What is a Pre-College Program?

What is a Pre-College Program?

A Broad and Narrow Look at Pre-College Programs

Broad View of Pre-College Programs

College Campus with Students Learning in a Summer Pre-College ProgramIn a broad sense, a pre-college program involves an experience that provides students with the opportunity to prepare to be in a college environment. Pre-College programs are designed to enrich and expand learning opportunities that extend beyond traditional schooling and are intended to help students prepare for the transition from high school to college. These programs can be designed to provide academic, social, and/or extracurricular experiences that students are likely to encounter in college. Many pre-college programs take place during the summer because it allows students to engage in experiences that build upon or enhance their experiences in school.

A More Narrow View of  Pre-College Programs

University Building at a Pre-College Summer ProgramIn a more narrow sense, pre-college programs take place on college campuses and provide high school students with a preview of college life and the academic expectations in higher education. As a result, many pre-college programs are sponsored by colleges and are intended to help high school students enhance their readiness to enter college. These programs often enable students to learn more about a topic at an in-depth level, interact with faculty members and/or current college students, stay on a college campus, utilize college resources, and get a sense of life in a college environment.

Organizations: Pre-College Programs on College Campuses

College Campus for a Summer Pre-College Program for High School StudentsThere are organizations and companies that sponsor pre-college programs and many of these programs are held on college campuses. For example, an organization may sponsor a technology-based pre-college summer program on a campus that enables students to learn about areas such as coding, programming, app development, and more while also being in a college environment. Typically, organizations develop pre-college programs that are designed to provide students with a chance to learn about high-interest topics and gain experience being on a college campus. It is often helpful for a student and/or parent to speak directly with a representative from an organization, that is sponsoring a pre-college summer program, to find out detailed information about the structure and logistics of a program. It can also be useful to speak with past participants in the program to learn about their experiences.

The Importance of Researching Pre-College Programs

Whether pre-college programs are defined broadly or more narrowly, it is important for students to carefully examine programs to determine if they can address their interests and goals. It is often helpful for students to examine several programs, read about the structure of each program, compare the programs together, and contact a program representative to ask questions. When students carefully research pre-college programs, it is more likely that they will have a beneficial experience that can help them prepare for a college environment.


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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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