Pre-College Summer Institute

May 30 – June 30, 2017

Baker NERDs is a transformative college experience for current high school juniors and seniors. Spend three weeks on the beautiful Baldwin City campus developing the skills and habits necessary for college success. You’ll earn 3 hours of college credit in either Human Genetics or Human Ecology and benefit from 1:1 peer and faculty mentoring.

The cornerstone of the NERDs program is the outdoor immersion experience with the nationally recognized Colorado Outward Bound School. Here you will develop grit and perseverance as you come to understand the depth of your strengths.

There is more to us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.
—Kurt Hahn,Outward Bound founder


“This program really prepared me for freshman year. I don’t feel it’s going to be a big deal, it should be smooth now. I am much more confident after the Colorado trip, and that’s why I think my freshman year will go well. The program prepared me to be a better student. I am ready for classes, not just knowing where they are.


“I learned so much about myself: my strengths and weaknesses. I learned a lot about living with other people, meeting people, and making new friendships.”


The trip to Colorado was amazing. We learned so much and to do without everyday comforts. Everyone in the program connected in some way. We bonded and discovered how to have better friendships. We got to know the group better as a whole and as an individual.”


“The Colorado trip was a great experience, which surprised me because I was actually really scared before getting into it! When we were done, I missed it and wanted to go back. I took away from the program that I need to step out of my comfort zone, talk to more people, and if I do this in college I will meet more people.”


“I’m blessed to have gone through this program. I feel I’ve come a long way, not only as a person but also academically. I’ve learned so much. I love biology, and this opened up my understanding of why I enjoy it. This experience changed how I see life. I’m glad I did it.”

2016 Colorado Experience

Join the adventure and get college credit, too.

You will earn 3 college credit hours from one of two academic tracks—digital media or human genetics—while living in Baker’s suite-style residence hall with peer-mentors and university staff. Both tracks are taught by full-time Baker faculty members. You will have the opportunity to experience mountaineering in Colorado.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to earn college credit and develop the noncognitive skills essential for success. Past participants have gone on to become leaders on their teams, in their classrooms, and in the community. It will be a critical asset on your resume.
—Dr. Carrie Coward Bucher, program director

Program Cost

$4,700 | four-week program cost

NERDs is an all-expenses package delivered by Baker University at a significant discount. The price includes 3 hours of college credit, room, board, travel to and from Colorado, the Outward Bound experience, and recreational activities.

The $4,700 fee can be split into monthly payments, with $200 due at registration.


Dr. Carrie Coward Bucher