TSU Summer Camps Provide Real-World Educational Experience

Edward S. Graves Summer band Camp (1)
Dr. Reginald McDonald, TSU director of Band, instructs students during the Edward S. Graves Summer Band Camp in 2015. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is the place to be for cool summer camps that provide youngsters and incoming college freshmen with real-world educational experience.

The university is offering a variety of camps and programs intended to help participants learn something new, while also spending quality time with top-tier faculty, staff and students.

Summer camp themes and subjects range from science, applied mathematics and engineering, to music, athletics, real-world scientific work, and cutting-edge research.

Youngsters from 5 years on up will participate in early learning, musical and sports camps such as the TSU Women’s Basketball Kids Camp, the Offense Defense Sports Football Camp, and the Community Academy of Music and Arts Piano Camp, among others.

Dance instructor Princecilla Ridley demonstrates a dance routine to students in the Musical Theater Camp at TSU in 2015. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Overall, more than 2,000 students are expected on the university’s main campus, and its Avon Williams Campus. They range from elementary to college freshmen, some of whom will come from as far away as California and Puerto Rico.

One of the more popular camps is the Academic Boot Camp, a key recruitment tool for the university. Now in its sixth year, the four-week residential program gives incoming freshmen an early introduction to college life. Participants earn college credit toward their major.

The camp offers an academic and college preparedness program, including introduction to college life, public speaking, workshops and technology. Physical and mental development exercises, such as self-discipline, respect for others, good study habits and how to succeed in life, are key components of the program.

“The object of this program is to ensure that students who have already been admitted for the fall semester actually get a jump start on enrollment,” said Dr. John Cade, TSU’s interim  vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Support Services.

He said the retention rate for students who enter the university through the Academic Boot Camp is very high.

“It is about 85 percent, which shows that the program has proven to do what it was designed to do. We have also found out that when those students actually return in the fall, they are better able to navigate the system, many of them become mentors for other students, and many get actively involved in extracurricular activities,” Cade said. The camp runs from June 4 – July 1, 2016.

Another camp favorite is the Summer Apprenticeship Program, or SAP, a science-based initiative for college freshmen and rising high school seniors that exposes them to cutting-edge research. The camp is hosted by the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. It runs from June 13 – July 15, 2016.

Students weigh a goat as part of their hands-on activity during the Summer Apprenticeship Program last year. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

Last year, 21 students from Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Indiana and Georgia spent five weeks engaged in studies from understanding the hypersensitive response of tobacco plants, to comparing DNAs in chickens and Guinea fowls. Their finished works were presented as scientific papers and research results to a standing-room only audience of parents, faculty and guests on TSU’s main campus.

William F. Hayslett Sr., coordinator of the SAP, said the objective of the program is to dispel the “myth” that agriculture is farming.

“Our goal here is to make students aware of the academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences and the many career opportunities available to its graduates,” he said.

See the following link for a list of all summer camps and programs and contacts.

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.