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HomeAcademics & ActivitiesAcademic Skills

Alternate Routes to High School Success

Page 3 of 5

By GreatSchools Staff

Summer Programs

Another option for your advanced student is to find appropriate, challenging programs she can attend during the summer. Many programs located on college campuses provide high school students with challenging academics and a taste of college life.

Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University offers three-week courses in both Chicago and Cleveland (Case Western Reserve University). Fourth through 12th-grade classes are offered in Chicago while 7th to 12th-grade classes are offered in Cleveland. Residential and commuter options are available.

The National High School Institute at Northwestern University is the nation's oldest and largest university-based summer program for outstanding high school students. Programs are offered in journalism, debate, theatre arts, music, film and video production, at the Evanston, Illinois campus. Students gain practical college-level experience in their chosen field and live in college dorms.

Duke TIP (Duke University Talent Indentification Program) includes residential, educational summer programs designed to meet the intellectual and social needs of gifted students in grades 7-12. Programs are held on college campuses across the country and in field locations around the world. Financial aid is available for most programs. Students learn highly challenging material at a rate suited to their advanced abilities. Students enroll in a single course for three weeks of in-depth study. Classes of approximately 16 students are taught by highly qualified instructor/teaching assistant teams. Outside the classroom, a carefully selected residential staff supervises students during meals, free time, and social and recreational activities. Program participants experience college classroom instruction and residence hall living. Campuses include Duke University, Duke Marine Lab, Appalachian State University, Davidson College, University of Kansas and Texas A&M.

Duke TIP also offers a summer field study program with challenging adventures in science and the humanities for motivated students in grades 9 to 12. Each field study involves travel to a location that is ideal for research and creative exploration. In each field study, 16 to 20 students participate, with a minimum of three staff members who remain with the students throughout the entire course. Courses include: "Astronomy, Physics and Astrobiology"at the PARI Observatory in North Carolina; "Field Ecology and Mountain Geology"at the Mountain Lake Biological Station in Virginia; "China: A Leader in the Global Economy,"in Beijing; "Tropical Medicine and Ethnobiology"in Costa Rica.

The Great Books Summer Program offers students in grades 6 to 12 the opportunity to read and discuss selections from classic and contemporary literature in one- or two-week residential programs with college professors and top faculty at Amherst College and Stanford University. College and graduate students serve as counselors. There is ample time for recreation, too, and students have access to the college pool and other facilities during their stay.

Harvard University Summer Secondary School Program grants high school students the opportunity to take college-level classes at Harvard as well as college-prep workshops in writing the college application essay, financial aid, time management and taking effective notes. Although attending this summer program certainly does not guarantee admission to Harvard, students do have the opportunity to meet admissions staff and attend a talk by a Harvard admissions officer. There's also ample time for exploring Cambridge, engaging in athletic and cultural activities, and visiting nearby colleges.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

11/22/2011:
"My son is Very ADHD. I recently moved to New Jersey and his new guidance counselor seems to know more then anyone I spoke to in his middle schools in Florida. He is in 9th grade this year and finally, someone WANTS to know if he's classified and has he had an IEP or a 504. The two schools he went to in Florida did NOT want to deal with it. I never let a Dr. put him on meds until his 7th grade year. To me, they seemed to make him worse, not better. When he was small, he was so out of control that when I brought him to a doctor appointment, the staff would take us in to see the doctor in front of 5 patients, who were ahead of us to see the doctor. LOLOLOL At this point, I have been to see the guidance counselor twice and he only started school two weeks ago. He is 15 yrs old, 6'3" and refusing to go to school. I went in to sign a release for the school to get his file from the counselors and doctors he was seeing in Florida. Does anyone know of any kind of alternative schools ! in New Jersey, that take kids BEFORE they are 16?? I also had this problem in FL. I guess they want to wait until the child CAN actually quit school before they give us any resources. As it is, I am wondering when they are going to come here with handcuffs and take ME away. "
09/21/2011:
"is anyone know for independent tutors for 11th grader math & chemistry please? for el cerrito el sobrante,CA. Thanks "
04/13/2010:
"My oldest daughter age 16 is struggling in Highschool. She seems to have poor time management and lack of focus. She goes to a school were it seems like the staff members are training inmates. I don't know what to do before it is too late for her to get back on track. Im considering alternative school, but I dont want her to think she is being punished. What should I do not to loose my daughter all together."
03/3/2010:
"our alternative to public high school is a charter school.there are many in all states,my teenager was spinninning her wheels and wasnt learning much.teachers didnt seem to care,and they were loading her down with projects instead of teaching.grades were getting worse no time to breath just project after project.then we removed our child from diamond ranch hs,then enrolled her in a charter school.san gabriel vly school district has many locations in so cal area.we have one close to home,req attendance 2 hrs a week earning more credits than dia rnch will grad much sooner year round one on one instuction.straight a-s now. public schools and our state and some teachers are failing,they only care about the revinue.people wake up!"
11/3/2009:
"iam looking for a good shool for my son he has adhd and lead paint posing he is in the 10 gradebut he is 19 years old the school that he is in is ok but it is in a bad part town and iam trying to pull him away from his friends that go there because some of the kids is not trying to do nothing and they are holding the other kids back like my son so this s why iam looking for a good school iam not going to give up on himand he is not going to give up."
07/13/2009:
"Hi,Im A PARENT OF A CHILD WITH LEARNING DESABILITY. AND I DON'T SEE THAT HER TEACHER DO ANY ACADEMIC WORK FOR THE STUDENTS ENOUGH FOR MY DOUGHTER TO LEARN SOME READING, WRITING AND MATH. THEY GO AUT AVERY DAY AND I PREFERE NOT TO, MAYBE TUICE A WEEK."
05/26/2009:
"How can you help your child when they are behind or they don't seem have a good understand in some courses, especially math."
10/28/2008:
"what about kids forced to be in foundations cause its easier for the school to meet their requirements! I just figured it out. Not special ed - just LD - only getting IEP reading services not math - and in foundations and bored - took a gifted summer program with approved from Professor Lamella at Middlesex to encourage girls math/scinece/engineering - my daughter excelled - got confidence and learned her strenghts and weaknesses - zoned during the physics lessson but can apply what she learned came up with the winning desgn and they built it from scratch - came in 2nd place in juding - presented it for the group in front of at least 300 people! no one knew she was a SPED. Oh LD Oh a nice kid! I asked the foundations math teacher to help Jen where she may struggle - like have her stay if she gets 6 wrong out of 12 - help a tutor in the school come up with a plan to get her ready for the HESPA - to discuss with Jen the 'zero' for a homework assignment she received - to find out why her weekly reports say Jen is doing fine and the website you go to says she has a 'C' - to find out what on-line program they use so I can check it out. This was the response I got: 'Mrs. Cochrane, I have spoken with the my supervisor, the head of the Mathematics Department, about your request for supplies to use to prepare for the HSPA during the sophomore year. She has given me 2 copies of a resource for 'Early Preparation' which could be done in the 10th grade. Please do not write in the books, instead, use them as guides for the material to cover. One copy is for Jen and the other copy is for whoever tutors her. I've also included a copy of the answer key. Please return all 3 soft cover books to me in June 2009. I will have the 3 books in the front office with your name on them for pick up. A plan to prepare for the HSPA.....turn to page i through page iv. These are the topics to focus on. If a weakness shows up, spend additional time in that area. I've found that a little bit of help when you need it goes a long way. I was happy to see that the comments I forwarded to Mrs. Bitondo were included in the weekly updates you receive from her. Since you've included Jen's grades from Home Plus, I know that you have the tools you need to log on and keep abreast of Jen's progress. She's doing well. Glad I could help you. I'll send Mary Bitondo this week's update on Friday which she will forward on to you. Sue Whitt' does this fall under the 10th Amendment ? Why can't she speak to me - call - me - help my daughter? "
05/25/2007:
"This is valuable information and it did give more options for my high school student. Thanks for your help."
05/24/2007:
"As a college consultant, I assist students with college selection and the college admission process, but NOLS is a great program that I recommend to some students who may not be quite ready for college or others who may want to do something different first. It is especially good for those interested in the outdoors. They can get college credit for some outstanding outdoor leadership courses. Some of the courses are during the summer or school year and others are a semester long."
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