Public Affairs, The California State University

Enhancing Education During Summer

By Stephanie Thara

Cal Poly Pomona’s Summer Youth Sports Camps Throughout the summer, CSU campuses host a variety of programs and activities that provide college students, as well as youth from the local community, an opportunity to expand their knowledge and talents.

At day camps such as CSU Northridge’s Sunny Days Camp and Sonoma State’s Summer Kids Camps, CSU students can develop their leadership, social and academic skills by serving as counselors. Additionally, summer sports camps—including Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Youth Summer Programs, Cal Poly Pomona’s Summer Youth Sports Camps and San Francisco State’s Gator Youth Sports Summer Camp—give students earning athletics-based degrees the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by creating activities and working directly with the participants. Some summer programs focus on mentoring those with disabilities. For example:

  • Graduate students at Cal State San Marcos who are training to become speech and language pathologists host free intensive language day camps and clinics for children, teens and adults struggling with communication impairments and disorders.
  • At Camp Nugget, Cal State Long Beach students and recent alumni create tailored games and activities that teach children with special needs and disabilities healthy physical habits they can use for a lifetime.
  • Specially trained students from the kinesiology, special education and recreation departments at Sacramento State help WAVE (Water Adventures in Varied Environments) campers with physical disabilities participate in purposeful fitness, recreational, competitive and social activities such as water skiing, kayaking, swimming and scuba diving.

Hosting a camp on the university’s campus also helps expose K-12 students to college, encouraging them to walk a path toward higher education. During these camps, attendees have the opportunity to tour the campus, interact with staff and faculty, learn from CSU students who are earning degrees in specialized industries and get a taste of what college life is like. For instance:

  • Cal State L.A. hosts a summer employment program for low income youth that provides actual work experience on campus for the participants while exposing them to the possibility of attending college.

Cal Maritime’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program

  • Cal Maritime’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program is a six-week program where high school students attend college level courses, live in the university residence halls and participate in activities such as marine survival, team-building games and rope challenge courses.
  • During Cal State Monterey Bay’s Imagine College, students from a local high school come to campus for a week and can take one of several classes. Once they complete the program, they can qualify for a $4,000 scholarship when they graduate to help pay for their first year of college.

Some campuses hold specialized camps that focus on building upon already established foundations and interests in a particular topic. Activities in these camps help attendees grow their skills, technique and knowledge in an industry they are interested in pursuing. For example:

  • At Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Summer Camp in Video Game Art and Design, teenagers learn about designing characters, developing story lines and creating compelling digital illustrations.
  • CSU Stanislaus’ Summer Music Camp provides student musicians (grades 6-12) performance and rehearsal opportunities through individual, small ensemble, and large ensemble instruction.
  • Cal State Bakersfield’s Roadrunner Art Camp enhances and enriches children’s art skills and talents through topic-based art study in the fields of drawing, painting, mixed media and craft work.

Furthermore, numerous CSU campuses have discovery summer camps where participants can learn about new industries or topics. By attending these programs, youth are exposed to the different career opportunities or possible fields of interest they could study in college. For instance:

Forensic Science and CSI Summer Camp at San José State

  • The Forensic Science and CSI Summer Camp at San José State allows students to experience crime scene investigation and forensic science with actual experts in the field.
  • CSU Channel Islands hosts both a Summer Climate Science Institute and Student Summer Camp that bring together NASA scientists, climate science experts, local teachers and students for seven days of learning about climate change and the science behind it.
  • Chico State’s Eco-Rangers program guides students to environmental stewardship through hands-on activities that focus on sustainability.
  • At the CSU East Bay Concord Campus, students can learn about solar and renewable energy through research and exploration at the Solar Science Summer Academy.
  • Fresno State’s Kid Invent! summer camps teach young people in grades K-8 about digital videos, entrepreneurship, science and robotics.
  • Humboldt State’s Marine Sciences Summer Program offers children a hands-on opportunity to learn about and explore local marine habitats and the coastal environment.
  • Kids can learn about archaeology by forming clay objects based on ancient artifacts and conducting a mock archaeological dig at the Summer Egyptian Workshop at Cal State San Bernardino’s Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art.
  • At San Diego State’s CAMPX, local industry experts help teenagers explore a variety of careers by taking them behind the scenes and giving them insider advice on how to succeed.
  • Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Engineering Possibilities in College Summer Camp gives middle and high school students an in-depth view of the various types of engineering.