Career Camps and Summer Programs
Did you know that many organizations offer career discovery opportunities for high school students and recent graduates? These include health care, technology, manufacturing plants, government agencies, and more.
Do a search for career exploration camp with the subject to identify opportunities in your area.
American Camp Association, Camp Experience
With a mission of enriching the lives of youth and young adults through the camp experience, the ACA offers numerous educational and real life experiential summer opportunities for students of varying ages. The value placed on the camp program is one of an appreciation of the world, the people who live in it, and the contribution each individual can make. The ‘Find a Camp’ online search tool is very helpful to hone in on that specific experience based on demographic and context selections you make.
Girls Who Code, Summer Immersion Program
Here is a 2-week program that teaches girls the computer skills they need to make an impact in their communities while preparing for a career in technology. Participants learn to code through hands-on real-world projects in various academic areas. The value added is the exposure to tech jobs and the development of a supportive sisterhood.
Canada/USA Mathcamp, 5-Week Summer Program
This organization offers an immersive summer 5-week experience for mathematically talented students, of middle and high school age, from around the world. Mathcamp represents a vibrant community made up of a wide variety of individuals who share a common love of learning and passion for mathematics. The value added from this experience is the exposure of students to the beauty of advanced mathematical ideas and to new ways of thinking.
Davidson Institute, Summer Programs (listed by topic of interest)
This Institute is a non-profit operating foundation, created by former educational software entrepreneurs out of a concern that our nation’s most gifted and talented young people are largely neglected and underserved. The mission of the Davidson Institute is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly intelligent young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference. Summer programs provide opportunities in a multitude of ways for this population of students. The list of choices is incredible and have been recommended by parents, professionals and young people who have participated. The overall value added is personal, educative and infinite relative to student acceleration and enrichment.
Rock The Street, Wall Street
Though this is a year-long program as opposed to a summer experience, it is definitely worthy of mention here. RTSWS inspires young women to pursue the M in STEM by exposing them to real life, positive money management role models. The vision is to eradicate financial illiteracy and develop a workforce pipeline of untapped financial talent. A list of participating high schools across the country can be found on this website. As well, new member high schools are encouraged to partner. The value added in this experience is that young girls learn about savings and investments, budgeting, the capital markets and their role in maintaining the welfare of their families and the economy. The list of sponsors and supporters include some serious ‘horse power’ firms.
EXPLO, Learning Through Exploration
This organization is all about changing hearts and minds to create a world in which young adults can take charge of their own learning and chart a course of success in life. There is a firm vision that ‘learning mirrors life’. Offered are 3-week, 1- and 2-week summer programs. The value added is one of a mindset that creates a community of intellectual adventure beyond the traditional academic routine.
National History Academy - History Camp
This academy sits on 500 acres of countryside in Middleburg, Virginia. The History Camp’s mission is to inspire students to understand the foundations of American democracy and the responsibilities of citizenship through the learning experiences while at the camp. The camp is designed for 10th, 11th, and 12th graders from across the nation. The value added by this experience is that the student not only learns about American history, but actually lives it!
Best College Reviews, Pre-College Summer Technology Programs
This organization has provided, what they declare to be, the ultimate list of summer technology programs that are sure to make a student’s summer both exciting and productive in addition to adding a little extra boost to that college application. This site also has lists of arts, science, business and gifted summer programs.
Envision, Envision Your Future
Career exploration, leadership and innovation are the experiential areas in the numerous summer program experiences offered by this company. The tuition may be considered pricey, but the college and university settings are the incredible. Envision’s philosophy is that all students have the power to live their dreams, make an impact and change the world. The value that comes from participating in one of the programs is for young adults to turn their career and life aspirations into reality. Take the time to check out their list of impressive campus locations.
American Psychology Association, Summer Student Programs
The APA provides a quaint list of summer opportunities for high school students by groups outside of the APA. The purpose of the list is to offer students interested in the field of psychology purposeful and further understanding of the field through an arts and science perspective. The list includes many acclaimed higher education institutions.
National Science Foundation, Summer Research Experiences
The NSF provides funding for many summer research opportunities for students through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. Students are associated with a host institution with a specific research project and are granted stipends. The value added experience is that students are able to examine subject areas in depth, from a real research world perspective and under the auspices of tenured and scholarly faculty and researchers.
Reeder Consulting, Summer Career Camps
This company is a career and college path consulting firm. However, it does provide a great list of summer educational and career-focused experiences for young adults available throughout the country. The vision of this company is of great integrity; career counseling with a focus and approach on holistic learning. The value added from a summer experience is hands-on interaction in a career area a student may be seriously considering.
Association of American Medical Colleges, Summer Enrichment and Pipeline Programs
AAMC is a non-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care and groundbreaking medical research. They provide an incredible database resource to help students locate summer enrichment programs across the country.
Academic summer camps, factory tours and museum education programs are highlighted on this organization’s website. Career Vision’s mission is to help individuals make great career decisions based on each person’s unique potential. The planning aspect of each experience a young adult does is the value added component leading to great direction, confidence and motivation.
College Express, Summer Program Search
Here is a fantastic tool for the purpose of locating a summer program with any number of search index parameters. If you don’t know where to start relative to exploring summer program options, use the Summer Program Search and begin to hone in on what it is you are looking for in an experience. If you know precisely what you are looking for, locating just the right summer program is a breeze.
International Association for College Admissions Counseling, Summer Programs
Are you a high school student who would like an idea of what life would be like at a higher institution of learning? Domestic and international experiences abound as you explore the options on the IACAC website. The opportunities are broken down by U.S. and international regions. In addition, you can peruse the global summer program offerings by topic by clicking on the Additional Summer Resource Programs link. This is an amazing tool.
Summer Health Professions Education Program, Pre-Med and Pre-Dental Programs
SHPEP’s efforts are intended to keep pace with the growing importance of team-based care and inter-professional collaboration. The program sites are at 12 universities across the nation. Required components of the experience include academic enrichment in the basic sciences and math, clinical experience, career development activities, learning and study skills seminars and a financial planning workshop. The value added component to this free experience is gaining access to information and resources for those students interested in the health professions.
Program in Mathematics for Young Scientists, Summer Program
PROMYS is a six-week summer experience held at Boston University. It is designed to encourage strongly motivated high school students to explore in depth the creative world of mathematics. The environment provided is one that is a supportive community of peers, counselors, research mathematicians and visiting scientists. The 80 high school student participants from across the country experience an incredible value added component of understanding to design their own numerical experiments and to apply their own power of analysis to discover mathematical patterns, formulate and test conjecture, and be able to justify their ideas with their own mathematical proofs.
Education Unlimited, Summer Camps and Programs for 11th and 12th Graders
This is a privately held company with a mission of helping high school students maximize their chance of acceptance to a college that would be a best fit for them. The list of summer camps is extensive with many available in an online format. The cost is reasonable. Since the selection of camp opportunities is so vast, specific experience significance is hard to pin down. Overall, improvement in college preparation skillset is of value added across all summer camp programs. Also offered are a variety of academic and creative arts camps and programs for grades 4-12.
Creative Brain, Live Virtual Classes and Camps
This organization provides a wealth of enrichment education classes and ‘camps’ in science, technology, engineering, visual and media arts, music, health and wellness, and more. The cost to purchase a specific online camp experience is very reasonable. The focus of the experiences offered in on creative learning. The spectrum of options ranges from applied science, technology and math classes, such as robotics, forensic science, hands-on engineering and video game design, to language arts, health, nutrition, sports, and comprehensive visual and performing arts components. The value added with any one of the Creative Brain experiences is personal inspiration and improved academic performance.
LaunchX, Summer Program
What an incredible opportunity! This organization’s MIT experience has now gone virtual with a summer program that taps into the potential of ambitious high school students, supporting them through the process of launching an actual startup. Be prepared to join a group of promising young entrepreneurs from around the globe for four intense weeks. An incredible value added component: students start real companies.
The Jackson Laboratory, Summer Student Program
This is a very unique organization with a bold mission: to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health. The Summer Student Program is designed for 48 high school students chosen from all over the U.S. who want to immerse themselves in genetics and genomics research. Laboratory discovery is emphasized. At the end of the experience, students will present their findings to researchers, other students and parents. The Summer Student Program locations are in Maine and Connecticut. The value added is the student’s discovery, communication of knowledge and professional growth.
Bank of America, Student Leadership Summer Program
The mission of this summer program is to prepare a diverse pipeline of community-minded young students with the leadership training they need to be successful in the workforce. Through the program, more than 300 community-minded high school juniors and seniors from nearly 100 communities are connected to employment, skills development and service. They are awarded paid summer internships with their own local non-profits such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Habitat for Humanity and participate in a national leadership summit in Washington, D.C. The value added comes from responsible growth and understanding how to build and learn through thriving communities.
MDI Biological Laboratories, High School Student Summer Research Fellowship
MDI Biological Laboratory offers summer research fellowship opportunities for high school students with a passion for scientific research. This summer fellowship opportunity is competitive with over oftentimes hundreds of applications submitted annually for a small number of available positions. The experience is invaluable relative to students developing their scientific research skills. And, the price is right with the only costs incurred by the student are travel, laundry and voluntary recreation activities off campus. Fellows live with other high school students in an on-campus dormitory with a resident advisor and participate together in group activities outside the work day. Meals are provided 7 days a week in the campus dining hall.
summercamps.com, College Prep
This website claims to be ‘the premier web-location for parents and family members to research, find and book the very best summer camps.’ They do offer a great variety of summer college prep experiences throughout the country. The focus is on exploring life while gaining experience and confidence. There is a hefty list of summer camps provided around the country that make it a priority to integrate this focus into college preparation.
QuestBridge, Scholarships to College Summer Programs
This non-profit organization partners with top colleges and universities across the country to offer scholarships to a select group of high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the day-to-day rhythms of college life. The mission of QuestBridge is to increase the percentage of talented low-income students attending the nation’s best colleges. The value added to this experience is students gaining first-hand knowledge of the college experience while attending a selective institute of higher education.
Be Outdoors, Appalachian Mtn Club, Teen Wilderness Summer Adventures
So, you may be asking yourself, ‘What is the educative value of a summer wilderness adventure?’ Well, read on as there truly is so much behind the purpose of such an experience. AMC invites and helps people of all ages and abilities to explore and develop a deep appreciation of the natural world. Chapters are across the country and hold the belief in the experience that the wilderness resources have intrinsic worth as well as provide spiritual renewal and ecological and economic health for many regions. Successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors and participants are encouraged to understand, learn about and appreciate the natural world. If this sounds like a mission in life similar to the one you would like to nuture, the value added from this experience will be a cultivated belief in conservation advocacy and research.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Summer Camps
The NOAA offers programs that give students a better understanding of our oceans; inspire youth to pursue careers in science and stewardship; and provide traditionally underrepresented communities with access to scientists and engineers. Though the long list of sponsored summer camps and programs includes the K-12 grade range, there are many quality experiences listed for high school students looking to expand their knowledge and skillset. Also, be sure to access the student opportunities database.