Without the steady chatter of students and professors between classes, or the sound of long board wheels rolling down the Cougar Walk, the Azusa Pacific campus seems quieter than usual when summer rolls around. As soon as May arrives, the majority of undergraduate students pack up their things, sigh with relief, and head back to their hometowns to enjoy a summer with family and neighborhood friends.

Many people think that the campus simply shuts down during the summer, becoming a relic of the last semester until September arrives. However, anyone who lives in the area or students, faculty, and staff who remain on campus for can testify that this is not the case. Classes continue on undergraduate, graduate, and adult and professional studies levels, events and conferences take over available class space, and athletes and local youth train on the athletic fields.

The programs and opportunities APU offers from May to late August keep the campus both eventful and lively. Here’s a glimpse of a few things taking place during the summer months at APU.

G.A.T.E. (Gifted and Talented Education) Summer School

A 10-year collaboration between Azusa Unified School District and APU, provides gifted students from 3rd-12th grade a chance to continue their education and broaden their horizons during summer break. Elementary school and middle school children take classes taught by AUSD teachers designed to prepare them for a college environment. High school students take courses taught by APU professors to obtain college credit in one of three areas: political science, biology, or writing. Not only do the local students benefit from the experience, but many APU Teacher Education students gain clinical hours through assisting in the classes.

Azusa Conservatory of Music

The Azusa Conservatory of Music helps children from the community between the ages of 7 and 17 to develop their love of music. An outreach of the university’s School of Music, the conservatory provides musical training to more than 100 individual students from the city of Azusa and surrounding communities. For as low as $75, students take classes related to the type of music they are passionate about, including band camp, choir camp, instrumental group classes, and summer rock band. The university even offers forms of financial aid to families who are struggling to pay the tuition fees.

Sports Camps

APU’s soccer and softball camps are a favorite among local children who are passionate about sports and physical activities. The camp provides a chance for children to go outside, get active, and learn techniques from college athletes.

Student Leadership Conference

Doug Fields’ Student Leadership Conference comes APU this July! Aimed at high-school students, the conference strives “to teach and inspire servant leadership to teenagers” and “to challenge student leaders to experience and express God’s purposes for their lives as they make a difference in their home, school, church, and within their community.” Workshops and sessions are led by Doug Fields, one of the nation’s top leaders in youth ministry and senior director of APU’s Homeword Center for Youth and Family, along with a team of leading youth ministry specialists.