10 Summer Programs in Oklahoma for High Schoolers

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For many high school students, the start of second semester means warmer weather and that the end of the school year is in sight. Additionally, it means study season for AP exams, finals, and SATs or ACTs. Most students will also be juggling the culmination of yearlong extracurriculars along with social commitments like prom or spring fling.

 

One aspect of second semester that sometimes gets overlooked, though, is planning for the summer. Now is just the time to get a head start, and if your teen is wondering how to spend their summer productively, a summer program could be just the ticket. In this post, we outline ten awesome summer programs available in Oklahoma. If your teen is looking for something to do this summer in the state of Oklahoma, you won’t want to miss this post.

 

Why Should High Schoolers Attend Summer Programs?

 

Summer programs provide an amazing opportunity for teens to experience college life while developing important skills that will be useful not only in their academics, but also in broader contexts.

 

In summer programs, teens have the unique chance to experience life on a college campus before actually jumping into it full-time. Summer program participants commonly live in dorms, eat in dining halls, and take classes in college classrooms or labs. Consequently, your teen will be able to learn more about college life and to get a sense of what he or she wants or doesn’t want in his or her college experience.

 

Beyond that, your teen will gain important lifelong skills. These could be related specifically to a professional field of interest, or they could be broader skills related to communication, leadership, and collaboration to name a few. Sometimes teens gain insight into potential college majors or career paths. Sometimes they gain self-confidence and independence. Sometimes they learn important knowledge or skills relevant to their areas of interest. No matter the case, your teen is bound to benefit in a multitude of ways by attending a summer program.

 

Ten Summer Programs in Oklahoma

 

Note: Costs are approximate and will vary depending on factors such as state residency and whether the student participates as a commuter or residential participant.

 

1. Oklahoma Christian Honors Summer Academy

 

This one-week residential college experience provides promising high school students the chance to pursue coursework in Engineering, Bible, Humanities, Sciences, and Business and Finance. Participants earn two hours of transferable university credit and gain confidence in the core skill areas necessary for success after high school graduation.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Christian University
  • Grades: 9th-11th
  • Cost: $600
  • Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

 

2. Sooner Discovery

 

This four-week long program aims to offer a full college immersion experience to talented high schoolers. Students take classes from distinguished faculty in the mornings and afternoons, live in dorms, and participate in exciting extracurricular events, activities, and field trips.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: University of Oklahoma
  • Grades: 10th and 11th
  • Cost: $3048 for in-state students
  • Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

 

3. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Acting

 

This elite performing arts program at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center is open by audition only. It provides a two-week immersive experience consisting of professional training from faculty artists, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Academy, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Awards. Acting students study character development, motivation, and analysis of intentions and objectives and their work culminates in a live performance and/or film screening.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here.

 

4. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Chorus

 

Members of this elite two-week residential chorus program at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center are led by internationally recognized conductors and expert vocal teachers/coaches. Only 60 students are accepted and participants receive individual and sectional coaching and supplemental study and ensemble work, culminating in two chorus performances.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here.

 

5. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Creative Writing

 

Only 15-16 students are accepted to this two-week long residential writing camp held at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center. While there, students will explore various types of creative writing with a particular emphasis on poetry. Participants will build writing skills through practice, group discussion, and individual critiquing sessions with faculty.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here. Auditions consist of a two-hour writing exercise with provided inspirational pieces. 

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6. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Dance

 

Dance students who participate in this two-week long intensive program at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center can expect to spend five hours per day in ballet and modern dance classes. Students learn composition, improvisation, and repertoire while rehearsing for a final performance.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here.

 

7. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Drawing & Painting

 

This studio arts program spanning two weeks and taking place at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center is open to only 20 talented high school students who apply through an audition process. Accepted students study color, imagery, media, and various drawing and painting techniques before displaying their work in public exhibitions.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here. The audition consists of one 50-minute timed drawing exercise (a still life) led by an instructor.

 

8. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Film & Video

 

Only 20 students are accepted to this elite two-week program at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center. Here, students gifted in the fields of film and video can expect to work collaboratively and learn about and take on the various roles on a film set including director, editor, grip, props, and more. Film assignments include both documentary and narrative genres, and final products are screened at a public exhibition.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here. Auditions include a video submission and interview.

 

9. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Orchestra

 

The Oklahoma Arts Institute Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra comprised of talented high schoolers admitted through auditions only. Over the course of two weeks at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center, participants rehearse with professional orchestral musicians and receive individual and sectional coaching. Students will also have the option to participate in chamber music or ensemble work. All students perform in concerts at the end of the program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here.

 

10. Oklahoma Arts Institute | Photography

 

In this two-week residential program at the Quartz Mountain Arts and Conference Center, 20 promising young photographers explore conventional and digital photography, along with darkroom and digital editing techniques. Students receive instruction in basic photographic techniques while also exploring the aesthetics of their surroundings. Student photography is displayed in a public exhibition at the completion of the program.

 

  • Affiliate Organization: Oklahoma Arts Institute
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, 11th
  • Cost: $310 in fees. All tuition, room, and board is covered free of charge.
  • Deadline: Auditions take place in January and February. Applications must be submitted two days prior to an audition. 2019 Audition schedule is available here. The audition consists of a portfolio submission and interview. The interviewer will score participants on their basic understanding of how the camera works in manual mode.

How to Find a Summer Program That’s Right For Your Teen

 

Selecting the right summer program is crucial to maximizing the benefits your teen receives from their experience. Many factors can come into play here. First, you’ll need to consider your family’s budget, geographical location, and transportation logistics. Then, you’ll need to balance these priorities with your teen’s specific areas of interest and talent.

 

It can be helpful to consult a guidance counselor, coach, teacher, or other mentor to help during this process. These people sometimes know about programs that you might not otherwise hear about, and at the very least they can often point you in the direction of other people in the know.

 

Sometimes, though, finding just the right fit means bringing in a professional. For more help identifying the best summer programs or other academic pursuits for your teen and his or her unique interests and skills, consider the benefits of the CollegeVine Near Peer Mentorship Program, which provides access to practical advice on topics from college admissions to career aspirations, all from successful college students. 

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.