The Benefits of Pre-College Summer Programs


At Peninsula Academy, we often get requests for information on Pre-College Summer Programs. Are they worth it? What purposes do they serve? And most importantly: Should I, or my child, enroll in a Pre-College Summer Program?


If you are interested in an advanced academic topic that is not offered by your high school, such as fiber optics, behavioral finance, philosophy, or industrial design, there is a possibility that a summer program exists to help you explore these otherwise hard to find courses. Do your research, you may be surprised to find what’s out there.

We’ve taken the time to list the greatest benefits to exploring these programs below.


Confirm that your original interests align.

Many students find it difficult to identify the college majors that they feel truly passionate about studying. Pre-college summer programs offer a great opportunity to explore and narrow down your interests. “Bioengineering, biomedical engineering, and chemical engineering all sound fascinating! But what should I study? What works best for me?” These were some of the questions from Emily, a 10th grader in our college counseling program. Emily knows her passion has always involved biology, chemistry, and engineering, so we encouraged her to consider some hands-on programs to get a feel for what type of engineering fit her best.


You’ll impress colleges.

Attending an academic program, especially those in the major that you’d be declaring, is a clear signal to offices of admission that you’re committed to the discipline. It also displays your knack for a challenge, and that you’re mentally prepared for college. A student at Peninsula Academy, Griffin, has been fascinated by aerospace engineering since childhood. To help Griffin gain a solid foundation of experience in the field, we encouraged him to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder (his dream college) during the summer. The program, ranked in the top 10 of its kind, provides cutting edge research backed by a prestigious faculty.


See what living and learning in college is like.

Communal living with people who aren’t your family is one of the biggest challenges many freshmen face. Find out what it’s like living with a roommate. Taste campus cafeteria food and take collegiate-level classes. There is a chance you may even be taking classes taught by the college’s professors. You’ll get the added experience of freedom from parents for a few weeks. Alexi, one of our students, shared her thoughts about living on campus: “I had no prior experience living on a college campus before attending the program. While spending time away from home, I felt surprisingly comfortable and at ease. I enjoyed setting my own priorities and spending time with my friends. Being away helped me recognize how much my parents do for me and how often I depended on their guidance. Afterwards, I found myself to be a more confident decision maker. Living on campus as part of the pre-college summer program helped further develop my independence.”


Meet new people and form friendships and connections.

Pre-College Summer Programs often attract students from across the globe. Sharing these experiences with a diverse cast of peers may open your eyes to new perspectives. There exists a stark difference between going to high school with students who live and breathe in your immediate area versus attending classes with those from places you may have never heard of. One of our students, David, shared why he would like to attend a biotechnology summer course at Brown: “I look forward to learning from like-minded peers, discussing questions, doing labs together, and learning what made them interested in the field in the first place.”


You may get to see your future career firsthand.

Many summer programs specialize in particular disciplines or careers. Often, the classes are taught by a combination of faculty teaching in those disciplines and professionals pursuing those careers. The programs usually organize site visits to real workplaces. For example, you will get to see first hand what it is like to be a biomedical engineer, a field producer, or an entrepreneur. These experiences can also be leveraged for networking, a lifelong skill you will learn to utilize in almost any career.


Explore unfamiliar topics.

If you are interested in an advanced academic topic that is not offered by your high school, such as fiber optics, behavioral finance, philosophy, or industrial design, there is a possibility that a summer program exists to help you explore these otherwise hard to find courses. Do your research, you may be surprised to find what’s out there.


You might receive High School Credit or Placement.

You can use these summer programs to get ahead in courses you may need to take in high school. Additionally, if you’re having difficulty enrolling in a particular class, a recommendation letter from a summer program instructor could help you get placed.


You could earn College Credit or Placement.

Some pre-college summer courses can count towards college credit, similar to how scoring well on an AP Exam would work. These courses take longer, usually three to four weeks to complete. But you can use those credits to save time and money in college.


The Takeaway

If there’s a career that you can imagine, there is likely a summer program for it. If there are college majors that you are unsure of pursuing, attending a summer program is one of the best ways to explore and help make your decision. Take the summer to really explore your niche and find a fit. We also encourage our students to choose a summer program at one of their dream colleges. They can use the opportunity to gauge their fit by talking to admissions, professors, and current students. The exposure of simply walking around the campus and its neighborhood is also an added bonus. Many of our students choose to enroll in pre-college summer programs. We are immensely proud of them and try to use their stories as an inspiration for many of our other talented middle and high schoolers.


The names of Peninsula Academy’s students have been changed in order to preserve their anonymity.

Peninsula

Academy

Our Location

550 Deep Valley Dr., Ste 277

Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274

office@penacad.com

Tel: 310.377.1297

© Copyright 2020 by Peninsula Academy

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