Students stand in a group next to Lake Ontario

The Oz Grand Challenges Academy, a summer residential program, will provide an opportunity for first-generation students to experience a vibrant campus life, inspire them to pursue a college degree, prepare them for going to college and “ignite their intellectual curiosity.” SUNY Oswego is located on one mile of Lake Ontario waterfront, and our campus is currently addressing the grand challenge of Fresh Water for All. Students in The Oz Grand Challenges Academy will engage in a variety of activities related to the grand challenges theme.

Activities include the following:

  • College courses investigating the impacts of water and access to fresh water, as well as their own and others’ leadership styles and facilitating team building.
  • Community service focusing on the ecological preservation of Lake Ontario and other waterways.
  • Explore personal and academic development through evening topics such as:
    • identifying leadership strengths, time management, budget and personal finance, coping with failure, coping with success, career services and life skills. 
  • Collaborations with faculty, staff and senior leadership, as well as other students
  • Engaging in activities and field trips related to the theme, such as:

Program information:

  • 3-week pre-college program at SUNY Oswego
  • July 12 to 31, 2020
  • College level course(s)
  • Evening and weekend activities


  • 3 college credits free of charge
  • Housing and meals provided
  • Stipend of $600
  • Bus transportation to and from SUNY Oswego


  • Rising high school juniors and seniors
  • First generation to college students 
  • Highly motivated
  • Interest in pursuing higher education

Application process:

  • Completed application by Feb. 14, 2020
  • Interviews will take place in March 2020
  • Decision notifications will be sent by April 6, 2020

The Oz Grand Challenges Academy is made possible, in part, by a generous grant from the Heckscher Foundation for Children.

For more information, contact Dr. Jerri Howland or Dr. Mary Toale, 315-312-2213.