A+ Summer Pre-College

A+ Summer Pre-College prepares rising 11th and 12th-grade students for college-level academics and prepares them academically to be more attractive to top tier schools.  

Many students find themselves unprepared for the rigorous academic transition from high school to college.  Our goal in A+ Summer Pre-College is to better equip high school students to succeed in college by providing academic experiences similar to those they will find in their future college classes.

At A+ Summer Pre-College, students develop the critical reading, research analysis and writing skills necessary to produce a scholarly university-level paper.

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Whether online or in person, Education Unlimited proudly offers top tier curriculum in our A+ Summer Pre-College Course!

In A+ Summer Pre-College, students focus on three core academic experiences:

College Reading & Research

Students at A+ Summer will begin by learning the elements of a college-level research paper and how to use those sections to boost their own comprehension of dense and often difficult to understand writing.   They will learn how to use scholarly databases to find relevant texts and ensure that their sources are reliable and trustworthy.   Our instructors will support students in focusing their research question, analyzing texts and data, and back up their arguments with evidence. Students will have access to  University libraries to conduct their research, and will craft a bibliography and literature review akin to what they will be expected to produce in college.  Furthermore, students will be introduced to “theory,” a subject incorporated into virtually every college-level humanities and social science curriculum but almost never taught in secondary schools. Students will learn how to read and understand a theory and ultimately incorporate that theory in their writing to frame and enhance an argument.

College-Level Writing

Perhaps the most important skill for college-bound students is the ability to write scholarly papers that utilize and analyze research to construct an original argument. The foundation of the A+ Summer program is the College Level Writing Workshop. Our experienced instructors introduce students to college caliber writing and support them through the process of conceiving and developing an academic paper. Instructors will challenge students to move beyond recounting facts and will instruct students in the art of analysis and argument construction. Each student will write several drafts of an original research paper, as well as complete a number of shorter writing assignments. Our first-rate instructional staff and low staff-to-student ratio will allow for individualized guidance and feedback throughout the week.

Presentation Skills

While the emphasis on strong presentation skills continues to increase in high school, many students have not received specific instruction for this challenge. The A+ Pre-College presentation skills class provides students with practical skills and experience delivering effective oral presentations. Our dynamic instructors provide students with techniques to stay on topic, speak coherently and logically, and answer questions expertly as they present their research topic to a larger group of family and friends. Our low staff-to-student ratio allows for instructors to work individually with students to provide specific feedback.


Students participate in daily fun activities, including sports, games, arts, and movies. Excursions to local amusement venues, such as the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk at the Stanford Camp, balance learning with entertainment. The most recurrent comment at the end of each summer is, “I never knew I would have so much fun!”


At the end of the ten-day program, students will have authored a well-reasoned paper that expertly uses research to support their original argument.  From this research, they will have created a convincing academic presentation and defend their work before friends and faculty. Students will leave camp with an academic timeline to assist in planning for college entrance and preparing for college academics, time management tools, and a study toolkit.  Finally, students will complete an introductory SAT practice test and upon request will be given a complimentary subscription to an e-Prep online SAT prep course.

Students will prepare a final presentation of their research report to be delivered at the end of the program.

For maximum options in summer 2022, this program will be offered in-person at East and West coast locations, as well as online!

Program Grades Location Start Date End Date Price Options Register

Don’t see a class you want in your time zone? Check other time zones to flexibly fit your needs!

Click Here to View Sample ON-CAMPUS Schedule Click Here to View Sample ONLINE Schedule

Online Camp Schedule A+ Summer Pre-College

Pacific TimeEastern TimeBreaks
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays*9:00 am to 2:00 pm
12:00 am to 5:30 pm
Includes a 1-hour lunch break plus shorter 10-15 min breaks
Tuesdays and Thursdays9:00 am to 2:00 pm
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Includes a 1-hour lunch break plus shorter 10-15 min breaks
* Final Friday9:30 am to 12:00 pm12:30 pm to 3:00 pm

On-Campus Sample Schedule A+ Summer Pre-College

8:00 am Breakfast in the dining hall (overnight campers)
9-9:15 am Extended day camper check-in
9:15 am College-level research class
11:00 am Library research
12:30 pm Lunch in the dining hall (included for all campers)
1:30 pm College-level writing class
3:30 pm Presentations class
5:30 pm Dinner in the dining hall (included for all campers)
6:30 pm Group seminar
8:00 pm Evening recreation activities
9:00 pm Extended day camper check-out
10:00 pm Floor check
10:30 pm Room check

Education Unlimited believes in small-group, immersive learning with subject matter experts and experienced teachers. We strive to provide industry-leading instruction to all of our students and hold all staff to the highest possible standards. Staff assignments vary by program and location. Some of our recent staff members for this program include:

John Kephart, PhD - Camp Director and Instructor

Dr. John Kephart III is an associate professor at California State University, Northridge.  Dr. Kephart has a PhD in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism from the University of Southern California.  A member of the Education Unlimited team since 2008, Dr. Kephart has served as an instructor, director and curriculum designer.  He helped to develop the curriculum for both the A+ Pre College and A+ High School summer camp programs.  Dr. Kephart has a teaching philosophy that values students’ active engagement in their own learning; he focuses on encouraging students to find their own voice and perspective on contemporary issues, helping them to be more avid learners, and more engaged citizens.

In addition to his faculty position, Dr. Kephart is also the director of the speech and debate program at CSU Northridge; he has over 16 years of experience coaching debate competitors of all ages.  A Los Angeles native and avid Dodgers fan, Dr. Kephart received his Masters of Arts and Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies from The University of Southern California.

Brett Shanley, MFA - Instructor

Brett Shanley is a writer and English lecturer currently pursuing a PhD at Columbia University in New York City.  Prior to his doctoral work, Brett received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing - Nonfiction from The New School in NYC.  In addition to his dissertation research, which looks at methods of promoting sincere engagement between undergraduate writers and the work that they produce, Brett lectures in advanced writing at Pace University.  Brett has been teaching in the classroom and at academic camps since 2012, and it was these experiences that inspired his dissertation topic. He has been an instructor with Education Unlimited since 2014, teaching both creative and academic writing.  

In addition to his advanced degrees, Brett also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and German from the University of Oregon.  In the rare moments that Brett is not working on his research or teaching, his favorite thing to do is enjoy time in New York City’s famed Central Park with his fiance and their dog Huxley.