Middle school students learn about college during summer camp on campus
Students from seven area middle schools attended a unique summer camp on the Northern Kentucky University campus.
The summer camp was offered by Educational Talent Search, a federally funded program at NKU designed to assist youth
from disadvantaged backgrounds who have the potential to succeed in higher education.
Zach Wells, assistant director of Educational Talent Search, said 34 students took part in the camp. They lived in the dorms,
attended classes and participated in recreational activities on campus to become familiar with the college experience.
Four current NKU students served as residential assistants, guides and mentors for the younger campers.
“The idea behind our summer camp,” Wells said, “is to introduce the idea of college to middle school students and show
them that college is not a scary place. We have found that students who start thinking about the idea of college earlier
have a greater chance of working toward that goal in high school.”
Campers attended classes in electronic media, history and American culture to show them the variety of learning
opportunities available in college.
“The camp does not necessarily focus on college prep as much as it focuses on the culture of college,” Wells said. “The
courses are designed to show them that college professors are approachable people and not the intimidating archetypes
that they may see on television. Students also live in the dorms and learn what it is like to live with roommates.”
The summer camp has become one of the most popular programs that Educational Talent Search offers to target schools
in the area.
“We consistently get emails and phone calls from school staff throughout the year asking for information on our summer
camp because students are asking them about it,” Wells said. “Over the years, we have found that the students who
participate in our summer camp are more excited about college and focused when they enter high school.”