2020 Summer Learning Opportunities

*sorted alphabetically


The ACLU National Advocacy Institute
High School Program

Program Overview

Through an intensive program in Washington D.C., students will learn directly from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and civil liberties critical to a free and open society. In classroom sessions, lectures, and policy debates, students will explore the complex nature of issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real world political decision making in Washington, D.C. Students will participate in a special, day-long Next Generation Conference and Gala to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the ACLU. The program will culminate in meetings with elected officials and/or congressional staff on Capitol Hill, and an issue rally to bring attention to a cause selected by the 2020 cohort. (High School Program, in previous years, was known as the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute.)

Key program elements will include:

·         Electives covering the ACLU’s wide array of issue areas, taught by communications experts, lawyers, policy advocates, and other professional organizing staff from the ACLU and partner organizations.

·         Daily seminars in small groups to explore social justice and civil liberties issues.

·         Next Generation Conference and Gala to mark the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the ACLU. This one-day event will feature past and present ACLU leadership, as well as special guest speakers from the public sector and other nonprofit organizations.

·         Life-long connections and support structures with other young activists from across the country.

·         Boosting political knowledge and campaign abilities, learn more about mobilizing issue-based advocacy campaigns, growing a team, identifying a strategy for engaging with policy-makers, and maximizing impact for the issues that drive you.

·         Visiting our nation’s capital and DC-area college campuses, tour key historic sites, museums, and college campuses in the Washington, D.C. area.

Program Dates & Location

Wednesday, July 22 - Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Washington, D.C.


High school-aged students who are 15-18* years old are welcome to apply. (*You must have completed one year of high school by July 2020 to be eligible. The graduating class of 2020 is encouraged to apply) Students currently enrolled as college freshmen and higher should apply for the College and Community Program.

The High School Program is looking for students who demonstrate a keen interest in civil liberties issues and social justice advocacy. Students are not required to have previous familiarity with civil liberties issues or advocacy methodologies (and those students who are already deeply immersed in civil liberties issues/advocacy will have a unique opportunity to deepen their skill-set and expand their organizing network).


Students are required to complete the following requirements before the application deadline for the admissions committee to consider the student for the program.

1. Submit a completed online application

2. Submit a letter of recommendation *(Please send this form to your teacher, along with your application number)

For more information and/or to apply, go to:


Boston University 
Summer Journalism Institute

Expand your skills. Experience college life. Explore Boston.

Boston University presents a once-in-a-lifetime experience for high school students interested in journalism, communications or writing.

Celebrating its 11th year, the Boston University Summer Journalism Institute gives students ages 15 to 18 the opportunity to expand their skills, experience college life and explore Boston. Each instructor is also a working journalist, so what’s taught is grounded in real-life experience. Each lesson is tied to its practical application, by giving students reporting assignments on campus and in the city. Each day is an opportunity to taste what’s it like to work in the news field, live on a campus, and make new friends from all over the country.


Session 1: June 22 to July 3, 2020;

Session 2: July 6 to July 17, 2020; 

Session 3: July 20 to July 31, 2020.


Students ages 15 to 18

Tuition + Fees: 

Residential: $3500; Commuter: $2600 -- Early Bird Discounts Coming!

For more information and/or to apply, go to:


Bucknell Academy Summer Experience

Get ready to make the most of your summer.

At BASE, the Bucknell Academy Summer Experience, you'll spend a week living like a college student. You'll stay in our residence halls, attend classes taught by Bucknell professors and develop problem-solving skills designed to help you make an impact on the world.

BASE participants join Bucknell faculty and students to find innovative solutions to pressing issues. Perhaps you'll team up with environmental engineers and global managers to create better technology for clean water. Or maybe you'll collaborate with performing artists and biomedical engineers to reimagine prosthetics used by actors or musicians.

Reach into your imagination and solve problems in innovative ways. It all starts at Bucknell.

·         Camps, Conferences & Visit Programs

o    Chemistry Camp

o    Bucknell Academy Summer Experience (BASE)

o    Engineering Camp

o    Journey to Bucknell

o    Project Catalyst

o    Seminar for Undergraduate Poets

Details about BASE

When is BASE?

The next Bucknell Academy Summer Experience will take place in June 2020. The camp lasts for five days. Check back in 2020 for exact program dates.

Who is eligible?

High school students who will be rising juniors or seniors are welcome to apply. We're looking for applicants with a strong academic record, who enjoy collaborating and leading, and have a genuine interest in the liberal arts and creative problem-solving.

How do I apply?

The online BASE application will go live on Feb. 20, 2020, and the application deadline is April 20, 2020.

How are students selected?

We'll review applications on a rolling basis. Successful applicants will be notified in May 2020.

How much does it cost?

The fee is $1,000, which includes housing, meals and learning materials.

A limited number of applicants may receive financial aid based on need. Applicants interested in aid should ask their school counselor to write a letter attesting to the student's need. Please send questions to

What do BASE participants do?

You will:

·         Attend classes led by faculty from a variety of departments.

·         Learn to consider similar ideas from different academic perspectives.

·         Collaborate and present your ideas.

·         Connect with Bucknell faculty, staff and current students.

·         Stay in a campus residence hall and eat meals in the dining hall.

For more information and/or to apply, go to:


Catholic University

You don’t have to wait until you’re old enough to enroll in Catholic University to begin to experience the exciting life and learning opportunities to be found here. High school students are invited to sign up for one of our summer pre-college programs.

Summer Business Institute 

The Busch School Summer Business Institute is an exciting week-long educational experience in business innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, and ethics through the lens of Catholic Social Doctrine. Rising juniors and seniors in high school will have the opportunity to dive hands-on into business principles, competitions, and applications, while experiencing a taste of college life in Washington, DC. The week will feature presentations and workshops put on by the top men and women in their fields, allowing students to engage with real-world business practitioners and entrepreneurs. Throughout the week, students will create their own business idea and present to CUA "Shark Tank" judges.

Learn more about the Summer Business Institute 

Summer Band Workshop 

The Benjamin T. Rome Summer Band Workshop is open to any student currently in 8-11th grade. The workshop will provide an opportunity for students to prepare, rehearse, and perform a concert or concert band literature at the end of one week. Students will be coached in specific instrumental technique and large-ensemble skills by Catholic University faculty and other professional musicians.

Learn more about the Summer Band Workshop 

Light the World! 

Light the World! Encourages high school students to learn to see theology in everyday life by exploring theological traditions, asking questions about the moral dimensions of contemporary issues, and examining how their faith calls them to lives of service.

Learn more about Light the World! 

Experiences in Architecture 

The Experiences in Architecture program at The Catholic University of America is an intense three-week workshop for students interested in architecture or other design related fields. Students are exposed to both the academic and the professional sides of the architecture arena as the city of Washington, D.C. becomes their classroom.

The Experiences in Architecture program will better prepare you for the rigors of architecture school, giving you a head start, as well as acquaint you with campus life at the university level. Students who have participated in the EIA summer workshop or a similar pre-college program are better prepared for success at the university level.

Learn more about Experiences in Architecture  

High School Drama Institute

The Catholic University High School Drama Institute is a joint offering by the University's School of Music and Department of Drama. Students major in Musical Theatre or Drama/Acting in this 3-week residential program designed to offer intensive summer training in the performing arts. Study voice, acting, dance, movement, and more with experts in the field and like-minded theatre students.

Learn More about the High School Drama Institute

Engineering New Frontiers 

Engineering New Frontiers (ENF) is a weeklong, residential summer camp for rising high-school juniors and seniors held on the campus of The Catholic University of America.

At ENF, students will work closely with Catholic University's engineering faculty members to explore the wide variety of engineering opportunities in our society.  Through classes, demonstrations, and hands-on experiments, students will experience what college engineering majors and professional engineers do.  Living on campus, students also get a "taste" of college and exposure to the best of Washington, D.C., including special museum tour, sporting events, and various other safe recreational activities.

For more information, send an email to: 

Applied Math in Action!

The Applied Math in Action! pre-college summer math program is designed to inspire students to study STEM fields through a dynamic look at applied mathematics–including everything from creating and cracking codes to trips to Washington, D.C.'s national monuments, NASA, and the Spy Museum. High school students will get to experience campus life by living for one week at The Catholic University of America in our nation's capital while working with Catholic University's math faculty and students on projects, such as ancient codes, modern cryptography, and cyber-security.

Learn more about Applied Math in Action!

For more information and/or to apply, go to:


Cornell University
Precollege Studies

Cornell University's precollege programs give high school students the chance to benefit from an Ivy League education before they apply to or attend college.

Whether you're participating in our Summer College program or taking a course online, you'll experience what sets our programs apart—studying with Cornell faculty, learning in regular undergraduate-level courses, and earning real college credit for your work.

Ways to study with us:

Summer College is our premier precollege experience for sophomores through seniors.

You also can experience Cornell and earn credit while you're still in high school by taking a summer or winter course online.

And if you live locally, you can take an on-campus course at any time of the year.

See all programs and courses for high school students

For more information and/or to apply, go to: