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High School Summer Programs at Colleges and Universities

High School Summer Program on Environment - Image by Barbara Shema
High School Summer Program on Environment - Image by Barbara Shema
Colleges and universities offer high school summer programs in arts, sciences, and leadership providing a unique educational summer experience.
Many parents look for summer programs for high school students to occupy their children's time during the extended summer vacation. While some teens are happy going to tennis camp, others want to expand their knowledge or skills in a more academic setting. This article gives an overview of summer programs for high school students at two well-regarded college campuses in New England in the northeastern part of the United States.

Summer Academic & Leadership Programs at Universities

Colleges and universities offer a variety of summer programs for high school students to live on campus for a week to several weeks with structured class time and planned activities. Many of the summer programs attract high school students from across the U.S. as well as internationally.
High school summer programs at colleges and universities are offered for a more intense immersion experience in art, music, drama, science and leadership. The experience can provide the high school student with an inside glimpse of the college or university with more than just the traditional brief tour provided through the admissions office. 

Brown University in Providence Rhode Island offers a variety of courses in different formats from one week to seven weeks in length.
  • Summer Pre-College Courses offer non-credit courses for students in grades 9-12, which allows the student to “experience college life” while learning “without the pressure of grades.”
  • Summer Session Credit Courses are also available for rising or graduating high school seniors who will be in classes with Brown undergrads.
  • The Brown Leadership Institute focuses on developing leadership skills while focusing on issues about the environment, human rights, security, conflict and diversity.
  • Brown Environmental Leadership Lab focuses on the natural environment with students living and learning outdoors at the “360 acre Haffenreffer Estate on Narragansett Bay.”
  • TheatreBridge is a six-week theatre immersion program for young actors who are mentored by theatre professionals. This summer program has a selective process for enrollment.
College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor Maine offers two summer programs for high school students who are rising juniors and seniors at its campus along the Atlantic Ocean coast.
  • Islands Through Time provides small group instruction and hands-on activities for students to learn what it’s like to do marine field research while also being encouraged to express their experience “through music, writing, and photography” and work as “part of a team to develop a multi-media presentation…”
  • Rivers Through Time students explore Acadia National Park and take a canoe/camping adventure on the Allagash Wilderness Waterway developing leadership and community concepts with additional focus on writing and photography.

Pre-College Summer Programs for High School Students

While most young people prefer to spend the summer vacation playing tennis, swimming or just hanging out, many high school students are interested in enrolling in a pre-college summer program to expand their knowledge in an academically challenging way. 
College of the Atlantic also offers unique one-week Family Nature Camps throughout the summer with structured field trips and educational activities for the entire family, and graduate level professional development field-study programs for K-12 teachers.

Brown University Pre-College Programs
College of the Atlantic Summer Programs