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Three things to Consider in 2023 when Choosing a Summer Pre-College Program

Three things to Consider in 2023 when Choosing a Summer Pre-College Program

As a summer pre-college expert, I've seen firsthand the incredible benefits that these programs can offer high school students. They provide a chance to explore potential college majors and careers and allow students to develop important life skills, make new friends, and prepare for college. 

However, with so many options available, choosing the right summer pre-college program can be overwhelming for students and parents. That's why in this post, I'll be sharing 10 things to consider when selecting a summer pre-college program. From having fun and making new friends to gaining independence and practical skills, I'll cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision. So, let's dive in and explore the wonderful world of summer pre-college programs! 

1. Fun 

Summer pre-college programs aren't all about academics. In fact, finding a balance between academic rigor and fun activities is key to a successful summer program experience. While academic courses and workshops are important, it's equally important for students to take time to relax, unwind, and have fun. 

When selecting a summer pre-college program, make sure to look for one that offers a variety of extracurricular activities. This could include sports, arts and crafts, theater, music, outdoor recreation, and more. Some programs even offer excursions to nearby attractions, allowing students to explore the local area and culture. 

Having fun is not only important for student's mental and emotional well-being, but it also helps to build friendships and create memories that will last a lifetime. When students return to school in the fall, they'll have more than just academic accomplishments to share with their classmates; they'll also have stories about their fun and exciting experiences during their summer program. 

So, when choosing a summer pre-college program, remember to consider the importance of having fun and finding a program that offers a balance between academics and leisure activities. 

2. Independence 

One of the benefits of summer pre-college programs is that they can help high school students develop independence. During these programs, students are often given the opportunity to live and learn independently, away from the comfort of their homes and families. This can be a valuable experience that prepares them for college and adult life challenges. Parents should feel confident that their child is gaining practical skills while having fun and preparing for college. Therefore, looking for programs that allow students to live and learn independently in a safe and structured environment for teens is important.  

When choosing a summer pre-college program, consider the level of independence offered. For parents who want their children to develop independence, finding a program that balances independence and support is important. Look for programs that allow students to take responsibility for their daily routines and decision-making, such as choosing their own meals, managing their schedules, and navigating their way around campus. This can help them develop important life skills that will serve them well beyond the summer program. 

Additionally, consider the level of support available for students as they navigate their newfound independence. Look for programs that offer guidance and resources, such as academic support and mentorship from professional adult residential counselors and staff. These can be important safety nets as students explore their independence and build confidence in their abilities. 

Remember, independence doesn't just mean being on your own; it also means being able to ask for help when needed. A good summer pre-college program will strike a balance between fostering independence and providing 24/7 support in a structured environment.  

Here are some tips for finding a summer pre-college program that allows for independence: 

  • Look for programs based at the university with campus housing rather than hotel-style accommodations. University residential halls balance safety, security, freedom, and responsibility.  
  • Community building is essential to the pre-college experience. Students are more likely to interact with their peers in a campus residential hall Supra by professionals.  
  • Consider programs that offer a variety of activities and excursions. Students can plan their own schedules and explore the area around the college campus. 
  • Check if the program has a curfew or any restrictions on leaving campus. Some programs have strict rules, while others allow students to come and go as they, please. 
  • Inquire about the ages of the residential staff. Are they college students near your child's age or professional adults?  
  • Ask about the level of supervision provided by program staff. Some programs have resident advisors available 24/7, while others may only have staff on duty during certain hours. 

Encourage your child to embrace the challenges and opportunities of living and learning independently during their summer pre-college program. With your support and guidance, they can develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. 

3. College Prep 

Summer pre-college programs are designed to help high school students prepare for the transition to college, both academically and socially. Look for programs that offer optional workshops on the college application process, including how to write a personal statement, college tours, and how to choose the right college. 

When choosing a summer pre-college program, look for programs that offer a wide range of activities. These programs can help students gain the skills they need to succeed in college and make the transition to college life smoother. 

Here are some tips for finding a program that offers college preparatory courses and activities: 

  • Look for programs that specifically advertise college readiness and career exploration.  
  • Research programs with partnerships with colleges or universities provide students with a taste of college life and resources. 
  • By participating in college preparatory activities, high school students can gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and beyond. 

Esteban Olivares
Head of New University Partnerships & Head of Academics 


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