PCA Summer Academic Residential Program
For the selected tenth graders, the program begins with a six-week residential program on the Berkeley campus encompassing a rigorous curriculum and a caring, community-building environment. The Program is designed to provide the resources and opportunities that Scholars lack so that they may gain the competitive edge at an extraordinarily competitive institution like Berkeley.
Academy Scholars have over 150 hours of academic instruction, taking courses and seminars in math, writing, and social science taught by University instructors. The math classes are carefully designed based on an assessment of students' current knowledge and competency in the subject matter, as well as the level of math completed at their high school. In addition, Scholars receive math tutoring from current UC Berkeley students. Academy Scholars take a social science seminar where they receive an introduction on how to analyze various issues and apply them to today’s world. Scholars participate in writing classes and workshops, which expose students to a variety of writing styles, writing topics, academic research, critical analysis, and creative writing. Students learn how to write a college entrance essay and personal statement and they also maintain their own daily journal.
Academy Scholars take part in highly interactive seminars that positively reinforce each student's experience and that challenge the students to reach beyond their current talents to realize their full potential as emerging leaders. Scholars begin by reflecting on critical life experiences that shape their values and motivation, and progress to examining how groups and organizations function. Scholars develop new skills and refine their skills in the areas of communication, goal setting, planning, decision-making, delegation, and conflict management. The goal of these seminars is to assist students with their future aspirations and personal development plans. They are also designed to challenge the students to grow, to ask questions of themselves, and to foster a lifelong dedication to bringing positive changes in our communities.
Community Service Experience
Academy Scholars work with a Leadership/Community Service Coordinator in order to develop a Peer Service Project to be implemented in their junior year at each other their individual high schools. They also develop their leadership skills and learn how to work together as a team. Scholars work at various sites throughout the summer around the City of Berkeley in the areas such as youth education, health, science, law, environment, technology, or elder care. Through observation, research, and learning practical community service techniques, Academy Scholars are prepared to implement their own service projects in their high schools after their summer experience.
Academy Scholars are introduced to life as a college student by doing research in libraries, learning technology skills, interacting with university professors, and by participating in or attending college sports activities. There are social and community building activities with current undergraduate Incentive Awards Scholars and other UC Berkeley students. Scholars also learn the history and traditions of UC Berkeley and are exposed to all the resources of a major research institution. Scholars work with experts to learn about the management of time, health, money, and stress and they receive an introduction to the many issues facing college students -- successful learning strategies, social awareness, and personal development. Academy Scholars also have the opportunity to meet UC Berkeley alumni and to participate in seminars about networking, career planning, and beginning the journey toward graduate or professional schools.
Academy Scholars participate in numerous supervised activities during the week and on the weekends to see the broad cultural spectrum of a university community. Scholars participate in weekly field trips to nearby museums and art institutions, state parks, community festivities, and other cultural events, leaving Berkeley with a wide breadth of cultural experiences.
More Information about the Pre-collegiate Academy: