ASU opens doors to young students during summer scholars program

Almost 300 Arizona middle school students recently moved into the residence halls of Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. The students will engage in an intensive two-week program in which they will study journalism, engineering, sustainability, law and trial advocacy, arts and culture, and mathematics.

The Barrett Summer Scholars (BSS) program provides an academically-rich, summer-residential program for motivated Arizona students to help them prepare a pathway to college and introduce them to university life.

The program is growing each year. A total of 282 students were invited to participate in the program this summer, an increase of 69 percent from the 167 who participated last summer. In 2013, ASU received 405 applications, a 44 percent increase from the 283 applications in 2012. 

Students will participate in various field trips to places like the Maricopa County Superior Court, the Heard Museum and other interesting sites. The program also teaches the young students about the services and courses offered at ASU and at Barrett, The Honors College.

“BSS is fun because you can meet new people and interact with new cultures you wouldn’t have met if it weren’t for this program,” said ninth-grader Omar Maranon. “This program has inspired me even more to follow the steps to become a Sun Devil.”

All admitted scholars take two academic courses: an elective course and a critical-thinking course.

“I applied for BSS because I thought it would be a great way to get a better idea about what I want to be," said Evelyn Scollick, another ninth-grade participant. “The engineering class is a great way to get a feel for what engineers do.”

Students in the seventh-grade program will take a math- or science-related course, as well as “Logic and Reasoning.” Scholars in the eighth- and ninth-grade program will take an abbreviated version of “The Human Event,” the signature class of Barrett, The Honors College.

"The Human Event" sections are taught by Barrett faculty and students. Participants are asked to think critically and engage in discussion with their peers.

To learn more and obtain an application for the 2014 Barrett Summer Scholars program, visit The application period opens in January and the deadline to apply is March 7.

Applicants must be enrolled in seventh, eighth or ninth grade and have a score in the 97th percentile or higher in any one area of the Arizona state-board approved gifted exams, or exceed standards in any one area of the AIMS test.