Summer Apprenticeship Program for Gifted Students

The Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the nation's most talented young people. It follows the Optimal Match Philosophy, matching a student's assessed needs with the optimal educational resources. The organization crosses traditional educational boundaries by working in public, independent, parochial and alternative schools.

One of the IEA programs—the Apprenticeship Program—provides gifted high school students with intensive learning opportunities working with teams of professionals in medicine, industrial design, science, law, and business at some of the nation's leading universities, corporations, and research facilities. Participants apply their talents in real-world environments where they are encouraged to employ creative problem-solving techniques.

Apprentices reside in a college dormitory for the duration of the program. This experience gives participants the opportunity to sample college life. The gathering of Apprentices from several different programs in one residential area creates a unique community of highly motivated students where the exchange of ideas is encouraged.

In the evenings and on weekends, Apprentices attend cultural events, participate in recreational activities, and explore the city.

Apprentices are supervised by adults throughout the program. All participants work with mentors and their colleagues during the day and are supervised by IEA staff at all other times.

During the summer of 2012, the program will take place both in Los Angeles and in San Diego. A wide variety of topics are open to apprentices, including
  1. Industrial Design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena
  2. Scientific Computing at the California Institute of Technology
  3. Liver Stem Cell Maintenance at Children's Hospital Los Angeles
  4. Air Pollution Research at the Aerosol Lab of the University of Southern California
  5. Architecture at the Borden Partnership and USC School of Architecture
  6. Law and Order at the Los Angeles Superior Court
  7. Bioinformatics at San Diego State University
  8. Physics at San Diego State University
  9. Entomology at the San Diego Natural History Museum
  10. Environmental Engineering at San Diego State University
Check back with the IEA website often as more programs and information will be added.

A student is eligible to apply if currently a freshman, sophomore, or junior and the student meets the prerequisites for his preferred site(s).

Tuition is expensive, but financial aid is available to individuals who qualify and financial concerns should not discourage any student from applying.

The deadline for applying to the Apprenticeship Program has passed,  but IEA will likely accept applications until all spaces have been filled. If you would like to apply, contact Jessica Houben at

For the right student, this is an excellent opportunity.

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