Jaguar LEAP: Live, Experience, and Prepare

Summer Immersion Program 2024
Monday, July 8 – Friday, August 16

Kick off your first year at Governors State University
with the Jaguar LEAP Summer Immersion Program.

Applications for the 2024 Jaguar LEAP Program are now open!

Apply now

If you are an admitted freshman student for Fall 2024, please visit our admitted student page for all of your next steps to enrolling: For additional information, please contact the Office of Admissions at

Jaguar LEAP Summer Activity Schedule

There are many activities to get involved in while at Jaguar LEAP! The example schedule below is a week-by-week breakdown of activities, lunches and fun based off our 2023 program! The 2024 schedule will become available closer to the start of the program.

View schedule

Students at table during Jaguar Leap Kickoff Event

What is Jaguar LEAP?

Jaguar LEAP is a Summer Immersion Program for new students entering their first year at GSU.
In this program, you’ll earn seven college credits as you live on-campus in Prairie Place and participate in exciting cultural and academic programming. 

No additional cost to participate. Your $175 deposit counts toward your fall tuition & fees if you complete the program.


Your college journey starts with taking the Jaguar LEAP. Get a jumpstart on your college experience, live on-campus, and get to know fellow Jaguars.

  • Meet other new students and make friends before the fall semester begins.
  • Get to know faculty, staff, and peer leaders who will help you succeed at Governors State.
  • Learn about campus resources and how to get around before your first day of classes.


During Jaguar LEAP, you’ll participate in exciting events hosted by the Center for Student Engagement and Intercultural Programs, both near campus and in downtown Chicago.

You’ll also get a chance to explore and meet the amenities and people that make up GSU, such as:

  • Center for Performing Arts
  • Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park
  • Athletics and Recreation Center
  • Biological Field Station
  • Center for Community Media
  • Office of International Services
  • Robotics Team
  • Forensics Team


During Jaguar LEAP, you’ll earn seven college credits, giving you a jumpstart on your first year.

  • Mastering College: Navigating Higher Education (1 credit)
  • First Year Seminar: Interdisciplinary Humanities (3 credits)
  • Social and Behavioral Science: General Education Course (3 credits)

You’ll also get on the right track for college success as you prepare with Jaguar LEAP’s guidance.

  • Career/Major Exploration: Freshmen at GSU take courses in one of seven focus areas, designed to help you choose the right major but without losing any college credits along the way if you change your mind.
  • Guided Advisement: Early academic advising helps you know what courses to take ahead of time and plan out your fall semester.
  • Financial Literacy Workshop: Financial aid, loans, and scholarships – there are a lot of options for covering your college expenses. Learning your options in the beginning will keep you on track for graduating with less debt.
  • Math Support: Brush up on your math skills and prepare for your fall semester math placement to set yourself on the right path for success in your chosen field of study.
  • Fall On-Campus Employment and Micro-Internships: Working on campus is a great way to network, build your resume, and learn real-world skills! Get first dibs on campus employment opportunities or take micro-internships to help you build your skills at Jaguar LEAP.

Student leader giving presentation to Jaguar Leap students

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I find out more about Jaguar LEAP?

To learn more about Jaguar LEAP, attend one of our information sessions!

Register Now

Please feel free to contact Craig Berry at for more information and details.

Should I participate in the Jaguar LEAP

Yes! Whether you are looking to get a jump-start on your college credits, meet your new classmates, or spend a fun-filled summer on campus, Jaguar LEAP is right for you.

What is the cost of Jaguar LEAP?

The only cost to you is your deposit to GSU: a total of $175 that includes the $50 enrollment deposit, the $25 housing application fee and the $100 deposit/prepayment for housing.

Plus, your deposit counts toward your fall tuition & fees if you complete the program.

How do I apply for Jaguar LEAP?

First, apply for free to GSU as an entering freshman student: Once you have been admitted, the application for Jaguar LEAP will be available in your application portal.

What happens after I sign up?

Our staff will review your application and make sure you are eligible. If any items of the application are missing, they will contact you with instructions. Once your application is complete, you will receive a welcome to Jaguar LEAP message with next steps including completing the online orientation and meeting with your advisor.

Can I participate in Jaguar LEAP if I am in TRiO?

Yes. Students involved in TRiO are welcome and encouraged to participate in the LEAP program.

I have dual credit from high school. Can I still participate in Jaguar LEAP?

Yes. Please talk to your advisor about how your dual credit counts towards your degree requirements.

If I live on-campus for the Jaguar LEAP program, can I stay on weekends?

Yes, and it is encouraged! Staying on-campus is a great way to get to know people, and we will be offering programming and events on the weekends as well.

What kind of room will I be staying in?

You will be assigned to a room based on the type of room you request for the fall semester. You can see the different styles available online at:

What food options are available?

While staying in the residence hall, you’ll be able to utilize the on-campus GSU cafe, the C-Store in Prairie Place, or you have access to a kitchen to make your own food. Additionally, as part of the summer bridge program, some meals will be provided by different campus organizations.

Is it safe to be on campus?

Yes. Governors State ranks as one of the safest public university campuses in Illinois. Learn more about how we keep the campus safe-

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Questions about housing - Residence Life

Questions about campus life - New Student Programs

Questions about access services for students with disabilities - ASSD

Questions about financial aid – Financial Aid

What if my plans change?

Please contact Lester Moody at 708-235-7543 or to discuss your options.

Student and Jaguar Leap staff member smiling