Kate Sundquist 4 min read 11th Grade, Summer Activities

7 Summer Programs in Oregon for High Schoolers

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As second semester rolls around, it’s only normal that many high school students begin to think about final exams, AP tests, and spring sports or other activities. However, while most students aren’t thinking about summer programs just yet,  now is the time to begin planning. In fact, many summer programs have registration deadlines early in the second semester.


For students in Oregon, there are many top choices for summer programs. In this post, we outline seven of our favorites here at CollegeVine. If your teen is interested in attending a summer program in Oregon, don’t miss this post.

Why Should High Schoolers Attend Summer Programs?

Summer programs aren’t just a way to learn new skills and gain knowledge relevant to future career paths. They are also an important way to gain experience in a college setting. Students who attend summer programs often have the chance to take pre-college or college level classes, participate in research on a college campus, eat in dining halls, and even live in college dorms. All of these experiences will provide your teen with insight into what college will be like and even what he or she might want in a college. In this way, summer programs can be an important source of information later during the college process.

There are numerous summer programs out there which are geared toward preparing your student for their future endeavors as both as a college student and a professional. These programs vary in cost and length, so you and your teen can select a program that suits his or her interests while remaining compatible with your family’s budget and timeline. Furthermore, many programs offer financial aid for qualified students, so be sure to do your research and encourage your teen to apply early to take advantage of these opportunities.

Seven Summer Programs in Oregon

Young Entrepreneur’s Business Week


Young Entrepreneur’s Business Week is a nonprofit organization that conducts business centered summer programs on college campuses around the state. Mentored by real, successful entrepreneurs, participants learn through experiential learning, running their own mock companies, developing business and product ideas, and learning how to pitch. Different weeks have different focuses, so check the About YEBW page for more information.


  • Affiliate Organization: Independent. Programs held at University of Oregon, Oregon State University, University of Portland, and OSU-Cascades.
  • Grades: 9th-11th
  • Cost: $1,095 for Oregon students and $1,395 for out-of-state residents
  • Deadline: Enrollment is rolling. Scholarship application deadline is May 1, 2019.


Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth


This program is designed to encourage traditionally underrepresented groups in the field of engineering, including minorities and girls. Participants in this residential program spend a week with a research group in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University, working closely with professors and undergrads as they tackle problems in fields such as computer science, biomedical engineering, and energy systems.  


    • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
    • Grades: 9th-11th
    • Cost: $250
    • Deadline: May 7, 2019


  • Essay prompts: In your best writing style, describe yourself and your family. Include information about your activities, hobbies, awards and a statement about why you want to attend the SESEY program (1-2 pages).


School of Arts and Communication Academy | Choir Camp


At this week-long choral training program, students can expect to receive expert coaching while participating in sight reading clinics, intensive large group and sectional rehearsals, and ultimately will have the opportunity to perform with small ensembles and large choirs.


  • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
  • Grades: 9th-11th
  • Cost: Not yet announced. Check the Registration and Fees page for updates. Options will be available for both residential and day students.
  • Deadline: July 15, 2019 

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School of Arts and Communication Academy | JumpstART


JumpstART is a weeklong program for students with an interest in studio arts and a desire to  build their skills in this field. Students participate in an accelerated program led by teaching artists, and classes are supplemented with visiting artist lectures, workshops, and excursions.


  • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
  • Grades: 9th-12th
  • Cost: $500 for day students, additional $350 for room and board.
  • Deadline: June 1, 2019


School of Arts and Communication Academy | Music Recording and Production Camp


In this weeklong camp, high school students gain experience using technology to make music. Students take classes in recording techniques, software operation, and listening skills, while exploring both the creative and technical sides of music production.


  • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
  • Grades: 9th-12th
  • Cost: Not yet announced. Check the Registration and Fees page for updates. Options will be available for both residential and day students.
  • Deadline: June 1, 2019


OSU Summer Veterinary Experience


The Oregon State University Veterinary Experience is for academically talented high school students interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine. Faculty, graduate students, and veterinary students serve as mentors for students who participate in research projects, as well as clinical activities in the veterinary teaching hospital and in off-campus settings.


  • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
  • Grades: 10th and 11th
  • Cost: $750. Scholarships are available.
  • Deadline: April 15, 2019
  • Essay prompts: Why are you interested in attending the OSU Summer Veterinary Experience? Please describe your experiences and interests in animals and veterinary medicine.


OSU Chamber Music Workshop


This summer program is held over the course of one or two weeks and is designed for students who excel as string musicians and are interested in pursuing the field as a career or in higher education. Participants receive expert coaching, sight reading clinics, supervised practice sessions, master classes, and the opportunity to perform with small ensembles.


  • Affiliate Organization: Oregon State University
  • Grades: 9th-11th
  • Cost: Not yet announced. Check the Registration and Fees page for updates. Options will be available for both residential and day students.
  • Deadline: June 9, 2019


Attending a summer program can be a transformational experience for some students, providing them with invaluable insights into the fields they want to pursue and the experiences they hope to find in higher education. In the right program, students often grow not only in terms of knowledge and skill, but also in terms of self confidence and self awareness.


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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.