Feb   2012



Summer Programs Promoting Diversity

Editor, Summer Program Search
Last Updated: Feb 9, 2012

This blogger thinks it’s kind of crazy when people expect kids to choose a career before they’re even old enough to vote. Luckily, one benefit of attending a summer program for high school students is the opportunity to preview potential career fields well before you have to choose a major--or even where you’re going to college. 

Even better, there are more and more career preview programs that aim to promote diversity in professions where students from minority backgrounds have traditionally been underrepresented. Programs often combine academic course work with workshops on study skills, seminars about the college application and financial aid process, visits to job sites and research facilities, and talks from guest speakers who are prominent in their fields.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) previews careers in science, engineering, and technology for students entering grade 12. Participants attend rigorous courses in the life sciences, entrepreneurship, computer programming, humanities, genomics, and robotics. If that all sounds amazing to you, I’m really hoping this isn’t the first you’re hearing about MITES: Applications are due tomorrow, February 10.

No worries--you have until April 1 to apply to the Summer Academy for Math + Science, part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Summer Programs for Diversity. SAMS is open to rising juniors and seniors and combines classroom instruction with hands-on engineering and science projects.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse offers summer research internships to students from underrepresented backgrounds. For eight to 10 weeks, interns work with leading investigators to conduct cutting-edge substance abuse and addiction research. The experience may include formal courses, participation in meetings, data collection and analysis, interviewing, laboratory experiments, manu­script preparation, library research, and more. It’s open to undergrads and high school students over the age of 15, but if you’re under 18 you need to find a placement within commuting distance of your home.

If science isn’t your thing, how about the business world? At the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Junior Executive Institute, students attend workshops on such topics as business strategy, entrepreneurship, finance, and business operations, then put it all together in a group project.

The University of Arizona and the accounting firm Ernst & Young team up for the Business Careers Awareness Program to provide students who are underrepresented in undergraduate accounting classes with an opportunity to explore the field.

I just wrote about pre-college summer journalism programs on SummerProgramSearch.com, including a couple programs aiming to increase diversity in the ranks of print and broadcast media.

You might have noticed I didn’t mention the tuition fees at any of these programs. Well take a deep breath because . . . they’re all offered tuition-free! The bad news is that makes admission to these programs very competitive, so make sure your grades are up, teacher recommendations are top-notch, and essays are on point.

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About Jim Martinho

Jim Martinho

Jim worked as an Editor at Porter Sargent Handbooks from 2005 until 2012, following his graduation from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism. Jim’s first task at Porter Sargent was to research summer programs for the Guide to Summer Camps and Summer Schools, published since 1924 to describe recreational and educational summer opportunities for kids and teens. Jim helped to make the Guide’s 1600+ program listings fully searchable online at SummerProgramSearch.com. In his free time Jim enjoys reading, playing guitar, and seeing live music. He spent his own high school summers in suburban Boston working at a supermarket and freelancing for local newspapers.

You can circle Jim on Google+, follow him on Twitter, or subscribe to his CollegeXpress blog.


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