As Bob Musiker, owner of Summer Discovery/Discovery Internships, described in the February 23, 2012 edition of The Wall Street Journal, the benefits of attending a summer pre-college program are substantial: "'It’s an opportunity for high school students to get an experience of what college is going to be like,' says Bob Musiker, owner of Summer Discovery/Discovery Internships, which arranges on-campus programs for high schoolers. 'Beyond the academics, they learn time management, cooperative living and living with a roommate. … It demystifies the college experiences.'"
Summer Discovery/Musiker Tours™ has long experience in teenage summer programs. The programs feature preparation for the SATs, course by college professors, writing college essays, guidance on college selection, interview tips, college visits and field trips.
Younger teens taking more exotic trips By Beth J. Harpaz, AP Travel Editor (excerpted) A recent survey of 75 tour operators that belong to the Student Youth Travel Association found that the top 10 international destinations for youth travel includes China, Peru, Brazil and Australia — along with the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Greece. High school students have been taking summer courses on college campuses for decades. But Summer Discovery Pre-College Programs (www.summerfun.com) offers some of those classes for American teenagers abroad, at Cambridge University in England, University Politecnica Valencia in Spain and Instituto Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy — in addition to programs at seven domestic campuses, from UCLA to Penn, to Georgetown. The programs include language immersion and SAT prep as well as specialized subjects ranging from robotics to cooking. If you're trying to judge a program "beyond all the fun things your kid is going to see and do," Gibb said, ask about the ratio of adults to students (eight to one is typical for eighth grade, 10 to one for older kids); and find out how the program helps kids get to know each other. "Some programs specifically say we don't want five kids from the same neighborhood because we don't want to start out with cliques," she said. In addition, ask how emergencies are handled. What happens when someone needs medical care or an accident happens? And how do you stay in touch with your child? Are there regular opportunities to e-mail or call? Just don't expect to hear from your teenager too often. "A lot of them have never been away from home more than two to three days," said Travis Rogers, choir director at Napa High School in California, who has taken his chorus to Italy, Ireland, New York and Hawaii. "They've got to learn how to get along with each other. The sense of community and family that gets built are memories that last a lifetime. You really see kids mature."
In Summer, Hitting the Books, Not Just the Beach By Roger Mummert (excerpted) WHEN Jeremy Grant of Roslyn, N.Y., was 16, he decided not to return for another summer of sleep-away camp, opting instead for a pre-college program at U.C.L.A. In the mornings he took courses in SAT prep and public speaking; in the afternoons he hopped on a van to the beach, a museum, or a TV game show. “It was the best summer of my life,” recalled Mr. Grant, now a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. “It boosted my confidence to learn that I could get along on my own.” At winter fairs in high schools around the country, pre-college summer programs are now being pitched to teens and parents, many of whom see these “taste-of-college-life” programs as a vital part of the college planning process. Recession or not, interest in these programs, which can run as high as $7,800 for six weeks (excluding airfare), is intense, with many programs fully booked by early spring. When it started offering pre-college programs in 1986, Summer Discovery, which organized Mr. Grant’s trip, sent just 170 students to U.C.L.A. Last year, the Long Island-based company had programs at 10 universities (three overseas), with more than 2,000 high school students participating. “We let 15- and 16-year-olds operate more like young adults,” said Bob Musiker, executive director of Summer Discovery; (www.summerfun.com), adding that the responsibilities involved in a pre-college program (picking courses, doing laundry) and the diverse mix of participants in the programs (like a “mini-United Nations”) widen students’ horizons. Language and cultural immersion is another theme of summer programs. Summer Discovery has a four-week program in Spain that includes stays at hotels in Madrid and Barcelona and on a college campus in Valencia.
"College visits by high school juniors, seniors and increasingly sophomores, are essential, experts say. The campus visit is taking on greater importance as the admissions process becomes more competitive. Bob Musiker states the company's Summer Discovery programs address this by providing students with opportunities to take college courses at various campuses across the country and abroad. Musiker joins forces with Princeton Review to provide a two-week program involving college visits, SAT and college essay preparation.
"Students say the Musiker's College Discovery Experience with The Princeton Review makes the admissions process less scary and intimidating. Many students feel the school they will attend will help determine their entire futures - lifetime friends, even where they'll live and work.
"There's no better way to get excited about college than to experience university life firsthand. College Discovery and The Princeton Review gives students an opportunity to live on a college campus for two weeks while intensively preparing to apply to college and also tour many nearby colleges in Boston, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles.
"Bob Musiker, of Musiker Discovery Programs Inc. (which runs enrichment programs oneight college campuses) says the programs give students a chance to sample college life complete with roommates, dorm food and coursework. There are endless adventures, community service and a variety of new things in these programs. The on-campus experience gives kids the confidence they need to handle anything. You can see the difference.
"Many colleges are doing the same thing with summer programs they've done with their bookstores - finding an expert to run the show. Musiker Discovery Programs Inc. a prominent player, was founded in the 60's and broke into on-campus programs at UCLA in 1986. the program allows students to choose academic courses taught by faculty members. Also featured are sports, activities, field trips and college tours. Last year, Summer Discovery attracted students from 41 states and 37 countries.