Say goodbye to the cold chill that was characteristic of February and say hello to the sunny skies of April. After weeks of gloomy weather reminiscent of Gore Verbinski’s The Ring, we can finally go outdoors and enjoy true Californian weather. It is also time for high school students to decide what they want to do this summer. Some will spend their time outdoors on family vacations. Others may take up coveted jobs or internships. Then there are those who wish to continue learning throughout the year and keep their brains sharp for the coming school year. Summer courses have multiple benefits. They allow you to take classes for fun, so you gain new and exciting knowledge. Perhaps it is time for you to foster your interest in pottery or discover your latent talent in creative writing. At the same time, summer courses give you a schedule during the summer, so you don’t while away your hours playing WoW and eating ice cream.
There are two ways to go about summer classes. One is to take them at your local community college. This is definitely a great way to learn and still have time for fun and friends. Community college courses are extremely popular for high school students; you’re bound to find a friend or two willing to take a class with you. Some of their summer courses are actually designed for high school students who are trying to meet a college or graduation requirement. For example, some people complete their foreign language requirement at community college or take some of those mysterious “recommended courses.”
Another option is to take a more intense plan of action and enroll in summer sessions at large universities. Many universities such as UC Berkeley feature unique summer sessions targeted towards preparing high school students for college. Berkeley features a program called the Pre-Collegiate Program. More information can be found at: http://summer.berkeley.edu/pre-collegiate. There is a 3.0 minimum GPA requirement and only 10th graders or 11th graders can apply. The deadline for application is June 3rd. The benefits of this program are that the courses available to high school students are the same as those being taken by current college students. There are some restrictions but almost any course listed on Berkeley’s normal scheduling system is available. You might be sitting in a lecture of over 500 students, and your professor probably has a few patents if not a Nobel Prize under his belt. These programs also offer advising to help you determine how to improve your college application and decide your interests. However, such summer programs are generally more expensive and can be competitive because space is limited.
UC Berkeley: http://summer.berkeley.edu/pre-collegiate