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College Readiness Summer Seminar

Many students struggle to find productive ways to fill the summer. For the past four years, Academic Approach has provided Chicago students a way to not only to fill time but to thrive academically: The College Readiness Summer Seminar. This program provides an accessible place for students to further their academic skills while gaining exposure to various careers and the college matriculation process.

The Summer Seminar series is our way of giving back to the Chicago community by providing low-cost college readiness guidance for rising seniors. The program is designed specifically to benefit students who will be the first in their family to attend college. Participants come from a variety of schools across the city, and students meet at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus to simulate a true college experience.

This year’s Summer Seminar is happening as we speak: 25 students meet every Tuesday and Thursday, from July 10 to August 23. Each session includes two hours of skills-based SAT preparation, a complimentary lunch, and an extracurricular activity. Among those activities are team-building exercises, guest lectures from young professionals, local university tours, and service learning projects.

The program has been wildly successful. Throughout the years, program graduates have been accepted to their preferred colleges, awarded competitive scholarships, and formed friendship that last well beyond their high school years. The Academic Approach School Programs team is proud of these students’ accomplishments, and as long as there are motivated students in need, the Summer Seminar will exist for years to come.

Student Testimonials

Here’s what the program has meant to two students in their own words.

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“At Summer Seminar, I learned a lot, not just for the SAT. I learned more about my potential colleges. I learned how to possibly make the college decision a little easier or more organized as we talked about what we value and should find important in a school. This also helped my senior year and the college decision process because it allowed me to have my top 3 colleges in mind throughout the entire process. Now, I will be attending one of those schools. I Also learned how to work with others. Although I, and the others, have probably worked with groups in school, Academic Approach allowed us to collaborate in unique ways and allowed us to use our creativity and background to work together.

Finally, at Academic Approach, I learned a lot in the subjects for the SAT. Academic Approach helped me greatly with the SAT. SAT scores converted to ACT scores, my score went from a 24 to a 26. With the program’s small class size, I was able to get more attention and get more in depth with difficult subjects, which really helped my score. I definitely recommend this program to others! I gained points on the SAT, gained some skills needed in life, and gained several friends that I stayed in touch with throughout the year. I had lots of fun!”

Juliana, Class of 2018


“I finally got my SAT scores that I retook over the summer. I grew! Just wanted to let you know and say thank you for allowing me to be a part of the Academic Approach Summer Seminar!

Mindy, Class of 2018

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