While most students have to wait until their first year of college to experience program-specific material and the campus community, high-school students enrolled in a summer-enrichment program can gain that experience much earlier. In fact, every year colleges and universities across the US place students in a number of different summer programs that are unique to their academic interests.
“Summer programs often give teens a taste of the most attractive aspects of college life: dorm housing, challenging classes and a parent-free environment,” writes Delece Smith-Barrow in U.S. News. “While advisers and program directors help students navigate their new surroundings, there are ways parents can help high school students prepare for the experience before they ever set foot on campus.”
What major is right for you? Explore your academic options with summer-enrichment programs
It’s not uncommon for first- and second-year college students to find out that the career path or major they’ve selected isn’t for them. This can result in additional courses, extra semesters, and a larger sum of student debt. By taking a summer pre-college program, high school students can start exploring different majors and career paths much earlier, allowing them to make more informed decisions about their future. Here’s a breakdown of how students can benefit from a summer-enrichment program:
- Explore and study topics of interest at an in-depth level.
- Continue the learning momentum they gained during the academic school year.
- Evaluate their performance using the same academic standards and procedures that undergraduate college students use.
- Experience the college environment first-hand, and make new connections with peers and professors.
When it comes time to select a summer-enrichment program, approach it like you would a major. “Not only does your major determine what you’ll be studying during your time as an undergrad, but it also influences your future career. Instead of focusing on immediate pay-off, look for something you’ll enjoy in the long run,” says Casey Lewis of Teen Vogue.
The same rings true for your pre-college program. From community and non-profit programs, to university and statewide programs, you have plenty of options. So be sure to enroll in a program that will set you up for long-term success, just like a major would. For students who are concerned about maintaining an enjoyable balance between academics and leisure, fear not. Students typically have the option to participate in academic extracurricular activities and residential program activities.
Ready to see what a pre-college program can do for you? Check out our guide: 7 Benefits of a Pre-College Program to learn more today.