Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST)
The Bridge to Liberal Arts Success at Tufts (BLAST) vision is to develop a strong cohort of scholars from multiple backgrounds who strive for academic excellence, active citizenship, and leadership. BLAST works to instill leadership values that last each scholar for his or her entire college career and beyond.
The purpose of the program is to support, develop, and retain students who may be first in their family to attend a four year college, and/or have attended under resourced high school and/or have been affiliated with a college access agency.
BLAST is a residential six-week program in the summer prior to the first year at Tufts with program commitments during each of the following academic years. This program prepares students for a rigorous college curriculum and orientation to Tufts culture and resources to provide for a successful transition. Scholars are introduced to engaging speakers in workshops and offered leadership development training that cultivates active citizenship.
Each of the students who commits to the BLAST program has met all the requirements to be admitted into Tufts University. Scholars are given the opportunity to participate in the summer program and receive two course credits, financial support, and workshops relevant to college life.
Chris Campbell, Program Director
BLAST Peer Leaders
BLAST scholars will be enrolled in the Tufts' six-week summer session prior to starting their first year. Scholars will be expected to complete two courses with a grade of C or better. Scholars will also attend a series of college workshops to expose them to Tufts resources and provide leadership opportunities. Scholars will consistently be evaluated throughout the summer program by the director, faculty members, and program staff. At the end of the summer, scholars will participate in an exit interview that includes a plan for the academic year. For the six-week Summer Program, BLAST scholars will receive the following:
- On-campus housing during the second summer school session with a full meal plan
- Tuition to cover two courses for Tufts credit
- Round-trip travel expenses for students who reside outside of New England
- A work replacement stipend of $1,000 upon completion of the six-week program
- Weekly workshops and social activities designed to introduce students to the Tufts community
- Continuous direct support provided by the BLAST program director and the student coordinator
Students within the BLAST program will be placed in the same advising group for the academic year. In this advising group, scholars will meet regularly and continue to develop academic and leadership skills to ensure success at Tufts and beyond. Students will also have the following:
- Opportunity to participate in BLAST-sponsored events
- Access to the education enrichment fund, which includes funding for computers, research, conference fees, and travel expenses related to academics
- Work replacement stipend for scholars with work-study assignments during freshman year; this stipend allows students to reduce their work-study hours and focus on academics and co-curricular development
- Access to resources that will support participation in study abroad, a research experience, and/or an internship
Frequently Asked Questions
The program is designed to give incoming liberal arts students an opportunity to take two Tufts University courses in the School of Arts and Sciences for credit. Students also participate in academic and college life workshops that are designed to help new Jumbos successfully make the transition from high school to college.
While there are no grade or GPA cutoffs or requirements, students selected to participate in BLAST are usually receiving financial aid and are first in their families to attend a four-year university. Scholars may also be the first from their high school to be admitted to Tufts.
No, it isn't. Our goal is to help students adjust to college life while providing a head start on the upcoming academic experience.
The dates for BLAST summer typically span 6 weeks starting the first week of July and ending in early August.
We now have a total of 131 scholars across all 4 years, including our program alumni.
Unfortunately, no. BLAST is a full-time program; you will have activities scheduled from morning until the evening, Monday through Friday. It's also a residential program, so you will be living on campus for six weeks.
No, as described in the answer to question 6, your time will be spent exclusively on classwork and BLAST program activities. All participants will receive a $1,000 work replacement stipend at the completion of the summer program.
All students will take two courses for credit. All students will take a writing intensive History course and a Math course.
Yes, you can go home and have visitors on the weekends, as long as these trips do not interfere with program responsibilities.
There will be several organized field trips into Boston during the six-week program. Scholars will also participate in an overnight experience at the Loj in New Hampshire one weekend.
Bring only what is needed for the six week period; we encourage scholars to keep the materials you bring to a minimum.
The program is free for all students. Tuition, room and board, unlimited dining, travel costs, and textbooks will be provided by the program. Upon completion of the program, students will be awarded a $1,000 stipend.
Yes. Transportation will be provided from the airport/train station to Tufts University and back to the airport/train station on your departure date.
No. The second summer session goes by very quickly, and missing one day of class is like missing three days of regular semester hours. Our travel agents will work with you to make sure that you arrive on time. Attendance of all classes is required.
Scholars live together in Hill Hall. The dormitory floors are coed; however, bathrooms and bedrooms are not.
We will provide students with information on storage options at the end of the program. Keep in mind that storage space is minimal so students should only bring necessities to campus.
No. All students will be required to return home at the end of the program.
Yes. Scholars will be in a pre-major advising course together in the fall and spring semesters. Scholars will continue to meet with the BLAST director and participate in sponsored programs. The program will support scholars through graduation.