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Enrichment program provides a glimpse of college courses

June 04, 2010

While many high school students may be spending their summers playing video games, relaxing with their favorite music or riding roller coasters, a select group of Arizona high schoolers will actually be creating animation for games, designing and building roller coasters, and learning about the connections between psychology and music.

More than 300 ninth through twelfth grade students from throughout Arizona are participating in the second year of Summer Enrichment sponsored by the Collegiate Scholars Program at Arizona State University.  It offers students an opportunity to experience university-level classes in non-credit workshops and helps connect students early to ASU.

The programs are attracting students from public, private, charter and home schools, as well as the Navajo and San Carlos reservations, according to Mark Duplissis, executive director of high school relations in Undergraduate Student Initiatives (USI).

“In our inaugural year, we had 50 local students participate in two separate classes offered at ASU’s Polytechnic and West campuses,” Duplissis said. “This year, we have 13 classes being offered at three ASU campuses, and the classes are full.”

Starting June 8 through July 16, three-day classes and at least one residential class will be offered. Students are choosing from options in writing, digital photography, game and cartoon animation, an engineering symposium for women, roller coaster design, engineering design, psychology and music, medical camp, mathematics, law, and crime scene investigations.

“We are also offering a one-week Hunnicutt Future Educators Academy for students who want to be teachers,” Duplissis said. “It’s a residential program at the Polytechnic campus, so it requires the students to live on campus. USI is partnering with the Office of the Vice President for Education Partnerships and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College to offer it.”

To be able to offer all the programs, USI partners with faculty from numerous colleges and academic units, including the College of Technology and Innovation, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Innovation and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Some of the classes bring an interdisciplinary flare to the approach.

“The medical camp, for example, has one of the higher enrollment numbers with 50 students, and it brings together faculty from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation,” Duplissis said. “For a small fee, it’s a great opportunity for students who are interested in becoming doctors, nurses or veterinarians to gain an overview of a particular academic area.”

Enrollment to Summer Enrichment is currently closed for summer 2010, but high school students who are on-track to graduate and are looking for a challenge with a university-level course can apply to the Collegiate Scholars Program. For more information about the Collegiate Scholars Program, visit

Media contact:
Chris Lambrakis
480/727-1173, 602/316-5616,