Highlander Early Start Academy Overview

The Highlander Early Start Academy (HESA) is a 7-week intensive program for incoming first-year students.

Student that participates in the Highlander Early Start Academy will have the opportunity to choose one primary course – Math OR English, they will be enrolled in a secondary course - English 008 (Oral communication), as well as partake in the Early Start Seminar. Students will also participate in mandatory weekly activities.

Primary Course Secondary Course College Success Course Units Earned
Math 5 English 008 HESA 001 10 units
Math 6A English 008 HESA 001 9 units
English 4 English 008 HESA 001 10 units

HESA will challenge you, give you more confidence in both your personal and academic development, provide you with knowledge about the campus and resources in order to allow you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.


Important Dates

Welcome Event 

HESA Virtual Welcome Event is for students and parents only

Saturday, July 23rd 

The Journey Begins

First day of class 

Monday, July 25th

Financial Commitment 

HESA Fees Due

Tuesday, August 2nd

HESA Finals

Friday, September 9th – English Finals 

Saturday, September 10th – Math Finals

Program Benefits


Students that participate in the Highlander Early Start Academy will receive 4 (Math 6A) or 5 units (English 4, Math 5) as well as earn 4 additional units towards graduation (English 008).

Additional Benefits

Develop effective strategies for reviewing and mastering course material

Hone skills that will be useful in this program and in your growth as a student

Special academic & personal success support designed especially for Early Start students

Gain an edge over other incoming first-year students with early access to campus life and resources

Highlander Early Start Academy Scholarship


Students that participate in the Highlander Early Start Academy have the opportunity to receive a scholarship during the summer and the academic year.

Summer Scholarship

Students are eligible for a Summer scholarship of $250 by

  • Earning a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Passing HESA 001
  • Complete/Turn in Education Plan
  • Attending 4 academic support sessions (tutoring, SI, meet with your peer mentor, etc.) at the Academic Resource Center (ARC)

Academic year Scholarship – Fall, Winter, and Spring

During the Fall, Winter, and Spring, HESA students can earn a scholarship ($250 each quarter, $750 total) by

  • Continuing to maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher
  • Complete 12 earned units
  • Attend 5 academic support sessions inside (tutoring, Non-mandatory SI, writing support, ACE peer mentor program, etc) or outside of the ARC. This can be 5 sessions of the same service, 5 separate services, or a combination of both.

* Services outside of the ARC that qualify towards the scholarship requirement include, but are not limited to: meeting with someone at the Career Center, your Academic Advisor, or Health Professions Advising Center (HPAC), etc - please talk to a HESA staff member if you have another idea.


Contact Us



Academic Resource Center
156 Skye Hall
University of California, Riverside



Monday – Thursday
8:00AM – 7:00PM
8:00AM – 5:00PM