Former SSA Students Reflect on Experience, Advantage of College Preparation Academy

February 24, 2014

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As a high school student, Victoria Barski always wanted the chance to experience college life. By attending Texas Lutheran University’s Summer Scholars Academy (SSA), the freshman business administration major had that opportunity. SSA is a two-week program for academically gifted high school students who take university-level courses taught by select TLU faculty. Each SSA student enrolls in two courses which include the opportunity to experience college life first-hand through field trips, evening activities and a group service project.

This year, the academy for high school students who have completed their freshman year will take place July 13-25. A new course for 2014 will focus on math and problem-solving skills in courses such as DNA discovery, Windows Live Movie Maker skills, American Sign Language and deaf culture, hands-on psychology to boost brainpower, social effects and psychology behind mobile-based games and RPGs, college composition writing, math and problem-solving immersion, and printmaking of comics to graffiti to painting.

Barski said it was during SSA when she realized how comfortable she was at TLU.

“I attended several different programs at different schools and TLU just felt like home,” Barksi said. “I’m having a great time and I really liked the classes I took first semester. TLU has given me the chance to meet new people from all over. My best friend is from Montana and I actually met her during SSA. It is really cool that we met and stayed friends after.”

Sophomore English and history major Fernando Rover had the chance to attend SSA twice. Rover said he actually didn’t think of TLU as a prospective choice until after his SSA experience. He is now a peer mentor, writing tutor, library assistant, staff writer for the Lone Star Lutheran student newspaper and is involved with Black Student Union and the TLU Choir.

“I thought I would just end up staying close to home because everyone else in my family did that,” Rover said. “I also thought that by attending SSA I would be better prepared for college. I felt that it would be an opportunity for me to do something others rarely get to do and something that would separate me from my high school peers. Collectively, my experience included enriching learning opportunities, being asked thought-provoking questions, meeting lifelong friends and discovering amazing qualities I didn’t even know I had. Many of the skills that have made me successful at TLU so far came out of SSA. Being a TLU student has been the most rewarding experience of my life.”

For more information about SSA, visit or contact TLU Admissions at 800-771-8521.

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