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Skidmore College
Opportunity Program (OP)

Summer Academic Institute

  • All students admitted and enrolled into the Opportunity Program must attend and successfully complete the five-week Summer Academic Institute.
  • The five-week summer program introduces students to college-level work and provides students with a strong academic foundation that facilitates a successful transition to college life.
  • The program's focus is to help students create a sense of ownership, to ease transitions and to support the Skidmore curriculum with a well-rounded approach that makes success possible.
  • The Summer Program includes unique opportunities for students to fulfill College graduation requirements in quantitative reasoning. The program also provides opportunities for enrichment, camaraderie and civic engagement through planned excursions that include athletics, art, adventure, community collaboration and team building.

If you have any questions, please email


Supported by the Varian Ayers ’65 Summer Academic Institute Endowment Fund

The Varian Ayers ’65 Summer Academic Institute Endowment Fund was named for a woman who was passionate about access to education.  Varian Ayers ’65 was a devoted alumna of Skidmore College and accomplished businesswoman who also wrote and published a newsletter and website about food and cooking.

Varian passed away in 2011, one year after a diagnosis of a brain tumor. Her husband Gary and his second wife, Jeanie Knigin Knisely, continue to be active supporters of Varian’s alma mater and chose to support the institute to keep alive Varian’s dream of access to a liberal arts education for all.