Temple Summer Academy hosts Cohort of Talented High School Students

Students on a rope

Temple Summer Academy, an academic pre-college program for rising high school juniors and seniors, hosted its third cohort on Temple University’s Main Campus from July 9-27, 2018.

This cohort of 15 talented students hails from high schools within the Philadelphia metropolitan area, and as far away as Florida, Ohio, and Maryland.

SOLE Students on a ropes courseTemple Summer Academy offers students an opportunity to experience college while they are still in high school. Students take a three-credit college course, pursue other areas of interest in non-credit workshops, bond as a group through evening and weekend activities, and live on campus in a Temple residence hall.

To earn college credit, students take an introductory social science course called Youth Cultures. This course is part of Temple’s General Education curriculum and teaches students about the cultural aspects of youth cultures in the United States and around the world. This summer, the course was taught by Dr. Jean Boyer in the College of Education. As part of the course, students completed film analyses and were introduced to college-level research through assignments like evaluating scholarly articles and completing an annotated bibliography on a youth culture of their choice.

If they earn a B or better in this course, Summer Academy alumni are eligible for a $4,000 scholarship through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, should they later choose to enroll at Temple as first-time, full-time freshmen? If not, students can still transfer these three credits to other institutions.

In addition to this experience with college-level coursework, Temple Summer Academy offers two distinct non-credit tracks: Summer Owls Leadership Experience (SOLE) and Visual Studies.

SOLE is the inaugural track of the Summer Academy program. Now in its third year, SOLE students develop and expand their leadership skills through a high ropes course designed to build self-confidence, trust, and teamwork, and through a classroom workshop that gives students the tools they need to advocate for themselves, lead others, and change their communities. In addition, SOLE students also participate in field trips that introduce them to prospective careers and teach them the basics of networking with established leaders in various fields.

SOLE Students after a ropes course

The Visual Studies track of Summer Academy ran for the first time in 2018 in partnership with the Tyler School of Art. Visual Studies is a studio art class that helps students develop skills as artists and thinkers, and allows them to learn under the direction of Tyler’s talented artist-educators. The Visual Studies workshop builds on the themes discussed in the Youth Cultures course and introduces students to the Visual Studies major at Tyler.

"Our interdisciplinary approach combines the creative aspects of studio art with the kind of rigorous scholarship only available at a research institution like Temple University,” says Laura Hricko, Assistant Director, Tyler Pre-College Programs and Continuing Education. “Joining the Summer Academy enabled Tyler to offer an exciting program that allows our students to earn college credits, and develop skills as makers and critical thinkers.”

No matter which track students pursue in Summer Academy, throughout the program, most students also participate in a variety of social and extracurricular activities as a group and with their chaperones—current Temple undergraduates who live in the residence halls with the students and guide them during their time in the program.

Living in a Temple residence hall and participating in evening and weekend activities help students to bond as a group and experience the independence of college life—not to mention starting to make Temple their home away from home, and to explore the city of Philadelphia. This year, on-campus programs included a game night in the Howard Gittis Student Center, an ice cream social at the iconic Bell Tower, movie nights, a campus-wide scavenger hunt, and a visit to our Ambler campus.

Off campus, students toured the Old City and Society Hill neighborhoods of Philadelphia for a spooky twilight Spirits of ’76 ghost tour. They also cheered on the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, visited some of Philadelphia’s world-renowned museums, and experienced just a little of what makes Philadelphia such a fun place in which to live and learn.

The Office of Summer and Special Programs will grow the Summer Academy program next year to offer additional credit and non-credit options for talented high school students.

If your student is interested in applying to be a member of next year’s Summer Academy class, or if you are a Temple University school, college, or unit and would like to learn how you can be a part of Summer Academy next year, contact Maureen Saraco, Assistant Director of Summer and Special Programs.