If you’re seeking an intellectually stimulating experience that can prepare you for college, you may wish to consider a rigorous summer enrichment program at an Ivy League school. Participating in a summer program is an excellent way to learn about college and student life. Elite schools offer many unique courses and an opportunity to learn from some of the best teaching faculty in the world. You’ll be challenged and supported to do your best work. Along with intensive instruction, you can participate in social outings where you’ll interact with diverse students and make new friends. You’ll also be given expert advice about the college admission process at public and private schools.
Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University offers a seven-week Secondary School Program for highly motivated, academically talented high school students. Invited participants can select from over 200 courses taught by Harvard faculty and receive college credit. The program is well suited to mature students looking for a challenge.
Tips are offered for pursuing admission to the student’s college of choice. Social activities include, for example, trivia contests, dances, and intramural sports. Harvard also offers a summer English experience program for high school students around the world looking to improve their English proficiency.
Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, offers an array of discipline-specific summer programs for high school students through Summer College. For example, three- and six-week courses are offered in such diverse subjects as architecture, business, hotel management, debate, engineering, government, science, social change, and veterinary medicine. Students receive college credit.
Additionally, Cornell offers a six-week college success course and an English language immersion program that attracts international students from around the world. Social activities include trivia contests, dances, intramural sports, and residence hall events.
Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, offers Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth, a special program for talented high school students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Selected participants spend up to three weeks in a Dartmouth residence hall each summer for four years, starting at the end of their freshman year.
Classes in robotics, language arts, environmental science and speech help students gain skills in writing, research, critical thinking and public speaking. Students also explore careers, study for college entrance examinations, and learn how to write impressive college admission essays. For fun, students enjoy canoe trips, hiking, rock climbing, and socializing with peers.
Stanford University, located in Stanford, California, annually hosts Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes, where high schools students can have fun while earning college credit. Students live in an academically themed learning community while taking related classes. Students enroll in a three- or four-week program that concentrates on a particular field of study, such as business, computer science, humanities, engineering or science.
Stanford students helping with the program live with the high school participants and serve as teaching assistants in the classroom. Field trips and recreational activities are also included.
- Princeton University Education Technologies Center: Ivy League
- Harvard University: Harvard Summer School: Secondary School Program
- Cornell University School of Continuing Education & Summer Sessions: Summer College
- Dartmouth College: Tucker Foundation: Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth
- Stanford University: Pre-Collegiate Summer Institutes
Dr. Mary Dowd is a dean of students whose job includes student conduct, leading the behavioral consultation team, crisis response, retention and the working with the veterans resource center. She enjoys helping parents and students solve problems through advising, teaching and writing online articles that appear on many sites. Dr. Dowd also contributes to scholarly books and journal articles.