Summer Programs Jump Start College Experience, Leading to Success

From the courtroom to creative writing to politics and chemistry, Rhodes College offers a variety of summer programs aimed at preparing high school students for their college careers. Some high schoolers who attend these summer programs go on to enroll as full-time Rhodes students once they graduate. Take as an example English literature major Ethan Morris ’23, who attended Rhodes’ Summer Writing Institute in 2017, after his sophomore year of attending Prattville Christian Academy in Prattville, AL.

“It’s one of the biggest reasons I’m here at Rhodes—the Summer Writing Institute is a bit of a hidden gem,” he says. “The environment in the classroom was incredibly collaborative. We had peer critiques for nearly everything we wrote, which took up one of our classes a day. The other class session would teach us about short story structure, dialogue, or character building, for example. Also, we read a lot of famous short stories, which helped to ground us in writing. And being around a group of like-minded people seeking the same creativity helped a lot, too.”

Morris plans to earn an MFA in creative writing and a Ph.D. in literature, and the professor who taught him during Summer Writing Institute is now his advisor. “The instruction was excellent. Professor Marshall Boswell was personable and friendly, and, most importantly, he allowed us to defend our stories.”

Applications are already being accepted from students across the country for the 2021 Summer Writing Institute, which will take place online June 13-25. The two-college-credit writing courses being offered are fiction, poetry, history, psychology, biology, culture, and literature. Other activities include Writing Center workshops, college prep events, and an evening lecture series.

High school students also can earn two hours of credit completing Rhodes’ Mock Trial Academy designed to develop skills in trial advocacy and an understanding of criminal law, evidence, and justice.

“We have had a number of students come to Rhodes and join the mock trial program after attending the academy,” says director Anna Eldridge. “We have also seen students move up the ranks more quickly in their own high school programs after attending the camp. One of our recent participants went on to win a prestigious high school tournament after joining the camp.”

Applications are being accepted now for the 2021 Mock Trial Academy to be offered online June 13-27.

Rhodes’ Summer Scholars Program will be offered online for rising high school juniors, seniors, and recent high school graduates who are planning to attend college. Taught in a liberal arts context, courses range from Biology in the News to Music in Times of Crises. These courses are taught by highly regarded Rhodes professors who are experts in their respective fields.

New this year is the Rhodes to Success course designed to assist students with their personal, professional, and academic transition to college life. High school students who register for another credit-bearing Rhodes program (Summer Scholars, Summer Writing Institute, or Mock Trial Academy) can take this course at a reduced tuition rate. Students applying to take Rhodes to Success as a standalone course should apply here.