Gianna Cifredo 10 min read 11th Grade, Summer Activities

15 Summer Programs in Connecticut for High Schoolers

Parents: Want to know if your child is choosing the right extracurriculars?

Our profile analysis tools can tell you if you're on the right track.

High-achieving high school students know that they should spend their summers participating in a variety of activities: whether they’re working at a part-time job, volunteering for a cause they care about, or interning, these students aim to make the most of their unstructured time over break.

 

As a parent, you may want to encourage your student to explore another option: a summer program designed specifically for high school students. There are numerous summer programs that can give your teenager the opportunity to learn and grow in ways that other summer activities cannot.

 

Summer programs offer a host of benefits for high school students, including the ability to develop their interests and learn more about college and potential career paths in general. Not only that, students can show that they went the extra mile to develop their passions on their applications come senior year. We’ve rounded up 15 summer programs in Connecticut to help parents figure out which program might suit their student’s unique interests and goals.

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

 

Summer programs for high school students are about more than just having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). One of the main benefits of summer programs is that they are often specialized, and therefore allow students to dive deeper into their academic and professional interests. These programs give students the opportunity to conduct research, collaborate with faculty, and gain hands-on industry experience in a way that they cannot do in traditional class setting.

 

Since many programs are hosted at colleges and universities, spending a summer in one of these programs can give your teen a taste of what it’s like to live on campus and ultimately smooth the college transition for them. These college-affiliated programs can be especially beneficial as they often inform students of hard-to-find resources, such as specialized learning communities or scholarships. And if your student is looking to get ahead by knocking out some college credits early or simply taking advanced coursework, there are even programs that offer rigorous college-level courses for credit.

 

If you’re worried that your teen won’t have time to do a summer program in addition to other types of summer activities, such as volunteering, interning, or part-time work, then you’re in luck: Your teen doesn’t have to choose between these activities and a summer program. Many summer programs are short, sometimes even as short as a day, so students can balance these commitments while still pursuing their interests. By diversifying their activities, students will be able to craft essays that draw upon a wealth of extracurricular experiences when it comes time to apply.

 

Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending a summer program at a college, however, is that they facilitate the process of connecting high school students with college students and faculty. One of our top recommendations for helping students get into their dream school is to connect with students who were successfully admitted to that school and hear about their experiences applying and attending that school. By attending a college-based program, high school students can meet current students and get the inside scoop about campus life and the college community.

Summer Programs in Connecticut

 

If you’re looking for programs specifically at Yale, check out our post 10 Summer Programs at Yale for High Schoolers.

 

Note: These program costs are all approximate. There may be differences in cost based on whether a student stays on-campus or decides to commute, is a Connecticut resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

1. Fairfield Pre-College Immersion Program | Business

 

Affiliate School: Fairfield University

 

Business track students in the Pre-College Immersion Program will learn about facets of business including analytics, marketing, entrepreneurship, finance, and strategy setting. They’ll also get to learn practical business skills and explore the college admissions process with business school faculty.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th

Cost: $2,100

Priority Deadline: May 31, 2019

Final Deadline: June 30, 2019

Application prompts: Answer one of the three:

 

  • You can have dinner with anyone (past or present-day). Whom would you choose, where would you dine, and why?
  • What do you think is the most significant invention or innovation of the past 50 years? What would the world be like today without this invention?
  • If you could spend one week as a fictional character from any book, film, or series, whom would you choose and what would you do during that week?

 

2. Fairfield Pre-College Immersion Program | Nursing: The Possibilities are Endless

Affiliate School: Fairfield University

 

If your student is considering the nursing field, look no further. In this program, students will learn about the many opportunities available in the nursing profession, including first aid and CPR. They’ll also participate in activities using Fairfield’s state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, along with gaining insight into the college admissions process.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th

Cost: $2,100

Priority Deadline: May 31, 2019

Final Deadline: June 30, 2019

Application prompts: Answer one of the three:

 

  • You can have dinner with anyone (past or present-day). Whom would you choose, where would you dine, and why?
  • What do you think is the most significant invention or innovation of the past 50 years? What would the world be like today without this invention?
  • If you could spend one week as a fictional character from any book, film, or series, whom would you choose and what would you do during that week?

 

3. Fairfield Pre-College Immersion Program | Arts & Sciences

Affiliate School: Fairfield University

 

Is your student unsure about their direction for a career or major for college? Then this is the program for them. Students get to explore a variety of majors while participating in activities centered around a yearly theme. This year’s theme is Global Food Security & Nutrition, and students will apply their learning to volunteer experiences alongside faculty from the humanities, arts, and sciences.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th

Cost: $2,100

Priority Deadline: May 31, 2019

Final Deadline: June 30, 2019

Application prompts: Answer one of the three:

 

  • You can have dinner with anyone (past or present-day). Whom would you choose, where would you dine, and why?
  • What do you think is the most significant invention or innovation of the past 50 years? What would the world be like today without this invention?
  • If you could spend one week as a fictional character from any book, film, or series, whom would you choose and what would you do during that week?

 

4. Emagination Tech Summer Camp

Affiliate School: Fairfield University

 

This two-week technology-based camp allows students to specialize in an industry by choosing specific classes and taking advantage of the resources available at Fairfield University. Students can select from Digital Art & Media, Coding, Engineering, or Game Design classes, along with recreational electives like swimming, field games, indoor games, or Dungeons and Dragons.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $2,945

 

5. Liberal Studies Program | Literature and Composition II

Affiliate School: Taft School

 

The Liberal Studies Program allows students to select from a variety of general, college-level courses to enrich their education and prepare for college life. Although this course is designed primarily for 9th and 10th graders, it helps students of any grade level become effective writers and critical readers. They’ll learn the elements of academic writing and discuss short stories and a novel.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $8,100

Deadline: Rolling

 

6. Liberal Studies Program | Literature and Composition III

Affiliate School: Taft School

 

A more advanced version of the previous course, this class emphasizes more specific elements when it comes to analyzing fiction and poetry, such as character, conflict, setting, and theme. Strong writing skills are required, since students will be required to write insightful essays on the selected readings.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $8,100

Deadline: Rolling

 

7. Liberal Studies Program | Introduction to Geometry

Affiliate School: Taft School

 

This foundational math course covers many of the concepts relating to shape and logic; students will learn about the properties of geometrical figures and fundamentals of logic so that they can construct and interpret formal proofs.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $8,100

Deadline: Rolling

 

8. Liberal Studies Program | Introduction to Algebra II

Affiliate School: Taft School

 

If your student has already taken Algebra 1 and wants to get a headstart in math, then this is the course for them. The first part of the course reviews topics from Algebra 1 before diving into the early topics covered in Algebra 2. By the end of this course, students will feel more confident in their math skills and have a strong foundation for algebra techniques.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $8,100

Deadline: Rolling 

Build a Profile That Will Impress Admissions Officers

Our Early Advising Program helps students in 9th and 10th grade discover their passions and build strong academic and extracurricular profiles to succeed in high school.

 

9. Liberal Studies Program | Introduction to Precalculus

Affiliate School: Taft School

 

For students who have already completed Geometry and Algebra II, this course prepares students for the skills and topics they will need in more advanced math classes. The course covers several types of functions, including linear, quadratic, polynomial, rational, exponential, logarithmic, and trigonometric. Students will also learn about real-world applications of these functions.

 

Grades: 9th, 10th & 11th

Cost: $8,100

Deadline: Rolling

Recommended: A graphing calculator. The Mathematics Department at Taft currently uses the TI-83 Plus.

 

10. UConn Pre-College Program | Animation Studio

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

The UConn Pre-College Program is a non-credit academic enrichment program where students can experience life as a college student over the course of a week. In Animation Studio, students get to learn the tricks of the trade for traditional cell animation, stop motion, and 3d claymation. By the end of the course, they will have valuable material for a future college portfolio.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23, 2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

 

11. UConn Pre-College Program | Creative Writing

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

This intensive writing seminar introduces students to the Hero’s Journey and encourages them to see themselves as the hero of their own journey. They’ll spend the mornings studying genres, essays, and poems, and spend the afternoons drafting and workshopping their own essays and poems.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23,  2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

 

12. UConn Pre-College Program | Digital Animation & Motion Graphics

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

Students will explore the increasing role of digital animation in television, film, and web, as well as create their own animations and motion graphics for different types of publication. They’ll get to use industry-standard software such as Cinema 4d and Adobe After Effects in conjunction with other Adobe creative products.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23,  2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

 

13. UConn Pre-College Program | Digital Media: Intro to Programming

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

This one-week course gives students looking for hands-on technology experience the skills they need to bring their ideas to life. Students will learn the fundamentals of coding and be introduced to mobile application development, and they’ll use the MIT App Inventor to build simple android app to test their knowledge of programming concepts and design.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23,  2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

 

14. UConn Pre-College Program | Digital Media: Game Design

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

Students explore the different careers available in game design and dabble in each of the components of creating a game from start to finish. They’ll develop a game from scratch using a programming tool called Construct3 and combine it with their creative work in Photoshop and Audacity.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23,  2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

 

15. UConn Pre-College Program | Digital Media: Web Design

Affiliate School: University of Connecticut

 

During this 1-week course, students will get the foundational skills of web design, including ideation, aesthetics, construction, and operation. By the end of the week, students will have a be able to understand and work with HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for the construction of a website, and how these structures can support beautiful and functional websites.

 

Grades: 10th, & 11th only

Cost: $2,050

Priority Deadline: April 1, 2019

Final Deadline: June 23,  2019

Application prompts:

 

  • Why are you interested in attending UConn Pre-College Summer? How do you feel this experience will prepare you for college?
  • Why are you specifically interested in your preferred course(s)? (For students applying to attend multiple weeks, please address your interest for all courses)
  • UConn PCS is a serious academic experience committed to providing a safe and supportive living and learning environment for mature high-school students. Tell us about an experience in which you behaved in a socially mature way to help someone else or to help solve a problem. What personal skills helped you manage the situation?

Wrapping it Up

From digital arts to business, there is a summer program that can help your teen learn more about different industries and experience college firsthand. We hope that this post helped you think of ways that your student can use their summer to develop their passions and inspire them to remain focused and disciplined during the school year.

 

If your student missed a deadline or isn’t currently eligible for one of these programs, there are plenty of other activities that students can participate in over the summer to stay engaged. These include getting involved in community organizations, volunteer service, and working. You can find some ideas for activities in our post Summer Activities to Strengthen your College Applications.

 

It can be hard to find summer programs that will work for you and your student’s schedule and will keep your student engaged. That’s why CollegeVine’s Mentorship Program helps students identify activities to refine their interests and strengthen their portfolios. Find out if our Mentorship Program is right for you!

 

Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:

 

15 Summer Programs in Vermont for High Schoolers

10 Summer Programs in New Hampshire for High Schoolers

5 Summer Programs in Maine for High Schoolers

Want more tips on improving your academic profile?

We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.


Gianna Cifredo
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Gianna Cifredo is a graduate of the University of Central Florida, where she majored in Philosophy. She has six years of higher education and test prep experience, and now works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida and is a proud cat mom.