6 Summer Programs in North Dakota for High Schoolers

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As the school year rolls into the second semester, your teen is probably thinking about finals, AP exams, and spring sports or other activities. One thing, however, that they might not be thinking about yet is the upcoming summer. Many summer programs have application deadlines in the first half of the spring semester, and now is definitely the time to start planning.


Summer programs are a great option for teens who want to explore college life, gain real world skills, and learn more about themselves and their goals for the future. Although it might not seem like North Dakota is a hotspot for summer programs, there are in fact some great options available to high schoolers in the state. To learn more about summer programs in North Dakota, don’t miss this post.


Why Participate in a Summer Program?


There are few opportunities to get a glimpse of college life before diving in headfirst, but summer programs provide just this. Teens who participate in summer programs will get a feel for what it’s like to take classes on a college campus, eat in dining halls, and sometimes even live in the dorms. They will gain important insights into what they like and don’t like in a college and might even learn more about their goals for a future major or career path.


In addition, summer programs can provide real world skills and experiences that are directly relevant to a future career. Students commonly participate in actual research or hands-on projects, getting a true sense for how their skills and knowledge are applied in the real world. Summer programs are a smart choice for any teen who wants to learn more about college life or gain insight into future career goals.


6 Summer Programs in North Dakota


* These program costs are estimates. Actual costs may vary based on commuter status, residency, or whether there are scholarships available.


1. Code Blue EMS (Emergency Medical Services) Camp


This three-day residential program on the Wahpeton campus provides hands-on experience to students interested in a career as an EMT or paramedic. Students will learn how to use medical equipment and radios, how ambulances operate, and what it’s like to care for people as a paramedic or EMT.


  • Affiliate Organization: North Dakota State College of Science
  • Grades: 9th-11th
  • Cost: $50
  • Deadline: Registration open on the Sanford Success Center until all spaces are filled.

2. North Dakota Governor’s Schools


This six-week residential program is open to students of above average scholastic aptitude who are interested in pursuing one or more of the following fields: Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Engineering, Information Technology, Laboratory Science, or Mathematics. Participants live on campus and take concentrated academic classes from NDSU faculty that include discussion groups, labs, field trips, and other activities.


  • Affiliate Organization: North Dakota State University
  • Grades: 9th and 10th
  • Cost: $100
  • Deadline: January 15, 2019

3. H.O.P.E. – Health Occupations and Professions Exploration


At HOPE Camp, students spend four days immersed in hands-on activities and classes related to a variety of health professions. Priority is given to rural students interested in a career in healthcare.


  • Affiliate Organization: North Dakota State University
  • Grades: 10th-12th
  • Cost: Contact Dana Davis at (701) 231-7837 or email dana.davis@ndsu.edu for more information.
  • Deadline: Registration for the 2019 Program will be open April 1-25, 2019. Follow the HOPE Camp Facebook page for more information.

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4. North Dakota Leadership Seminar (NDLS)


Each spring, more than 100 of the state’s top students gather together for three days to build leadership and community service skills through the North Dakota Leadership Seminar. Led by volunteers from the fields of business, education, and government, students attend workshops and seminars addressing numerous aspects of our changing world and the challenges future leaders will confront. A closing banquet and program is held on Sunday, and participants’ families are encouraged to attend.


  • Affiliate Organization: University of Jamestown
  • Grades: 10th grade only
  • Cost: Free to students who are accepted
  • See the NDLS registration page for more details.


5. Summer Institute Program


Open to American Indian students, this six-week residential program provides academic enrichment for students interested in exploring careers or fields of study in healthcare. Students take daily classes in biology, chemistry, communications/study skills, health with basic first aid, math, and physics, all the while living on the college campus and participating in educational field trips.


  • Affiliate Organization: University of North Dakota
  • Grades: 9th, 10th, and 11th
  • Cost: Free to accepted students
  • Deadline: March 1, 2019
  • Essay Prompt: Typed & signed autobiographical sketch


6. North Dakota ALA Girls State


In this week-long residential program, girls learn about the government and how it functions through a simulation that includes actually running for offices, holding elections, writing ordinances/laws, and various other activities.


  • Affiliate Organization:
  • Grades: 11th only
  • Cost: $250, covered by an American Legion Sponsor. Visit the Find a Sponsor page for more information.
  • Deadline: June 1, 2019


How You Can Help Your Teen Find A Best-Fit Summer Program


Summer programs are a great way for your teen to gain experience on a college campus. At the same time, your teen will get to pursue an area of interest and learn more about themselves and their goals for the future. In order to reap these rewards, though, your teen will need to find the summer program that’s right for them. Thinking about factors such as interest, cost, and geographical location are a good start. Your teen should also consider reaching out to teachers, counselors, or other mentors for ideas. Often times, someone who is already involved in your teen’s area of interest will be able to point them in the right direction.


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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger

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.

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