Introducing POSS (Pioneer Open Summer Study)

Pioneer Academics > News > Introducing POSS (Pioneer Open Summer Study)
open summer study
  •       An online research alternative for curious minds
  •       Pioneer’s answer to COVID-19’s academic disruptions
  •       Free to any interested, motivated high school student

For the first time ever, Pioneer is offering a free alternative to the rigorous Pioneer Research Program.

A huge increase in the number of applications for this year’s Pioneer summer term has made it clear that the various responses around the world to COVID-19, which have shut down virtually all in-person summer study options, have left many students unable to find the summer enrichment opportunities that would normally be available to them. But, as Director Matthew Jaskol says in his letter introducing this new program, “Students nearing college … can’t stop working towards their academic goals, and educators must guide them in spite of the hardships and difficulties the virus has imposed.”

Pioneer’s commitment to offering interested students the opportunity to cultivate their academic curiosity led to the development of a new kind of program. Pioneer’s academic panel dedicated more than three months constructing a new framework and developing interdisciplinary themes, such as “The age of plague: medicine, society, and epidemics, 1348 & beyond” and “The forces driving socio-cultural revolution.” This unique summer opportunity is open to all high school students looking to challenge themselves and pursue their academic passion in an engaging way.  

An Adventure in Teamwork

Participants in POSS will work in teams of five to ten students with a school counselor or teacher  as a project observer. Seasoned Pioneer faculty will offer workshops on a variety of topics. Some groups will participate in the live workshops, while others will use the recorded versions to guide their work on their own schedules. Using the workshops as a foundation, each group will design and complete its own cooperative study project, working as a team.

Pioneer is offering POSS as its own response to the challenge of this challenging time. POSS is designed to provide an enriching experience of study and teamwork to help prepare high school students for their college experience. While it is not the Pioneer Research Program, and will not be regarded as Pioneer work for college applications, POSS will provide an opportunity for students to acquire such valuable skills as time management and an understanding of the process of doing independent studies or academic research. And it is available, free, to any high school student around the world.

For more information, and to apply to be a POSS participant, use this link to our website: here

POSS is completely independent from the Pioneer Research Program. Students who participate in POSS CANNOT list POSS as a Pioneer Research Program credit on their college applications because POSS students do not go through Pioneer’s admission system and their work is not scrutinized through Pioneer’s academic procedure and standards.

Dear educator friend,

In the critical process of preparing students to transition to college, you are key. The
ramifications of your guidance are far-reaching.

The Pioneer Research Program believes that it, too, has a role to play in preparing students of special potential and passion for learning. This is a role we trust you will appreciate knowing about. Our mission is to offer a deep and otherwise unavailable opportunity to exceptionally motivated young scholars who want to learn and research at the college level and to explore their potential for innovation.

What makes Pioneer a unique deep-dive learning experience is not just the mentorship of distinguished professors. It is the rigorous quality controls developed conjointly by Pioneer and Oberlin College. Professors (must) adhere to rubrics for

1) setting learning goals;

2) syllabus development;

3) oversight, feedback and evaluation, and

4) grading standardization.

This rigorous academic system is supported by thorough admission process and a high-minded ethics code. The combination gives students an exceptional learning experience that is brought to fruition in a college-level research paper documenting their findings.

You can follow this link Pioneer’s concrete academic system to learn more about the academic system. Academic quality control and academic oversight assure Pioneer’s focus is on learning and learners, and therefore all of our practices were built upon the following principles:

No conflict of interests Pioneer’s academic ethical standards
Because of its high academic and ethical standards, the Pioneer program has earned the trust of college admissions departments and formed the basis for the ground-breaking collaboration with Oberlin College. Pioneer scholars get two college credits upon completing their Pioneer research.

Click to learn about Pioneer and Oberlin College's groundbreaking academic collaboration.

Pioneer has a rigorous admission process. Students who have genuine academic interests and are highly motivated are a good fit with Pioneer’s values. Pioneer’s founding board insisted that Pioneer commit to a professor-blind policy during the application process, ensuring that applicants have authentic field interest and correct priorities. Consequently, no information about professors is released before admission to the program. This policy is much appreciated and respected by universities. Professor-blind admission policy
On this page is the critical information needed to meet your needs.

If you have additional questions, feel free to let us know how we can help you by emailing or calling 855-572-8863.


Matthew Jaskol

Founder & Program Director