Summer Educational Programs and Camps
Student Education Programs (SEP) is a directory of summer pre-college programs and camps for high school students and middle school students.
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This summer educational programs directory is for informational purposes only. Summer educational programs and camps can provide beneficial opportunities for high school and middle school students. Depending on the program, students may have the chance to explore topics of interests, examine career options, engage in hands-on learning activities, collaborate with peers, work with experienced staff members, gain exposure to life on a college campus, develop new skills, and/or participate in other productive endeavors.
There are different types of summer programs and camps with varying areas of emphasis. For example, on this directory there are programs that focus on areas such as art, business, computers, drama, math, music, science, college test preparation, and writing. As a result, students are encouraged to carefully research programs in order to determine which ones would appropriately align with their goals and interests. It also recommended that students examine the location, admission requirements, supervision, costs and other factors of importance for any summer program of interest.
To begin viewing the summer educational programs and camps that are included in this directory, please select a page from the navigation bar on the left side of the page or use the box below.
To view frequently asked questions about summer programs and camps, please visit the FAQs on this page. Please note that the frequently asked questions only provide general information and that it is important for students to carefully examine each summer program of interest. It is also highly recommended that students, parents, educators, and others directly contact an official representative of a summer program or camp of interest to find out detailed and up-to-date information.
For additional information about this directory, please refer to the disclaimer page.
10 Items to Consider for Summer Programs and Camps
- The area (or areas) of emphasis of the summer program
- Does the program have a specific focus (examples: engineering, business, computers) or does the program emphasize a broad range of topics?
- The supervision and safety measures provided by the summer program.
- What provisions are made to ensure that there is effective supervision and safety for participants?
- Who is responsible for providing the supervision for the participants?
- What is the student-to-staff ratio?
- The application process and the due dates.
- What application materials are required to participate in the program?
- Is the program competitive with regards to admission?
- What are the due dates for the application materials?
- The length of the program.
- How long is the summer program?
- Does the length of the program impact other plans or activities that a student would like to have in the summer?
- When during the summer is the program offered?
- The location of the program.
- How far from home is the program’s location?
- What are the accommodations for participants?
- Are commuter options available?
- The amount of time that the program has been operating.
- When was the program established?
- How many consecutive years has the program been conducted?
- Is the sponsoring organization accredited?
- The daily structure of the program.
- What is a typical day for a participating student?
- Does the program emphasize structure, choice, or a combination?
- Do the activities correspond with the interests and objectives of a student?
- The cancellation policy.
- What is the policy if a circumstance occurs in which a participant cannot attend the program after the registration process?
- What is the policy if a participant would need to leave prior to the end of the program?
- The cost of the program.
- What is the cost to participate in the program?
- Are there scholarships or financial aid available for students?
- When are fees due?
- Obtaining information from staff members and past participants.
- What staff members are available to answer questions and talk about the program?
- Are there previous participants or family members of previous participants to speak with about the program
Frequently Asked Questions about Summer Programs
The frequently asked questions about summer programs that are included on this page are intended to provide general information about summer educational programs. It is always recommended that students and parents directly contact a representative of an organization or college that sponsors a summer program to find out specific and up-to-date information, including information about safety & supervision procedures.
1. What are Some Potential Benefits of Summer Educational Programs?
- Studying topics of interest at an in-depth level.
- Exploring potential college majors, fields of study, and careers.
- Working with experts in a field (i.e. professors, professionals…).
- Continuing the learning momentum from the academic school year (preventing the "summer learning slide").
- Learning about topics that extend beyond the school curriculum.
- Engaging in academic experiences at the college level.
- Increasing academic motivation and goals.
- Participating in hands-on and practical academic activities.
- Learning in a safe and structured atmosphere.
- Becoming familiar with a new learning environment.
- Engaging in high level discourse with other motivated students.
- Meeting students from different schools, regions, states, and countries.
- Developing friendships with peers who share similar interests.
- Previewing the college experience (i.e. dorms, cafeteria, campus activities).
- Discussing areas of interest in an in-depth manner with other participants.
- Learning in a collaborative and cooperative environment.
- Enhancing interpersonal skills through activities such as simulations, group projects, cooperative learning.
- Enhancing self-confidence through accomplishing goals.
- Gaining new perspectives and ideas about society.
- Enhancing intrapersonal skills.
- Discovering personal characteristics and qualities.
- Developing an increased sense of self.
2. What are Some Factors to Consider about Summer Programs?
- Logistical Considerations
- The registration deadlines.
- The application and selection process.
- The start and end dates of a program.
- The number of programs to apply to if the selection process is competitive.
- The location of the program.
- The costs to participate and whether financial assistance is available.
- The ratio of adults to students.
- The safety and supervision of students.
- The structure and organization of a program.
- The time commitment to participate in the program.
- Learning Considerations
- The interest level of the student.
- The opportunities for hands-on and practical learning.
- The potential for earning credit through the program (Note: some credits may not be transferable).
- The reputation of a program.
- The specialization of the material covered in the program (i.e. narrowly focused on one topic or open to a broad range of topics).
- Other Considerations
- Comments / perspectives from previous participants.
- The length of time that the program has been in existence.
- Participant’s health care needs and accommodations
- Accessibility to health services.
- Facilities and housing accommodations.
- The accessibility of the program coordinator or staff members.
- Safety and supervision provided by the program
3. What is a resource that can be used to find out about different summer program opportunities?
This directory includes a variety of summer program opportunities. The opportunities are organized into categories by subject and by state. The subjects and states can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of each page.
4. Can a student attend a residential summer program as a commuter student?
It depends on the program with regards to whether a student can attend a residential program as a commuter student. Some programs have both commuter and residential options. Other programs may allow a commuter student to participate in a residential program if he/she lives nearby. It is recommended that a student directly contact a program representative to inquire about whether he/she can attend the program as a commuter. There is typically a contact email and phone number for a summer program on the official website. This can be used to contact a program representative to ask about a student attending the program as a commuter.
5. Why is it recommended that students and parents contact a representative of a summer program directly to inquire about specific, detailed, and up-to-date information about the program?
It is highly recommended that students and parents directly contact an official representative of any summer program or camp of interest to find out specific, detailed and up-to-date information. An official representative of a summer program or camp can be asked about a variety of topics relating to the program or camp, including the safety and supervision measures that are utilized. It is also important to speak with an official representative to obtain the most up-to-date information because summer programs and camps are subject to change. In addition, contacting an official representative to ask questions and find out information can help a student determine if the program would be a good fit.