The College of New Jersey

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Summer Service Scholars

Designed for high-achieving rising 10th–12th grade students and recent high school graduates interested in community-engaged learning and advanced study. This residential program gives you a chance to take one college-level course, serve in the local community and explore college life. You will take a college level course taught by TCNJ faculty. The faculty will integrate community engaged learning into the course as you do service in the community. Service activities could include serving at an after-school program, the soup kitchen, community garden, or another non-profit partner. Throughout the program you’ll experience college-life by living in the dorms, eating in the dining hall and spending time getting to know the other students in the program! 


HIS 177 – 20th Century US
This two-week, credit-bearing course offers a concise overview of the United States in the 20th century.  As an introduction to modern U.S. history, it examines questions of race, inequality, and power that are central to understanding contemporary American society. With a special focus on Trenton, the course examines how local history reflects national trends. Bonner Summer Fellows will connect the past to the present in their field sites.

Professor: Rob McGreevey

SOC101 – Introduction to Sociology
This two-week, credit-bearing sociology course explores the intersection of biography and history.  Students learn the basic foundations of sociology, including its development as a field of inquiry, early sociological theory, and methodology.  The course also analyzes social organization, addressing culture, structure, socialization, and social control. Students investigate how culture, class, race, sex, family, medicine, business, religion, education, and government affect our lives.  Special attention is paid to the impact of society on self.  Bonner Summer Fellows will explore how sociological concepts can be applied in a field placement in Trenton.

Professor: Diane Bates


Summer Service Scholars will serve organizations in Trenton and its surrounding communities. Trenton is a small city that presents a typical array of urban challenges. Students coming to the program should be prepared to work in a well supervised group within an urban context. In the past, TCNJ’s Bonner Institute has worked closely with such organizations as The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, environmental organizations, urban garden groups, tutoring programs, homes for individuals with developmental disabilities, and youth sports organizations.

During the SSS program, students will work with organizations the Bonner Institute has a long-standing relationship with that matches the learning goals of the course the students are taking.


Summer Service Scholars will take part in evening film screenings, discussions and other intellectual/recreation activities. TCNJ admissions staff will lead a session on highlighting community engaged learning during the college admissions process.

A Day in the Life of a Summer Service Scholar

Below is a sample of what will likely occur. Specific daily routines will be set based on the particular needs of our community partners.


8:00am – 9:00am Breakfast

9:00am – 12:00pm Community Service

12:00pm – 2:00pm Lunch & Break

2:00pm – 4:00pm Course

4:30pm – 6:00pm Dinner & Break

6:00pm – 7:00pm Workshop

7:00pm – 10:00pm Study Hall

10:00pm – 10:30pm Curfew


8:00am – 10:00am Breakfast

10:00am – 3:00pm Enrichment Trip

3:00pm – 5:00pm Study Hall

5:00pm – 6:00pm Dinner

6:00pm – 8:00pm Study Hall

8:00pm – 10:00pm Talent Show

10:00pm – 10:30pm Curfew

Meals and Accommodations

Summer Service Scholars will live in a college dormitory, two to a room. Housing will be supervised by program staff. Residents will dine in one of the college’s dining halls. When service or recreational activities have them off campus at meal times, fellows will be provided with food on site.


Summer Service Scholars will be transported to and from service and recreational activities in groups via college van, motorcoach, or public transportation, depending on the destination.

Fellows are responsible for their own transportation to the TCNJ campus on the first day of the program and from campus on the last day of the program.


Please check the FAQ section of this website.  If your question is not addressed, please email us at Please put Summer Service Scholars in the subject line.