The campus more than doubles in population during the summer months - over 6,000 McNeese college students and summer campers share campus facilities.
Programs range from a few hours in class to several days on campus and campers can stay in residence halls or commute, gaining a real taste of college life. Over 1,500 participants are living on campus this summer while more than 1,200 are eating their meals in McNeese dining facilities.
All camps are designed to be fun for participants, as well as to improve academic, artistic or physical skills.
The Kids College/McNeese Teens summer program is offering 75 courses this summer for students in grades Pre-K-12. Enrollment is projected at 400 students this summer, according to May Gray, coordinator of programs and short courses for the Leisure Learning program.
This program offers fun classes – every thing from sign language, beginning guitar and a puppet workshop to acting lessons, comic book art and forensics “CSI” style. Gray said educational opportunities and lessons are also offered in such areas as piano, cello, violin, Spanish, mathematics, golf, and reading and study skills.
“Our program provides opportunities for area children to make friends, expand their horizons and achieve personal growth through age-appropriate activities,” said Gray.
Forty elementary students are enrolled in this summer’s reading clinic, staffed by 36 McNeese undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in EDUC 416 and EDUC 503.
The reading clinic offers children in grades 1-6 an opportunity to strengthen their reading performance through one-on-one tutoring and hands-on activities related to children's literature as well as provide a practicum experience for McNeese education majors, said Dr. Debbie King, associate professor of teacher education and the clinic's director.
“The reading program is a positive collaboration between the university, parents, children and teachers/future teachers,” said King. “The focus begins with what the children can do and builds on those strengths.”
Founded in 1959, the Governor’s Program for Gifted Children offers a seven-week residential summer enrichment program for gifted students in Louisiana.
Currently 74 students in grades 6-10 are enrolled in this program that offers both academic and fine arts curricula. In addition to taking classes in psychology, English, science and politics, students also produce a weekly newspaper and an annual literary journal. Many of their courses culminate at the end of the summer in projects or performances that are presented to the public.
Over 1,000 students participate in the dance and cheerleading camps as well as athletic training, band, Cowgirl Kicker Kutie dance, livestock and children’s choir camps.
In addition, several preparatory education summer programs for high school students such as Upward Bound and LA GEAR UP are also offered. These camps provide basic skill preparation as well as planning for entrance into college upon high school graduation.
The theme for this year’s LA GEAR UP camps is “Reach for the Stars,” according to Dr. Nikos Kiritsis, dean of the college of engineering and engineering technology and camp coordinator.
“Participants will explore principles from engineering, chemistry, physics and biology as they relate to space science/exploration,” said Kiritsis. Classes in robotics, rocketry, space exploration and space biology are scheduled as well as a trip to the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
And more than 1,600 girls and boys are enrolled in athletic summer camps, including basketball, baseball, softball, football, volleyball and soccer.
“Summer camps are a vital part of our athletics mission,” said McNeese Athletics Director Tommy McClelland. “Our coaches are in the business of developing young athletes. Most of the time that means McNeese athletes, but during the summer they focus some time on the next generation.”
McClelland added, “Having sports camps on campus is a huge recruiting tool for us, but also for the university. Many McNeese students have participated in summer sports camps before arriving on campus. These summer camps expose them to ‘campus life,’ as well as to our greatest asset - McNeese employees.”