The Missouri State Debate Institute wrapped up its 2015 summer debate camp in July, bringing more than 50 high school students to campus.
MSDI provides in-depth debate instruction, and graduates have consistently dominated local and national debate circuits. Many have qualified to NSDA (formerly NFL) Nationals and the Tournament of Champions, and have received sizable college debate scholarships.
‘More demanding than high school class’
Of those in attendance this year, 37 came for the two- or three-week session, 20 of which opted for the camp’s newest addition: a dual credit program. Students received three hours of college credit in COM 115 Public Speaking.
MSDI Director Dr. Eric Morris said offering college credit was a logical decision when assessing the amount of work students were doing at the camp
“Each debater will complete about 80 speeches in two weeks at MSDI. It would take more than a semester of high school debate to reach that level of experience on the topic. It is a little different from a typical COM 115 section because MSDI students are adapting to a more specialized audience, but they are getting a similar skill set for research, structure, audience analysis, and word choice.”
Program is about preparing future Bears
Dual credit rates are cheaper than regular tuition rates, Morris said, another advantage high school students can enjoy. Missouri State benefits from the dual credit offering, too. Having credit at MSU may give high school students the nudge they need to come to MSU as college students.
“Honestly, if we can increase the University’s enrollment by even a couple of students, that’s significant,” Morris said, adding that nearly 30 attendees requested and received a detailed recruiting meeting during MSDI.
Offering COM 115 at the dual credit price may also help MSDI bring more prospective students to our campus, as most other debate camps do not offer a similar program.
Thinking about offering dual enrollment?
Morris suggests similar camps considering a dual credit option should first examine their academic argument. “I only considered this for the two- or three-week camps because I knew could make a case for a three-hour academic equivalent.”
He also said it took months of preparation to fully realize the dual credit offering. Program directors looking at incorporating it into their next summer camp may need to start their inquiry soon.
Undergraduates can get involved, too!
Morris said the Holt V. Spicer Debate Forum needs more MSU undergraduate students with judging, on campus debates, and other duties. The program is seeking novice and experienced debaters, as well as students who might choose not to travel as competitors. For more information, contact Dr. Morris by email.