The time for summer camp is on the horizon, and many parents are forgoing general camps in favor of more specialized preprofessional summer programs.
Why preprofessional? These programs help students realize their passions. Likewise, they help kids find out what they don’t like so they can dive deeper into what does interest them.
Preprofessional programs are a great option for parents whose children are beginning to demonstrate an interest or passion in a certain subject. By working with your children to choose a specialty preprofessional summer program, you give them the chance to assert their independence in developing these interests. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to hang out with likeminded peers in a parent-approved environment.
Narrowing down a focus can also help your children get the most out of higher education when the time comes. When students already have an idea about their future careers, they can become experts and specialists in their favorite subjects, which translates to added value in the workforce.
With so many preprofessional summer options available, here’s how to narrow down the right one:
1. Know what your kids are looking for.
Start by having a conversation with your kids about their goals. This will keep you abreast of your children’s existing interests and steer the family toward the programs that will work best for your preprofessionals.
2. Grade the instructors.
Look into the instructors’ qualifications. Specialty programs are generally led by skilled teachers, many of whom are college professors or professionals in their fields.
3. Determine the demographics.
Find out ahead of time whether the program’s enrollees share your children’s specific passions or the other kids involved have a wide range of what interests them. There’s no right or wrong direction, but this factor can help guide your choice.
4. Look beyond the classroom.
There is added value in what students learn outside the classroom. Consider an immersion program with a community element. For example, is there a residential life component? Is it on a college campus? Are there weekend trips?
5. Go the distance.
You may also want to look into programs with a global student population. Specialized camps tend to draw students from around the world, giving your kids a multicultural experience. Because the most specialized programs are few in number, you should look into programs outside your hometown.
6. Switch things up.
To expose kids to various subject matters, consider having students attend multiple programs. Many programs run on different dates, so you can have several experiences in one summer. If you don’t have the time, think about attending new programs next summer.
Preprofessional programs are beneficial for kids of all ages and cover various subjects. By choosing a preprofessional program, parents help their children narrow their interests and focus their efforts, setting up students for a rewarding summer and future success.