What kinds of students come to the SWI?

Summer Writing Institute participants are academically motivated students who have a particular interest in writing. They have mastered basic writing skills and want to learn the nuances of sophisticated rhetoric, narrative, or poesy. They often excel in their high school courses that require writing. They come from both public and private institutions and represent a range of educational experiences.

Does the SWI admit exceptional students with excellent academic records who have not completed the 10th grade?

SWI policy requires that students must complete the 10th grade before participating in the program. We do not make exceptions to this policy.

How many students are in the program and where do they come from?

About 80-90 students come to the SWI each year. Approximately 60% are from the South and Midsouth regions (TN, AL, MS, KY, GA, NC, AR, FL), 15% from the metro-Memphis area, and 25% from states outside the region (for example, NY, PA, AZ, MO, NM, IL, OH, TX, CA, AK, Malaysia, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico).


What are the living arrangements like?

Girls and boys are housed in two different buildings and are prohibited from entering the halls and rooms of the opposite gender. Each student will have 1-2 roommates and each room is equipped with a bed, dresser, and desk/lamp/chair for each person. Each hall has bathroom facilities with cubbies for keeping toiletries. All buildings on campus, including dorms, have central air conditioning and a coed social room with a TV, DVD player, and microwave. Students eat all meals in the main Rhodes Dining Hall, a short walk from the dorms.

Can I live at home and attend the Institute during the day?

No. The Summer Writing Institute is a residential program and all students are required to live on campus.

In what ways are the students supervised?

Rhodes alumni and senior undergraduates serve as Resident Assistants for the Institute. RAs live in the dorms with the students and provide both assistance and supervision. RAs also eat meals with the students and accompany them on field trips and at social events. Faculty teaching at the Institute serve in a supervisory position during the school day, and the Director of the program is on call throughout the 12 days. In addition, Rhodes Campus Safety provides around-the-clock security for the community.

Can students leave campus with a parent or other friend/family member for a local outing?

Once students check into the program, they must remain until check out. This policy maintains the communal strength of the program and the rigorous academic schedule.

Can friends and family visit a student during the program?

No. Because the program is highly scheduled and lasts just 12 days, students will not have extra time for visitors. The Institute also promotes a tight community among its participants and visitors are not part of the program culture.

Are students allowed to have cell phones and mp3 players?

Yes. Students may bring such devices with them but will be asked to refrain from using them in class or after lights out.

Is there a dress code?

No. Students may wear typical, school-appropriate casual clothing. There is no “formal” event requiring suits or dresses.


How do the “2 college credits” work?

Students who successfully complete the program will be granted 2 credits by Rhodes College which are transferable according to the policies of the home institution. To transfer these credits to other institutions, students must contact the Rhodes Registrar and request that their transcript be forwarded.

Can students spend one week in the program if another commitment coincides with the SWI?

No. Because coursework constitutes 2 college credits, students must attend all 12 days of the program. Students who cannot meet that schedule are encouraged to participate another year.

Do students need to bring a computer?

Students will be required to type their work for class and may use the Rhodes computers and printers to do so. While students need not have their own computer, many bring a laptop or desktop for ease of use.


Do the students get to leave campus at all during the 12 days?

Yes. Students may elect to participate in several field trips to sites of local interest such as the Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Zoo, STAX, and Sun Studios. These trips are optional. Transportation is provided but students must pay their own admission fee, which is usually $10-15. Resident Assistants accompany students on all field trips.

What kinds of activities outside the classroom do students participate in?

Social activities change from year to year; below are some examples of past events:

• Optional field trips
• DJ’ed dance party
• Open mike / talent night (students may bring instruments)
• Movie nights
• Brain Candy lectures
• Outdoor games / party