Lodi Unified high schoolers can participate in unique pre-college program at no cost

Four students stand in front of Burns Tower

Public high school students in the Lodi Unified School District have the distinct opportunity to take part in University of the Pacific’s Summer High School Institute, a unique two-week learning and residential experience, at no cost.

The tuition for programming, food, housing and activities is being covered in full by the district through COVID-relief funds, allowing students to try a variety of interesting courses while living on the historic Stockton Campus of California’s oldest university for two weeks, June 19 to July 1. 

“We are absolutely thrilled to have this partnership,” said Mariya Wharry, program coordinator for Lodi Unified School District. “One of the things we know from the pandemic is that students as learners are saying that they're not as engaged. This is an opportunity to try new things and spark some interest.” 

Lodi Unified students can register here to take part in one of 13 hands-on courses including: coding, competitive debate, cancer research, drug development, entrepreneurship, filmmaking, innovation, music sound and recording, sports analytics, stock investment, video game design and women’s leadership. No prerequisites are required.

“Every one of these programs is high-tech and future oriented,” said Summer Institute Director Balint Sztaray, a professor of chemistry at Pacific. “Students will have the opportunity to explore topics that pique their curiosity which can open their world to new interests.”

In competitive debate, students will learn research techniques and develop speaking skills from master faculty. Pacific’s debate team garnered a national championship this year, adding to its storied history of national honors. 

The music industry program offered through the Conservatory of Music will introduce students to sound design, recording and publishing. And students will explore cutting-edge technology in the innovation camp, from 3D printing to virtual reality.

Students will also have ample time to explore the campus throughout the program.

“This is a comprehensive pre-college program,” said Sztaray. “It has both strong academic programs and a residential component, so students will experience life on a college campus, and not just any college campus, but one of the most beautiful campuses in the country.”

Students will live in residential housing and dine in the campus marketplace, known for its farm-to-table and plant forward cuisine and sustainability practices. 

Planned nightly activities include movies under the stars, soccer and beach volleyball games, bocce and chess tournaments and karaoke.

Students will also have access to a variety of fitness options in top-notch athletics facilities including the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center, Douglas M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center and Baun Fitness Center. 

“We are thrilled to have students from Lodi Unified joining us for this one-of-a-kind experience,” said President Christopher Callahan. “It will give them a leg up as they prepare for college by allowing them to explore topics of interest in our state-of-the-art labs and studios, guided by our exceptional faculty who are dedicated to providing hands-on learning opportunities.”

Parents can join one of several virtual question and answer sessions with Director Sztaray to learn more about the summer institute.