Pre-College Summer Programs with a Wide Range of Academic Options

Pre-College Summer Programs with a Wide Range of Academic Options

Pre-College Summer Academic Opportunities for High School Students

Introduction – Summer Pre-College Programs with a Wide Selection of Educational Options

Pre-College summer programs for high school studentsThere are variety of pre-college programs in the summer that have been designed to support high school students and offer academic enrichment opportunities. These pre-college summer programs provide students with the opportunity to learn about a subject area of interest, preview college academic expectations, meet peers from different locations, and explore potential majors and career options. There are some pre-college summer programs with a wide range of academic options for students. These programs enable students to select courses or tracks from a wide array of disciplines, which can allow participants to explore a specific topic of interest.


Different Types of Pre-College Summer Academic Programs 

Many colleges and educational organizations offer pre-college programs in the summer. These can be beneficial with regard to expanding academic learning outside of the traditional school year and providing enrichment opportunities for students with a hunger to gain more knowledge. The topics of these programs include writingbusinessSTEMart, and much more. There are also a number of interesting pre-college academic programs in the summer that have relatively low-cost opportunities and provide valuable experiences.


Pre-College Summer Opportunities with Wide-Ranging Academic Options

Summer pre-college academic programs for high school students on a university campusA handful of colleges offer extensive pre-college academic options during the summer for high school students, and these have a comprehensive array of topics. These programs are typically held on a campus, enable participants to utilize the resources at the college, allow students to gain insight into potential majors and career options in a particular field, and give high schoolers a chance to preview life in a higher education environment.


Summer Opportunities in this Article

This article is designed to provide information about some of the more extensive pre-college programs with a variety of academic options available. This list of pre-college programs included in this article is not meant to be exhaustive. Instead, the article is meant to share examples of pre-college programs that provide comprehensive experiences while also enabling students to choose from a vast range of topics to explore.

Pre-College Summer Programs with a Range of Academic Options

The University of Connecticut Pre-College Summer Program – Storrs, Connecticut

UConn offers a wide selection of academic courses for high school students who are interested in a pre-college experience during the summer. The program is held on the university’s campus in Storrs, Connecticut, and faculty members typically teach in the pre-college courses.

High school students in a pre-college summer programs working in a classroomHigh school students have the opportunity to choose from course options that run across different departments at the university. These include fine arts, STEM, history and social sciences, and health-related courses. Within these larger areas, students can select specific academic topics to focus on, such as marine biology, sports medicine, short video production, elections, neuroanatomy, game design, animation art studio, and many more.

The extensive number of pre-college academic courses are divided into multiple four-week sessions. Regardless of the particular academic course being pursued through the program, workshops with a focus on high-interest topics are available to all pre-college students. High school students can stay on the campus during their pre-college experience. Additionally, the program includes extracurricular activities that transcend the course tracks. There is an application for the program.

Participants: The pre-college program is intended to be for high school students who are at least fifteen years of age and who will be going into their sophomore, junior, or senior year.

Learn more: UConn Summer Pre-College Program


Syracuse University Summer College Program 
– Syracuse, New York

Syracuse provides high school students with the opportunity to come to the campus, gain experience in a university setting, and to select from a plethora of pre-college academic courses. The program takes place on the university’s campus in New York, and it has been going on in some form for over fifty years. 

Academic pre-college summer program for high school studentsThe pre-college summer program offers too many areas to list in this article, let alone the specialized course options. Some of the general areas that high school students can select include computers and technology; television and media; film and photography; business and econ; art, architecture, and design; as well as many more. Within the more broad subject areas, there is a large range of course topics. Examples of the specific topics that students can choose are writing for college, eSports, forensic science, sociology, medical technology, audio production, leadership, sports analytics, activism and art, and many more.

Most of the academic course options run for two weeks; however, some allow for an even more in-depth of a topic by running for four or six weeks. The courses are offered in different sessions, which run across the summer. High school students can stay on the campus and have meals in dining halls during the program. Interestingly, summer pre-college students can access a variety of resources on the campus during the program, such as the libraries, computer labs, and tutoring centers. There is an application for the program, and there some limited need-based financial aid options.

Participants: High school students who are fifteen or older when the program begins.

Learn more: SU Summer College


University of Southern California Pre-College Summer Program 
– Los Angeles, California

USC has a pre-college summer academic experience that has extensive academic course options. The program has been designed for high school students, and it takes place on the campus. Many of the courses take advantage of the vast resources in the Los Angeles area and incorporate trips to relevant sites during the program.

A teacher helping a high school students during a pre-college summer experience on a university campusHigh school students who are interested in USC’s program have a large selection of courses that are included under the umbrella of larger areas. The larger academic areas include health, law, writing, visual art, theatre, journalism, and more. Within the broader academic disciplines, there is a wide range of high-interest course topics. Topics include digital journalism, comedy theatre performance, neuroscience, ethics, global health, and more.

The vast majority of the academic courses extend over four weeks. Students have the option of staying on the campus while they participate in the program. Through the program, students can access the university’s dining halls, libraries, and computer centers. They can also participate in recreational activities. There is an application for the program.

Participants: High school students who will be entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year after the summer.

Learn more: USC Pre-College Academic Summer Program


The University of Chicago Summer Pre-College Academic Programs
 – Chicago Illinois

Chicago not only offers a wide selection of academic options, but they also have multiple pre-college programs. The two programs that are included in this article are Immersion and Pathways. Both of these programs enable students to select from a range of interesting academic options and learn more about a subject area of interest.

Pre-college program in the summer for high school studentsThe Immersion Program provides high school students with a chance to explore an area of interest by delving into a relatively specific topic. There is an array of topics spanning across many different disciplines. High school students can choose course topics that allow for an examination of topics such as weather and climate, the global economy, cutting-edge work in biotechnology, and much more.

The Pathways Program also has a wide range of academic options, and the courses provide students with a chance to learn about different perspectives within a field. The courses have the name ‘pathways’ in the title, and they enable students to study areas like human rights, global politics, data science and analytics, and the law. Students examine the fields in a holistic manner by learning about different viewpoints, ideas, and thoughts.

Both of the pre-college programs take place on the university’s campus, and they are three weeks in length. The program and the academic options provide high school students with the chance to preview undergraduate-level academic expectations. Participants can stay on the campus during the program, and they have access to resources that are available during the summer session. There are also extracurricular and co-curricular activities for participants. There is an application for the program, and some scholarship and financial aid opportunities exist.

Participants: High school students who will be entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade after the summer.

Learn more: Chicago’s Summer Pre-College Academic Programs


Boston University Pre-College Summer Challenge Seminars
 – Boston, Massachusetts

BU offers multiple pre-college programs for high school students during the summer. The summer academic challenge seminars will be the focus for this article. The challenge seminars enable high school students to explore two different topics of interest because they are divided into the morning and afternoon sessions. The seminars take place on the university’s campus and enable students to get a preview of learning in a college setting.

Pre-college summer science institute for high school studentsThe topics of the pre-college seminars extend across a variety of subject areas, departments and disciplines. The topics are designed to be interactive and high-interest for students. The seminars enable students to examine areas such as writing, art, physiology, politics, literature, computer science, business, and more. Students take part in a seminar for the morning and a second one for the afternoon. This provides the chance to investigate two separate subject areas. The seminars include learning activities such as cooperative group exercises, discussions, labs, and simulations.

The pre-college program runs for two weeks during the summer. Students can reside on the campus during the experience, and they have access to university resources. There are also extracurricular activities planned outside of the seminar times. The program is held in separate sessions during the summer. There is an application for the program.

Participants: High school students who will be going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade after the summer. Students must be at least fourteen to participate in the program.

Learn more: BU Pre-College Academic Seminar Program


Wake Forest University Pre-College Summer Academic Immersion Program
 – Winston Salem, North Carolina

WFU has an extensive selection of pre-college educational tracks offered for high school students during the summer. There over eighteen institute options that span across academic disciplines. There are residential institutes on the main campus in Winston-Salem campus and non-residential institutes held in Charlotte.

Pre-college program students working on an academic projectThe pre-college program enables high school students to explore an area in the twenty-first century and learn about trends in a field. The subject areas include business, healthcare, science, art, and more. Within these disciplines, engaging topics include sports medicine, debate, finance, entrepreneurship, and many more.

The pre-college program gives high school students a chance to spend time on a college campus, learn from instructors with experience in the field, examine options within a topic of interest, collaborate with other participants, and learn about academic opportunities at the college-level. The dates of the institutes vary across the summer, which provides students with the chance to participate in more than one if they have multiple interests. There is an application for the program institutes, and students can apply for financial aid and scholarships.

Participants: High school students who will be going into the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade.

Learn more: WFU Summer Pre-College Program


Auburn Pre-College Summer Youth Programs
 – Auburn, Alabama

Auburn is a public university that has a wide array of summer pre-college programs and camps for high school students. The week-long programs run during the months of June and July. The programs take place on the campus and provide participants with a chance to gain insight into academics in a college setting.

The programs are offered in areas such as art, science, college prep, STEM, sports, writing, and more. The topics and structure of the academic tracks are designed to be compelling for high school students. Specific academic programs that are offered include ACT prep, engineering, nursing, food science, design, and many more. The programs draw upon the vast resources of a large public university to give students a chance to get a feel for what it is like to study a topic at a college level.

Through the pre-college programs, high school students can preview life on a college campus, learn about the educational expectations in higher education, and get a more in-depth understanding of a particular topic. Students can stay on the university’s campus during a program. There are applications for different pre-college programs and camps. Some of the programs have a limited amount of scholarships or financial aid.

Participants: There are academic options available for high school students going into their freshman through senior year. Some of the programs are geared for upper-grade level students and some for students in the initial high school grade levels.

Learn more: Auburn Summer Pre-College Programs

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Mike Uretsky

Mike has worked in the field of education as a teacher, school counselor, program coordinator, and consultant. As an educator, he has helped high school students find summer programs, pre-college programs, and colleges that align with their interests and goals. He has an interest in assisting students with the transition from high school to college. Mike is a manager for Student Education Programs, an online directory that is designed to connect high school students with valuable summer pre-college opportunities.

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Donna Andrews

Donna has worked in the field of education in a variety of positions. She has been a high school teacher, college academic skills coordinator, and university professor. She has helped students achieve success in summer STEM programs and sports programs. She has also coordinated and taught in pre-college programs for high school students.

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