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March 6, 2008 :: Applications Now Accepted for Free Summer Academies on College Campuses

Media Contact

Middle and high school students should apply now for a program that lets them experience college life for free this summer while they explore future careers in math, science and technology.

The 2008 Summer Academies in Math, Science and Technology are being offered at 17 of Oklahoma’s colleges and universities in June, July and August. Twenty-two different academies are offered statewide, each lasting between four days to two weeks. Several academies allow students to live in the campus residence halls, while others let students travel to and from campus each day.

The free academies, sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, are open to upcoming eighth through 12th graders. Each academy explores the latest trends in math, science and technology, giving students an opportunity to learn about fields such as aerospace, video game graphics and forensic science, to name a few. The academies use fun, hands-on activities and innovative software as students experiment both in the classroom and outdoors. Many academies also include field trips to some of the state’s top companies, science facilities and museums.

“Since 1990, the Summer Academies have allowed more than 15,000 Oklahoma middle and high school students to see a college campus, many for the first time,” Chancellor Glen D. Johnson said. “After attending our Summer Academies, the students are more likely to attend college and hopefully have a broader perspective about the value of a college education.”

More than 80 percent of academy participants earn at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 22 percent of the total population. When they get to college, participants also are better prepared academically than their peers, requiring one-third less remediation than the state average.

Students who have attended Summer Academies often share personal stories of how strongly the academies affected them. Stories range from college not seeming as unimaginable as before to befriending students of different races for the first time. Many say what they learn in the academies isn’t anything like science class in school.

One Oklahoma science teacher who encourages her students to apply for Summer Academies has called the program a “lifesaver” for students because it gets them excited about college and gives them a new view of what their futures could hold.

Applications are now being accepted for the academies, and many have deadlines. Because the academies are free and enrollment is limited, students are encouraged to apply early. To qualify, students need to be entering eighth through 12th grade this fall. Officials emphasize the academies are not exclusive to top students, but instead are designed to give all students an opportunity to increase their interest and confidence in math, science and technology, and ultimately, expand their career and educational aspirations.

Academy descriptions and contact information are available at www.okhighered.org/student-center. Students also can get information from their school counselors or by calling (800) 858-1840.

Academies offered this summer include:

Cameron University, Lawton

Connors State College, Warner

East Central University, Ada

Langston University, Langston

Northeastern State University, Broken Arrow

Northern Oklahoma College, Enid

Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Goodwell

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater

Oklahoma State University – Oklahoma City

Oklahoma State University Technical Branch – Okmulgee

Redlands Community College, El Reno

Seminole State College, Seminole

Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Weatherford

University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond

The University of Tulsa

Western Oklahoma State College, Altus