Pre-College Programs

Pre-college programs allow high school students the opportunity to explore the University of Illinois campus, get a taste of college life, and learn about careers in food, agriculture, the environment, families, and communities. Students attend faculty and student-led lectures and demonstrations to learn about how the College of ACES tackles real-world problems.

Discovering STEM in ACES

Students in the new Discovering STEM in ACES Program work together in teams based on their area of interests over two virtual weeks of lectures, virtual hands-on activities and demonstrations conducted by ACES staff and students.

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USDA Ag Discovery Program

The USDA Ag Discovery program engages students in a special three-week experience focused on biosecurity. It is sponsored by the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, which is the agency charged with safeguarding the U.S. food supply. Week one will be virtual (on-line and weeks two and three will be on the University of Illinois campus. During the three weeks, 14 students will participate in a series of activities involving government veterinarians, plant and animal biologists, biotechnologists, and wildlife science professionals. These students will demonstrate a basic understanding of how the federal government works to protect plants and animals.

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Food Systems Summer Academy in Chicago, IL

The Metropolitan Food & Environmental Systems program hosts a one-week summer academy that gives high school students the opportunity to learn about a wide range of factors that are critical for producing healthy, affordable foods, while sustaining our environmental resources. The academy takes place at the Discovery Partners Institute in Chicago every summer and includes hands-on activities, field trips, and networking events. The 2021 academy will be held June 28 to July 2. The topics, activities, and field trips will vary each year. Waivers are available to cover the cost of the academy.

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Illini Summer Academies

The College of ACES works in conjunction with Illinois 4-H to offer a hi-fidelity college exploratory experience on the University of Illinois campus. Participants attend academy sessions led by university professors and enjoy a variety of engaging activities that provide a taste of just how cool college life can be. Imagine getting to work alongside university professors while you’re still in high school! Imagine getting to hang out on a college campus. Imagine spending five days with kids your age from all across Illinois. That’s what happens at Illini Summer Academies, so stop imagining and just do it! This program offers teens the opportunity to explore the University of Illinois campus and many degree programs and careers. Illini Summer Academies is supported through the Illinois 4-H Foundation and intended to serve youth living in Illinois. Space for each academy is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Many academies reach capacity before the registration closes.

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Group Visits

Are you a teacher, counselor, or group leader interested in arranging an opportunity for your students to learn more about opportunities in food, agriculture, the environment, families and communities? Sign up to receive updates on virtual visits with our students and faculty.

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