15 Summer Programs in Kentucky for High Schoolers

Wondering how your teen can make the most of their summer? Participating in a summer program is one great way for high school students to take advantage of their free time.

 

Summer camps aren’t just for younger kids; many programs are designed specifically for high school students to give them insight into college admissions and future career opportunities. By combining summer programs with other traditional summer activities, your teen can maximize their summer experience while further developing their skills and interests. We’ve rounded up 15 summer programs in Kentucky to help parents figure out which program might suit their student’s unique interests and goals.

Why Summer Programs Benefit High Schoolers

As we said, summer programs for high school students are about more than just having fun (although there’s plenty of that too!). Here are some of the main benefits of summer programs:

 

Inspire academic excellence. After experiencing a slump in academic interest over the summer, readjusting to the start of the school year can be a tough transition for teens. Summer programs provide many academic benefits, such as hands-on activities and project-based learning, without the same stress of completing homework or preparing for quizzes. Students can choose to pursue the subjects that interest them or to explore a new field in a fun environment before returning to school excited to apply what they’ve learned over the summer.

 

Specialize in an area of interest. Many programs narrow their focus to cater to students with specific interests. Most of the time, these students may know what subjects they like in school or have an idea of a career they’d like to pursue. Summer programs allow students to deepdive into their interests, expanding their awareness of opportunities in a field by meeting current professionals or visiting local sites. Plus, they often learn the skills and technologies currently being used by that industry, so they can feel confident in their choice of major or career.

 

Enhance your student’s application. Because summer programs allow students to specialize, they can demonstrate their interest in a field more directly than traditional part-time jobs or volunteer opportunities can. Many college admissions counselors consider extracurricular activities not only for regular admissions, but also for eligibility for honors programs and scholarships. By participating in a summer program, students can strengthen the theme of their application and set themselves apart from other applicants.

 

Meet current students and faculty. Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending a summer program at a college is the chance for your student to connect with current 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 summer programs can facilitate that process for high school students. By attending any of these college-based programs, high school students can get to know current students and can get the inside scoop about campus life and the college community.

 

If you’re worried that your student won’t have time to fulfill obligations such as volunteering, interning, or part time work, then rest assured: 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 week, so students can balance other obligations while participating in a summer program. By diversifying their activities, students will be able to draw upon a wealth of extracurricular experiences when it comes time to apply for college.

Summer Programs in Kentucky

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 Kentucky resident or not, or if there are scholarships available.

 

1. Summer Scholars Program

Affiliate College: Centre College

This two-week interdisciplinary intensive is designed to introduce high school students to the liberal arts college environment. Through discussions, field trips, and guest speaking events, students will explore one of the three tracks: Global Diversity and Cultures; Mirror, Crystal Ball, Looking Glass: Film and Society; or The Medicine of the Forest.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $1,500
  • Deadline: May 1, 2019

 

2. Camp Inner Space

Affiliate College: Eastern Kentucky University

Perfect for any student interested in psychology, Camp Inner Space gives students the opportunity to learn about different fields of psychology directly from faculty. Topics include clinical psychology, neuroscience, and animal behavior; students also get to go on field trips while also participating in traditional summer camp activities like swimming and field trips.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $500
  • Deadline: May 20, 2019 (May 1, 2019 for out-of-state students)

 

3. Kentucky Wesleyan Scholars Academy

Affiliate College: Kentucky Wesleyan

This residential week-long immersion allows students to experience college firsthand. They’ll learn from faculty and Kentucky Wesleyan alumni as they specialize in one of two tracks: Leadership Development or STEM. Students who choose to attend Kentucky Wesleyan for college also receive a $1000 scholarship!

 

  • Grades: 11th Only
  • Cost: $50
  • Deadline: May 24, 2019

 

4. SpaceTrek: Science Camp for Young Women

Affiliate College: Morehead State University

Sponsored in part by NASA Kentucky, this week-long camp inspires young women to major in science and engineering and learn about careers specifically related to space. They’ll get to explore Morehead State’s top-notch Space Science Center and develop their own satellites and tracking stations.  

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $800
  • Deadline: April 30, 2019
  • Additional requirements: Girls only

 

5. Baking and Pastry Arts Camps

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

If your student loves watching the Food Network and dreams of opening up their own cupcake shop, then this camp is the perfect one for them. Students will learn the applied science of baking as they master techniques for breads, pastries, and other kinds of dessert.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $900
  • Deadline: April 1, 2019

 

6. Cybersecurity Camp

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

Students with an interest in computer science or careers in cybersecurity will love this camp. Through this hands-on program, students will learn how companies and organizations use hackers to strengthen their security, and then put their hacking skills to the test in mini-competitions, scavenger hunts, and drone missions.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $545
  • Deadline: April 15, 2019 

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7. Graphic Design Camp

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

If your student loves studying visual brands or coordinating elements together, then this camp was made for them. Participants in this program will develop a public service announcement campaign from start to finish, designing multiple pieces of visual communication and identifying a target audience. This is the perfect start to developing an admissions portfolio for a budding PR or Graphic Design major!

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $545
  • Deadline: April 15, 2019

 

8. Med Camp

Affiliate College: Sullivan University

This camp will give your student the foundation they need to have a successful career in medicine. Students will have the opportunity to learn about exciting careers firsthand from professionals, and learn lab skills with Sullivan faculty.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $545
  • Deadline: April 15, 2019

 

9. WiE Explore: Women in Engineering Summer Camp

Affiliate College: University of Kentucky

If your student is interested in engineering, then consider this camp that will dive into all of the available engineering majors at the University of Kentucky. As they learn about different engineering fields, students will get to connect with current UK engineering students and take field trips to local engineering companies for a full glimpse at what it means to be an engineer.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $600
  • Deadline: Rolling
  • Additional requirements: Girls only

 

10. Kentucky Forest Leadership Program

Affiliate College: University of Kentucky

Does your student love the outdoors or have an interest in biology? This week-long program introduces students to careers in forestry, entomology, and wildlife through teaching and hands-on activities led by UK faculty and natural resource professionals from the Division of Forestry, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, and the Kentucky Division of Conservation.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $500
  • Deadline: May 3, 2019

 

11. Young Leaders Academy

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

Each year, the University of Louisville holds a four-day conference-style program for high-achieving students to hone their leadership skills and deepen their appreciation for American history. This year’s theme is “Revisiting American Constitutionalism” and students will explore this topic through seminars, discussions, and team-building activities.

 

  • Grades: 10th & 11th Only
  • Cost: $0
  • Deadline: April 15, 2019

 

12. iDTech Camps | Game Design and Development 101

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

If your student is interested in a career in game design, look no further. This week-long program introduces students to two industry-standard programs. First, they’ll use Maya to create the visual and aesthetic elements of their game, and then they’ll use Unreal Engine 4 to create rules, events, and other game mechanics.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $899

 

13. iDTech Camps | Intro to Coding for Machine Learning

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

This week-long program will give your student the foundation to develop their own codes and prepare for advanced machine-learning programming. They’ll master Python to generate their own codes, learn about and create a neural network, and bolster their logical reasoning skills with logic games.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $949

 

 

14. iDTech Camps | Digital Video Production: Start a YouTube Channel

Affiliate College: University of Louisville

Perfect for the student who is interested in video production, this week-long program introduces students to the basic elements of shooting and editing a video. They’ll work with professional equipment including DSLR cameras, use screen-capture software, and get a designated laptop to edit audio and video files.

 

  • Grades: 9th, 10th, & 11th
  • Cost: $999

 

15. Western Kentucky University – VAMPY

Affiliate College: Western Kentucky University

A three-week residential experience for gifted and high-ability students, students will study a topic of their choice in a rigorous but exciting setting. They’ll learn from their equally motivated peers and get to connect with current college students who serve as camp counselors and lead team-building activities.

 

  • Grades: 9th & 10th Only
  • Cost: $3,100
  • Deadline: May 1, 2019

Wrapping It Up

Whether your student wants to explore their interests or refine their current skills, they can make the most of this summer through a summer program. From deep dives into the college experience to game and graphic design, there’s bound to be a program at one of Kentucky’s great schools that suits your student’s interests.

 

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 Early Advising Program helps students identify activities to refine their interests and strengthen their portfolios. Find out if our Early Advising Program is right for you!

 

Check out some of our other posts about extracurriculars:

15 Summer Programs in Georgia for High Schoolers

10 Summer Programs in Oklahoma for High Schoolers

11 Summer Programs in North Carolina for High Schoolers

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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.