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8 pre-college programs we’d love to try at UNC Asheville

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Teens get to build + launch their own rockets while attending the Climate, Robotics, Rocketry & Aerospace Engineering program. | Photo provided

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Looking for a summer activity for your teen? Enter: UNC Asheville’s Pre-College Programs, which introduce high school students to college-level study, university life + career options in a dynamic learning environment. (Read: The “classroom” is out in the field, on the water, or in a real lab.)

Each one-week program offers deep immersion into an academic topic, challenging activities, and the opportunity to engage with industry professionals. Students can enroll in multiple weeks with the option to also stay over weekends. Programs start at $1,200, which includes lodging, meals, all course materials, activities + excursions.

The 2022 program lineup includes:

Climate, Robotics, Rocketry & Aerospace Engineering


This hands-on program is great for teens interested in rocketry + aerospace. | Photo provided

Dates: June 19-24
Teens will learn about robotics, rocketry, aerospace + satellite engineering, and climate science by participating in numerous hands-on experiments. They’ll have the chance to build a robotic rover and a model rocket and launch a weather station attached to a rocket.

Great Smokies Young Writers Workshops


The workshops are run by experienced local authors and poets. | Photo provided

Dates: Worldbuilding 101 & Nature Based Writing (June 19-24); Limitless Poetry & Writing Ghosts (June 26-July 1)
Teens can hone their literary skills with the help of experienced local authors and poets. They’ll generate new pieces, revise works-in-progress, and critique the works of others in a collaborative workshop setting. Bonus: A full scholarship is available for this program. Applications are due by Sun., May 15.

Journalism, Public Relations and Social Media in the Digital Age

Dates: June 12-17
The course explores how social media has changed journalism and how to navigate the truth in the new digital age.

River Ecology & Adventure


The River Ecology & Adventure program allows students to explore and discover the natural, aquatic world. | Photo provided

Dates: June 26-July 1 (currently on a waitlist)
Explore and discover the natural, aquatic world while canoeing sections of pristine rivers, hiking to wilderness swimming holes + investigating local aquatic species.

Film Scoring and Sound Design

Dates: June 26-July 1
Students will learn how to compose an original score for a film by studying the dynamics of a scene using sound design.

Climate Science

Dates: June 12-17
Teens will experience the real-world complexity of international climate talks firsthand by role playing as lead negotiators in a world climate summit. They’ll be exposed to the most up-to-date climate science, learn what to do to prevent further damage, and discover how communities can adapt to living in this new world.



A student holding a pig’s heart during the Pre-Med program. | Photo provided by UNC Asheville

Dates: June 19-24 (currently on a waitlist)
Students will get hands-on experience while learning about heart anatomy and function through hands-on dissection of a pig heart. They’ll also participate in labs, analyze pharmacological concerns + debate treatment options.

Due to the continued effects of COVID-19, UNC Asheville is maintaining a flexible refund policy, offering full refunds minus a $50 administrative processing fee.*

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