▶️ Summer camp, university style, gives students taste of college life

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Oregon State University’s Cascades campus in Bend is taking summer camps to a new level with a summer academy — giving high school students a taste of college life.

Central Oregon Daily News met students from four states who are visiting our local university campus. 

“I’m glad I’m here. It’s giving me a college-level experience, whether I want to go to college or what I want to do in college,” said Alex Cruz, a sophomore at Caldera High School in Bend. 

About half the students are locals. The rest come from as far as Alaska, Connecticut and California to experience college life, academic classes and some good old fashioned summer fun. 

“Outdoor recreation management or being a mountain guide, just as long as I’m outside, I’m going to be happy,” said Eemmitt Shinn from Seattle. 

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Summer academy costs $900 for those who are visiting, staying in the dorms and eating three squares a day in the cafeteria. 

It’s less for locals who go home at night. 

“To kind of get an idea of what it is like to take some 100 level curriculum,” said Nathan Moses, OSU-Cascades Summer Academy Program Director. “Also engaging in the student life experience, having the food and overnight component, too. We are trying to give students exposure to that full package of what it might look like before committing to a university experience.”

Isaac Santiago from San Jose teamed with other students in a business development class to design and pitch a new product.

“We built a little 3D model Charger from the 3D printer,” Santiago said. “We used a base model from the 2022 model then edited it to make it our own unique car.”

Participants who successfully complete the program receive a $500 scholarship to attend OSU-Cascades.

Since the Summer Academy began three years ago, several participants have chosen to come back as full-time students after graduating from high school. 

First launched in 2019, this year’s Academy offered scholarships to students in financial need.

Sixty-one students, or 44% of attendees, received a scholarship and spent time on a college campus, perhaps for the first time.

Scholarships were provided through the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts.

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