Claremont Summer Online – the center for Summer 2021 debate and leadership/professional communication programs for middle school and high school students – is a place of teaching excellence and innovative programming. Programming allows students to learn sophisticated public speaking, research, argumentation, presentation, and other essential skills for lifelong earning. Students will be prepared to thrive in academic and career settings. They also have fun!

The 2021 summer programs are considerably longer than previous summer program sessions and they are all fully synchronous º staff are available to lead instruction, support student work, and provide feedback throughout every program day.

Programs and curricular information are not limited to the summer. The Claremont program is the only summer workshop extending competitive and leadership opportunities, as well as curricular support, to its students, at no cost, during the academic year.


Middle school debate and scholars sessions are $600 and $750 for the SuperSession (Middle School Debate Session 3). High school debate sessions are $750 and $800 for the SuperSession (High School Debate Session 2); the high school leadership session is $900.

Applicants must pay by check. All checks are payable to Claremont McKenna College. Please do not mail your payment to Claremont McKenna College. Mail your payment to John Meany, Director of Forensics, 749 Lancaster Drive, Claremont, CA 91711.

The registration fee includes the selected academic session and related event (middle school or high school debate tournament and high school leadership conference), supplemental open forum options (course electives and additional optional instruction, strategy board gaming for argumentation and negotiation skill development and informal communication practice, fitness for public speaking and leadership – breathing, meditation, stretching, and peer communication – to reduce anxiety, improve vocal strength, and increase sport and wellness performance), and additional curricular materials and exercises delivered to summer students in newsletters during the 2021-22 academic year. Summer students are eligible to register for academic year Claremont debate and leadership communication/scholars programs for reduced or no fees.

Students of all experience levels may attend any session. Students may register for more than 1 session (an individualized student portfolio will move with a student to add value to prior programming and accumulated knowledge).


Apply by June 7 for the following June programs
June 14-19, Middle School Debate 1 ($600)
June 21-25, Middle School Scholars 1 ($600)
June 22-29, High School Debate 1 ($750)

Apply by June 30 for the following July programs
July 6-11, Middle School Debate 2 ($600)
July 10-18, High School Leadership/Professional Communication ($900)

Apply by July 12 for the following July programs
July 19-23, Middle School Scholars 2 ($600)
July 24-31, Middle School Debate 3, SuperSession, including tournament ($750)

Apply by July 23 for the following August programs
August 1-9, High School Debate 2, SuperSession, including tournament ($800)

Summer institute students may register for an additional online tournament. There is no fee for these events. This is in addition to the SuperSession tournaments. The dates for events are:

August 14, Middle School Summer CDLI Debate Championship (Registration deadline, Friday, August 6, 5PM)
August 15, High School Summer CDLI Debate Championship (Registration deadline, Friday, August 6, 6PM)

Students may register with other students from a summer session or may register as an individual or with 1-2 other persons and have the tournament staff assign one or more partners to create a team for the competitions.

Registration opens July 15. Parents of summer institute students will receive an email with registration information at that time.

The 2021 Parent Guide to prepare for the online program will be emailed to parents of registered students at least two weeks before the beginning of their session.


Online Programs

Middle School Debate/Scholars

Institute programming is comprehensive and detailed. The online classroom environment is designed as an interactive and engaging model. As with the traditional on-campus summer programs, students get the time and attention to succeed in a challenging and fun debate format. Middle school scholars prepare for academic success through rigorous oral communication training. Students learn and practice public speaking, note taking, research, multimedia presentations and more to develop a skill set for classroom and academic success.

High School Debate

Students learn fundamental and advanced debate theory, strategy, and tactics. They conduct thematic research, practice critical listening and thinking, and practice sophisticated argumentation that will help in their debates, essays, and classroom and professional discussions. The insitute program uses the High School Public Debate Program format but the skills are appropriate for any debate format.

High School Leadership

A modified version of professional communication and management training for students interested in organizing and leading clubs and organizations, gaining and succeeding in internships, and developing school and community service and civi engagement programs. Students practice specific communication skills – public speaking, discussion, interviewing, social professional communication, multimedia presentation. They participate in a competitive academic conference, with awards for top paper submission, panel presentation, and multimedia presentation. And they learn to mentor peers using these techniques for more effective school and community clubs and organizations.

What parents say

Thank you for giving my daughter the opportunity to attend this summer. She was new to the program and understandably nervous. But she loved the program and was so happy that her hard work paid off. It was a unique program and we hope that she can attend every summer!

― Grade 6 middle school parent

John Meany is a living, breathing national treasure. Anyone who has the opportunity to study with him should afford themselves of the rare opportunity to study with the Mozart of rhetoric, speech, and debate of our age!

Parent, molecular biologist/patent attorney

Promoting Academic and Career Achievement

Our Success


We have witnessed dramatic changes for many thousands of student – improved confidence, professional speaking and writing skills, critical listening development, argumentation and advanced presentation and leadership skills. One sign of success – half of the students attend a session and return for another session or another summer.


Surveys and testing reveal that students, depending on their program, learn the essential skills of public speaking, research, organization, note-taking, argumentation, refutation, discussion, management skills, and multimedia presentation.


We have produced the results that students and parents are looking for – more than 20 years of basic and advanced debate, scholar skills for academic success, and professional communication skills for club, organization, and community service leadership positions, internships, and civic engagement.

Program cost?

All 2021 middle school debate and scholars sessions are $600 and the third middle school session, the Supersession, is $750. The first high school debate session is $750 and the high school debate SuperSession, session two, is $800. The high school leadership session is $900. Students may register for one or more sessions. 

Students may attend one or more than one session. Portfolios are produced for each student so that progress is tracked across sessions and summers. This allows students to build on their previous work and advance their individual skills.

Checks are payable to Claremont McKenna College. They must be mailed to the attention of John Meany, Director of Forensics, 749 Lancaster Drive, Claremont, CA 91711. There are no refunds for 2021 programs.

About Us

We are Claremont Summer, the leading innovator in summer debate and leadership communication instruction.

Your children will learn the skills required for academic and career success and lifelong learning.


John Meany
Director of Forensics
749 Lancaster Drive
Claremont, CA 91711