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Shorter or Great Books Summer Programs for High Schoolers

Page history last edited by Shelley 1 year, 4 months ago

(As always, please check individual websites for current information.)


The Foundation for Economic Education is devoted to the dissemination of “the ideas related to the economic, ethical and legal principles of a free society.”  They have typically offered residential intensive economics-related programming on multiple campuses, in 2020 pivoted to offering online "we'll come to your high school virtually" programming. See https://fee.org/events for current info.


The Foundation for Teaching Economics offers week-long residential programs for high school students during June and July on 14 host campuses nationwide. "Since 1991, FTE has offered unique summer programs and opportunities to outstanding student leaders interested in learning about economics and leadership principles." See https://www.fte.org/students/2021-program-sites-and-dates/ for current info.


Ashland University offers the Ashbrook Academy. From the online description:  “[D]esigned for rising high school juniors and seniors who share a deep interest in American history and politics.  Unlike other courses or programs that tend to erode young Americans’ pride in their country by emphasizing its historical failures, the Academy invites students to consider the American experiment as a historical triumph, a victory for reason and the human spirit that warrants grateful celebration but also demands serious study.”  


Hillsdale College conducts several High School Summer Study Programs, three of which have involved European travel. “Applications are encouraged by February 15.  Completed applications will be considered until the program reaches capacity.”


The University of Notre Dame’s Summer Scholars: http://precollege.nd.edu/summer-scholars/  

"Summer Scholars participants spend two intensive weeks in one of 25 exciting programs of study."


The Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey, offers its Moral Life and the Classical Tradition Seminar to rising high school juniors and seniors. “The seminar consists of two complimentary courses: Classical Moral Philosophy and Contemporary Issues in Moral Thought.”  Apply by February 15th.


Several “great books” programs offer summer short courses for high school students.

Some of the host colleges are Catholic, some are Protestant, and one is secular.  They are listed below:


Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts, Warner, New Hampshire – Collegiate Summer Program, Academic subjects include philosophy, theology, literature, and the American political tradition.  "The Collegiate Summer Program challenges students academically, encourages them in their (Catholic) faith, and leads them to personal excellence." Past day trips include “hiking in the White Mountains, swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, canoeing the Merrimack River, and visiting the Quechee Gorge in Vermont.”  


Saint Mary’s College of California, Moraga, California – High School Summer Program, Students “read directly from a selection of great books and learn to stand on their own two feet in rational inquiry and debate.  Along the way they make great friendships, take advantage of the gorgeous 420-acre campus and its amenities, and explore the cultural resources of the Bay Area.”  Apply by July 1.


Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, California – High School Great Books Program, “Each summer for two weeks, high school students from around the country join members of the teaching faculty on the campus of Thomas Aquinas College for spirited conversation, engaging firsthand some of the best works of the past 2,500 years.  They read and discuss works selected from the masters of the Western intellectual tradition, including Plato, St. Athanasius, Euclid, Sophocles, O’Connor, Shakespeare, St. Thomas Aquinas and Pascal.  It is a time for forging new friendships, for enjoying the give and take of rational argument, and for pursuing the truth, which civilizes, ennobles, and liberates.” (One program in CA, one in New England.) 


University of Dallas, Irving, Texas – The Arete, July 10-23. The program offers two tracks: “introduction to the classics” and “American studies.”  “These programs are a great opportunity for high school students to experience some of the most important classical tests of Western Civilization, and speeches and writings in American history, improve their reading and writing skills, and earn college credit.” 


Wyoming Catholic College, Lander, Wyoming – PEAK Summer (https://wyomingcatholic.edu/come-peak-with-us-this-summer/), for "college-bound Catholic students."  “[A] great opportunity to pursue the True, the Good, and the Beautiful not only in the classroom but also on horseback, on a rock wall, and backpacking through the beautiful Wyoming Mountains!”


Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania – Summer Scholars Program  Apply by April 15. "The Summer Scholars Program is designed for intelligent, gifted young men and women who aim to become more than just successful employees, but fully alive human persons, as God intended. More specifically, this is an opportunity to sample a special kind of education—a kind that aspires not only to prepare its students for prosperous careers, but to investigate the meaning of a truly good life: a life of honest self-examination, delighting in what is True, Good, Beautiful, and Holy through formation into the image of Jesus Christ."


The King’s College, New York, New York –  Summer Academy: https://www.tkc.edu/admissions/summer-academy


Mercer University, Macon, Georgia – Great Books Summer Program. "Programs will bring together bright and inquisitive college-bound students with some of Mercer’s outstanding Great Books faculty.  Together, they will explore classic texts (from Plato to Shakespeare) that address some of the most enduring human questions and problems.”


Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama – Great Ideas Summer Institute, June 19-24. “This institute offers an opportunity for intellectually ambitious students to enjoy the energy of a college classroom, engage ideas that form the essence of the Western Intellectual Tradition, and develop friendships with exceptional high school students from around the country. Students must be juniors or seniors in high school to apply.  


St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico – Summer Academy, three separate one-week courses in Santa Fe, two in Annapolis. At the best-known great books college in America, “students read and discuss texts from the Western canon in small classes guided by St. John’s renowned faculty.  Students live in dormitories and share campus amenities as well as enjoy off-campus excursions to celebrated sites.”




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