registration deadline will be housed with other LEAP students as space allows.  Students requesting a non-LEAP roommate will be assigned to a building adjacent to the LEAP buildings with non-LEAP students on their floor. Students admitted for fall may not register for LEAP after May 1st.

What if there is no pride for my major, or it is filled?

Don’t worry! Almost a third of the classes required for your degree will be outside your major. All Penn State students must complete 45 credits of General Education classes in the arts [GA], humanities [GH], social and behavioral sciences [GS], communication [GWS], quantification [GQ], natural sciences [GN], and health and physical activity [GHA]. These courses are intended to broaden your education. Almost all of the prides offer classes that fulfill these General Education requirements and are appropriate for you, no matter what your major. For more details go to bulletins.psu.edu and click on program structure under the General Education header.

If I am offered summer admission, am I automatically registered for LEAP?

No. To participate in LEAP, you must register for one of the LEAP prides described in this booklet.

Which students should choose LEAP?

LEAP is for you if you are a first-year student who wants a smooth transition into academic and social life at a large campus. The program is open only to first-year students already admitted to Penn State’s University Park campus for the summer or fall semester and is only offered in the summer six-week session that begins June 28, 2017.

How much does LEAP cost?

There is no extra charge for LEAP. A student’s total fees are based on the number of credits taken and the summer room and meal plan.

What if I don’t want to participate in LEAP?

Students who choose not to participate in LEAP will select from the standard schedule of courses when they meet with their advisor during the New Student Orientation, usually in May or June. See LionPATH Class Search to search the courses offered in the summer.

*Contact the Admissions Office through their web page at http://admissions.psu.edu under “My Penn State-Check application status or email us,” or call (814) 865-5471