Due to spring break schedules, summer program applications, including the early discount, are extended to May 15.

Please consider applying soon! Program space is filling quickly for all sessions.






More than 500 attendees filled available space for 2014 Claremont Summer programming. Please apply by the 2015 deadlines to reserve space this summer!

CLAREMONT SUMMER is a series of 6 debate and leadership/professional communication programs for middle school and high schools students. The programs are held at Claremont McKenna College (CMC), one of the most selective liberal arts institutions in the nation. The Claremont Summer director is John Meany, Director of Forensics at Claremont McKenna College and the administrator of the Claremont Colleges Debate Union (CCDU). The author and co-author of ten debate textbooks, he has administered and taught at more than 150 summer debate and professional communication program sessions in the US and abroad. Claremont Summer is one of several educational outreach initiatives developed and administered by the CCDU.


99dc_1• A student of any experience level (new to debate or professional communication to highly experienced and accomplished) may attend any session. Small group instruction, electives, and open forum sessions featuring private tutorials ensure that students will advance and succeed regardless of prior participation in public speaking or debate activities.

• Students may attend more than one session. Students attending more than one debate session are accommodated in more advanced instructional settings during subsequent sessions.

• Middle school programs are appropriate for students entering the 5th-8th grades in Fall 2015 (generally, ages 10-14). High school programs are appropriate for students entering the 9th-12th grades in Fall 2015 (generally, ages 14-18).



The Claremont Summer middle school program is the only official, authorized instructional design for the Middle School Public Debate Program (MSPDP). The MSPDP was developed at Claremont by John Meany and Kate Shuster. Tens of thousands of students participate in MSPDP debating each year. Claremont Summer faculty are certified MSPDP instructors – the summer programs are the only debate workshops extant requiring faculty and judge certification and employing MSPDP certified instructors. Students learn the format, new rules and conventions, and best practices from the founders of the MSPDP formats. Foundational knowledge facilitates success. For example, Claremont Summer does not simply provide information about the format – students learn the reasons for the selection of format elements; they are then able to better use the format for debate success, as well as understand and apply the professional communication skills associated with the format choices. In addition, there are new rules or clarifications for the MSPDP and Claremont Summer students get to learn and practice those changes first. For example, the new rule establishing the 4-minute rebuttal and the new clarifications on POIs and argumentative heckling were learned and practiced at the 2013 & 2014 Claremont Summer programs. The first session has a concentration for new debaters; the third session, an extended supersession, includes a full tournament.

Middle School Sessions

Session 1 – June 26-July 1

Session 2 – July 6-11

Session 3 (Supersession) – July 26-August 2


In addition to the MSPDP, John Meany developed the High School Public Debate Program (HSPDP). The HSPDP has many of the rules and practices of the MSPDP format but it adds challenging elements, including impromptu debating. The high school model is, therefore, an outstanding companion for international debate training for US high school students. John Meany and Kate Shuster developed the California High School Speech Association (CHSSA) parliamentary debate format – arguably the most popular debate format of the four models that CHSSA sponsors. They also wrote the CHSSA parliamentary model textbook (On That Point! An Introduction to Parliamentary Debate). Students participating in the HSPDP and CHSSA formats get the opportunity to learn from the program founders in a cutting-edge debate learning environment. 

High School Session – July 17-24


Claremont is the center of international debating for US high school students. Students from throughout the US audition, train, and attend competitive tournaments and participate in international debate exchanges. Claremont Summer provides core instruction in 3 popular international debate formats to prepare for international debating. In addition, the institute integrates an audition for US teams for major international events. High school students from Claremont’s International Public Debate Program (IPDP) have attended debate events in more than 15 countries in the past few years, including Turkey, Chile, China, Korea, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, Qatar, Greece, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, and Bermuda. Planning is underway for 2015 events in Slovakia, China, Mexico, Czech Republic, Singapore, Turkey, Korea, Peru…

International High School Session – June 25-July 1

Dr. James Walsh, MIT, in a featured presentation on non-proliferation policy

Dr. James Walsh, MIT, in a featured presentation on non-proliferation policy during 2013 Leadership program


Using the curricular materials, methods, and individual and group presentation exercises developed for businesses, non-profit organizations, and higher education faculty and students, the Leadership & Professional Communication Program provides training in extemporaneous speaking, roundtable discussion and negotiation, multimedia presentation, project management, interviewing and resume writing, and social professional networking. Using a leadership theme, students prepare school and community projects for evaluation by field professionals, including university faculty, lawyers, financial analysts, and non-profit organization staff from the nation’s leading academic institutions, businesses, and social support organizations. Students are eligible to audition for the 2014-15 Civics in Action program, a social and political advocacy group promoting innovative ideas and workable, sustainable educational and community policies.

Leadership & Professional Communication Session – July 9-16


Claremont Summer includes supplemental writing consulting to assist students with school and other essays. In addition, college admission officers make presentations to student groups to assist with the college application process. Writing and admissions supplements are included in all sessions.


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