June, 2017

The college students have left campus, but the learning doesn’t stop. Over the summer, Minnesota’s Private Colleges engage the community while providing unique learning experiences, including the three featured below.

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Augsburg College offers camps and programs all summer long, including the Minnesota Debate and Advocacy Workshops (MDAW). MDAW is hosted by the Minnesota Urban Debate League, which is a program of Augsburg College and organizes debate clubs and events throughout Minnesota. MDAWs are one-, two- and three-week long camps for middle school and high school students interested in debate. Their workshops prepare students for the upcoming school debate season and provide a sneak peek at the annual debate topic — this coming year’s topic is education reform.

“Our workshops and Minnesota Urban Debate League are focused on creating critical thinkers and responsible leaders. These tie directly into Augsburg’s mission,” said Genesia Williams, program assistant at the Minnesota Urban Debate League. “We are also both focused on providing a space for all students to learn and to have access to our resources. It’s a great fit.”

Bethel University also uses their summer to engage the community. Bethel partners with Special Olympics Minnesota for its Athlete Leadership Program, which is for Special Olympics participants who want to learn more about leadership on and off the field. The program — and Special Olympics as a whole — connects with Bethel’s new BUILD (Bethel University Inclusive Learning and Development) program.

BUILD provides a supportive and comprehensive educational experience for individuals with intellectual disabilities and has partnered with the Special Olympics since the program’s inception. Dawn Allen, director of BUILD, talked about the importance of this partnership. “Many of the students who attend the Athlete Leadership Program would be great candidates for our BUILD program,” Allen said. “We are a newer program, and it’s important to make connections and engage the community so they know we are a resource for them.”

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Concordia College is well known for its summer Language Villages, which are located in northern Minnesota. They have also started an English immersion camp that is located right on campus. The program draws from a combination of communities, including new Americans, international students and ex-pats living abroad. The camp includes a few things that you won’t find in the other Language Villages — like going to a baseball game, visits to local museums and barbeques with host families. Although the concept of language immersion is the same, the location in Fargo-Moorhead offers a different experience for the students.

Concordia Language Villages and Concordia College have always had a similar mission around education. Christine Schulze, the executive director of the Language Villages, spoke about this connection. “Students at the Language Villages and the college are learning skills to engage globally oriented topics,” Schulze said. “The college is doing it at the collegiate level and we’re doing it at the pre-collegiate level.”

For more information about what is happening on our campus during the summer, check out our page on summer enrichment programs.

By Tom Lancaster