Montreat College hosted its annual summer immersion program, COMPASS, last week. COMPASS is a week-long program for high school students and rising college freshmen who want to explore an academic field of interest and get a taste of the college experience. Students choose which program they would like to experience, and this year’s lineup included audio production, exercise science, criminal justice, advanced and standard cybersecurity, psychology, and herpetology. 

Every academic program allows students to explore that field of study in fun and exciting ways. In the audio production immersion program, students learn computer-based audio production, audio synthesis, basic audio acoustics, microphone technique, mixing, and how to navigate popular music production software. The exercise science program introduces students to various aspects of exercise science, including body functionality, fitness assessments, and careers in the field, through a combination of lecture and laboratory activities. This year, a new immersion program was added to COMPASS—criminal justice. This program highlights critical components of basic law enforcement training. Inspired by fundamental police academy topics and activities, these highly-interactive experiences include: handcuffing, traffic stops, fingerprinting, and crime scene investigations. The cybersecurity programs allow students to participate in 20 hours of cybersecurity instruction, hands-on learning, and a cyber competition where students have the chance to put their new knowledge to the test. The psychology immersion program allows students to gain an understanding of current concepts and historical trends in the field of psychology. The activities help participants learn how to describe, explain, and predict human behaviors and processes. Lastly, the herpetology program focuses on an ecological study of reptiles and amphibians. Students find and examine reptiles and amphibians and are introduced to scientific research data collection.

College instructors lead each academic immersion program and provide students with unique hands-on learning opportunities to enhance their experience. Some learning experiences that students were able to take part in this year included sheep brain dissections, herpetology field encounters, cybersecurity drills, and audio production field trips. Participants also had fun outside of the classroom. Campus events included a color war, movie night, trampoline park trip, and dance party. 

Many rising college freshmen who attended COMPASS were thankful for the experience and excited to begin studying at Montreat this fall. “The class I attended was super fun! It gave me a clear understanding of what I will experience in the fall,” said one student. Another student enjoyed learning more about their field of interest through interactive classroom experiences, “The classes were both fun and challenging, and I enjoyed learning about cybersecurity through fun games, videos, and Montreat’s impressive computer lab.”

This year, 98 students participated in the week-long summer experience, and 37 plan to attend Montreat College in Fall 2022. Those who attended COMPASS and plan to enroll in Montreat received a $2,000 scholarship towards their tuition. 

Next year, COMPASS will be held June 18-23, 2023.