Skip Navigation
A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

Frequently Asked Questions

Young woman writes in journal near Smith College fountain during women's writing summer program
Precollege Programs is here to offer opportunities for high school women that give them the freedom to explore. Smith welcomes to these programs young women from many nationalities and diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds who together form an extraordinary intellectual community. The learning environment is hands-on, collaborative, exploratory, challenging and rich in role models. Have questions? We encourage you to get in touch!

Precollege Programs COVID-19 Safety Plan

The on-campus Summer Precollege Program experience is being developed in the spirit of Smith’s COVID-19 Culture of Care and in keeping with local, state and federal guidelines. We will continue to update information leading up to our summer programs.

Frequently Asked Questions for Remote Summer Precollege Programs 

What happens if the course in which I am enrolled is canceled?

In the event that a course does not reach its minimum capacity, the program will be canceled. If this happens, you will have the choice of receiving a full refund (less the application fee) or you can choose to enroll in a different course. If you choose to enroll in a different course, please note that your eligibility may need to be reconfirmed depending on your new program selection.

What technology is required for remote courses (offered online)?

Students must have access to a computer or laptop with a webcam and reliable access to the Internet to be successful in a remote program. Some programs have specific additional requirements.

How many courses can I enroll in?

Students in our summer programs offered remotely are allowed to take up to two courses in each two-week session as long as the synchronous class times do not conflict. The only exception is Summer Science and Engineering, where students may only take one course per the two-week session, given the time commitment needed to complete the course(s).

What happens if I decide to withdraw from the remote summer program?

If you withdraw from any of our programs (on-campus or remote) you are not refunded the application fee or the enrollment deposit.

Are there office hours?

Yes. Classroom assistants (Smith undergraduates) will hold office hours twice a week. The exact time(s) will be communicated once your course has begun. Instructors will also be available for questions and additional support.

When does my remote class meet and is there other course work (asynchronous)?

Students will attend class during the designated meeting times found on the individual course description pages. All courses are offered synchronously with live classroom instruction and have asynchronous course work as well. Asynchronous work varies by course and program. Courses are designed to be experiential and collaborative. Course instructors may schedule additional Zoom sessions for students who want more time to discuss course content or if additional course time is needed. Sessions will be scheduled at the instructor’s discretion and with the student availability in mind.

What participation is expected of me in remote classes?

Students are expected to participate actively in class and to collaborate with their peers and program instructors. Discussions, group work, and in-class presentations given by students are regular components of our courses. The remote classroom functions as a community of learners and thinkers.

All students are required to use webcams, headsets and microphones so they can engage in active discussion and contribute to the online classroom community.

What if I can’t make every class time?

Students should enroll in classes they can attend regularly. We understand that things come up. If a student needs to miss a class, they are expected to notify the instructor and classroom assistant ahead of time. The student must complete the course work on their own time so they do not fall behind. If a student misses more than two classes in a row without notification from the parent/guardian, a member of the administrative team will be in contact with the parent/guardian.

Frequently Asked Questions for On-Campus Precollege Programs

What happens if the on-campus program is canceled? 

If the on-campus program is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, admitted students who paid the enrollment deposit will be automatically switched to the online program. Students who do not wish to participate in our online program will receive a 50% refund of their enrollment deposit. 

What is Smith College’s COVID-19 response plan? 

Please visit our Culture of Care website to learn more about navigating on-campus life during COVID-19. 

Will I have a roommate?
During the 2021 season, you will not have a roommate.

I live near Smith; may I commute?
Smith precollege programs are residential, and there are no commuters. Living away from home with your friends in the program is a great learning experience (plus a lot of fun). During the time of the coronavirus, we are ensuring that our community stays as safe as possible with limited exposure outside campus.

What if I miss home?
We expect some participants to feel homesick. When you arrive at Smith on that first Sunday, you’ll see that our staff is prepared to help you. We’ll greet you, assist you in settling into your room, give you a campus tour, sit with you during dinner and introduce you to new friends. The next morning, we will escort you to your first class, and you’ll be on your way. The Summer at Smith staff is here for you. Our professional and college student staff members know what it’s like to be away from home for the first time and are here to listen and support you through your journey in our program.

What happens if I decide to withdraw from the on-campus program?

If you withdraw from any of our programs (on-campus or remote) you are not refunded the application fee or the enrollment deposit.

What’s weather like in Northampton?
New England weather is unpredictable. We recommend that you bring clothes suitable for cool nights and hot days, and prepare for rain.

Can I have visitors or visit local family/friends?
No. Houses are open only to Smith College precollege students and staff—no off-campus visitors are allowed under any circumstances. Information will be provided to accepted students prior to your arrival detailing the check-in and check-out protocols. 

Can I receive mail while in the program?
Yes. It will be delivered to the houses as we receive it. Precollege Programs is not responsible for any lost mail nor the tracking of mail. We will not assist in sending mail or returning packages. Please keep in mind that all mail is delivered first to a central processing center, which adds an extra few days to your expected delivery time.

People may send mail to:
[Student’s name]
[Program Title e.g., Creative Writing]
Office of Precollege Programs
30 Belmont Avenue 
Northampton, MA 01063