General Information

Do I need to take the course for dual enrollment credit?

Students did not have to take the course for college credit.  Taking the course for credit or non-credit does not affect the student’s consideration for acceptance into the summer academy.


When do I need to withdraw from the course so that I do not receive a “Withdraw/Fail” (WF) or a “Fail” (F) from Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC)?

The VESSS/VPCC drop date is January 12, 2024. You must give Kari Espada ( notice in writing before January 12, 2024. After the Course Drop deadline, you will receive an “F” on your VPCC transcript.  If you decide to drop the course anytime after this date, The VPCC will reflect the grade at your drop request on your  VPCC transcript.

If your assignments are not current by the drop date, you will be removed from the credit-earning part of the course, but you can continue in the course for no credit and still be considered for selection for the Summer Academy.  All requests to be dropped from VPCC credit must be in writing.  


Why are there two different enrollment processes for the VESSS course?

While it is not required to enroll for College Credit in VESSS, we encourage students to choose to receive the four transferable college credits from Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) as part of their online course participation. A student can’t be registered for the GOL 105 at VPCC without being enrolled in the VESSS online program.

VESSS has a partnership with VPCC to offer the college course free of charge to accepted students. The college is a separate entity from the VESSS program, so all transcript requests must be made directly to VPCC. See the VPCC Transcript Request page for details.


If this is a dual enrollment course, why do I not automatically get high school credit from my school?

Dual enrollment means you are enrolled in high school and a college course at the same time. VESSS and VPCC do not have a formal agreement in place with every school division in the state to provide high school credit. Therefore, you will need to talk with your guidance counselor to determine if the VESSS (GOL 105) online course meets any of your school division’s requirements for a science or elective course. You are provided a course description and syllabus to help you in this endeavor on the course website. It is up to you to talk to your counselor, and many schools need this process to start no later than December for you to receive high school credit.


What is the enrollment process for the VESSS course if I do want to receive college credit?

1. You must first apply to the VESSS program using the application link found on this website.


2. Should you be accepted to the program, you will receive an official invitation via email and a follow-up letter in the U.S. mail. Your application will be reviewed within one week of the completed application being received, and you will receive a notification by email.  The invitation will give you instructions on how to complete the mandatory pre-course requirements, which involve logging in to the course website, creating a profile, completing the pre-assessment survey, and signing and returning the necessary forms and paperwork.


3. You will be given instructions on enrolling in Virginia Peninsula Community College (VPCC) and registering for the free 4-credit GOL 105 course.

To earn the 4-transferable credits:

      • You need to have a 3.0 GPA and successful completion of Algebra I or higher (no transcripts are required, but the school counselor must verify on the VESSS application)
      • Students must apply to VPCC (free) even if they are dual-enrolled in another community college.
      • Complete the online course registration for GOL 105.


4.  You do not have to take VESSS for dual enrollment.  Many students take the course for no credit.  The decision to take the course for credit or noncredit does not affect your consideration for the summer academy.


5. Once you have completed the pre-course requirements, the course will open on November 27, 2023.


What software should I use to submit my assignments?

Students chosen for the program will be provided a log-in to the VESSS Online Course “Moodle” site. Students will have access to the lesson material through this system and can submit assignments in the file formats requested in each specific assignment.

The following formats are required for various assignments throughout the Online Course: Microsoft Word document (*.doc or *.docx), Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (*.xls or *.xlsx), JPEG Image (*.jpg or *.jpeg). Submissions in Adobe PDF file format are required in place of Documents or Images, but not for spreadsheets.


When are my online assignments due?

Assignments should be turned in (in sequential order) as you complete them. One module of assignments will be due every two weeks. The first module is due Sunday, December 17, 2023, at 11:55 PM. The module due dates are under Important Dates.

Students who do not successfully complete all assignments will not be invited to participate in the Summer Academy. Student assignments and a final project will be graded by teachers who will send you their comments via the Moodle online course system, which will forward to your email address.


Summer Academy


Is there a cost associated with the online course or the Summer Academy?

No. We are receiving funding that provides the entire VESSS experience to you free of cost! We pay for your college credits. VESSS provides your housing, food, and transportation during the Academy.


Where will I stay during the summer program?

You will be housed in two to a room (same-sex) at a local college dormitory. All meals will be provided, and you will be chaperoned at all times.


What if I have a medical condition that requires me to take medicine during the day?

(Summer Academy only) Please bring your medication with you during the day, and please let us know about your requirement on your Medical Release Form that will be sent to you if you are accepted into the Summer Academy. If you have medicine that needs refrigeration and you must take it during the day, we can make arrangements as long as we know ahead of time.


Can my parents visit during the week?

No. Parents are invited to attend the closing ceremony at the end of the week on Friday afternoon. Students will arrive on Saturday and leave on the following Friday. Parents who drive students and need a place to stay Saturday night, or plan to attend the closing ceremony and stay over the following Friday night, will need to make their own arrangements.


How are students selected for the summer program?

Students are selected for the Summer Academy program based on completing modules, quality of work, and timeliness. Each of the seven modules and the final project will be graded using the rubrics at the end of each module. This is a very competitive, proprietary process performed by a committee of VESSS staff.