In the thread re RISD's summer program there was a Mom who talked about drugs, sex (and I suppose there was rock & roll) being rampant, along with a loose curfew and kids roaming the streets of Providence at night - she even said there were a few pregnancies every summer! Did you see anything like that at Ringling? I don't think I'm over-protective, but yikes ...
i went to risd in 06 and 07, know kids who did it in years past, and that sounds like a complete lie to me. yeah, a couple kids get kicked out for drinking every year, but i can pretty honestly say that 90% of the kids there are extremely serious about art and don't want to risk getting kicked out of the program (which means you cant get into risd for undergrad).
- i have never heard of anyone ever getting pregnant.
- i have heard of one drug use incident (immidiate expulsion), and getting caught is extremely easy. same situation as alcohol.
- the curfew is extremely strict and enforced. its 11 on weeknights and 12 on weekends. if you're one second late (literally, there are electronic scanners), you get written up. 2 writeups and a letter goes home and you get community service. 3 and you get sent home, no exceptions, no refunds. if you get caught drinking even on the first night you get sent home, no refunds. (the majority of the kids who get kicked out are for curfew violations, its extremely serious).
- kids roaming the streets at night: uh yeah, its a pre-COLLEGE program, no body hangs over your shoulder 24/7. the work load is intense and similar to college, they don't treat you like high schoolers. the RA's are your friends but they realize they have a job. they dont screw around when things need to be addressed, but the kids are the ones who need to take responsibility for themselves. you can roam anywhere you want from 5 am to 11 pm, but 11 pm is more like 10:15 because you have to stop what your doing to make sure you get back in time. you cant roam outside after curfew...you have to stay in your dorm
- sex: most of the kids who are able to spend 6 weeks alone and handle college level work are mature enough to handle sex properly. what do you want me to say, there are 500 teenagers living away from home for 6 weeks and nobody has sex? it certainly isn't a rabbit farm and there really arent random hookups to speak of. people have gf/bf's and whatever.
all i can say is that any pre-college program is going to have all of the above. if a kid isnt mature enough to handle a few weeks away from home, how do you think theyr going to react to a year away when real college time comes? parents can worry all they want about their kids, but worrying doesnt help them mature - the only way they can do that is through their own experience. if any parent wants someone breathing down their kid's neck at all waking moments to make sure theyr doing the right thing, you might as well keep them at home where you can do it yourself.
seriously, one of the best aspects of these programs is how fast it forces kids to mature. some kids arent ready, and they make stupid decisions, and get kicked out. those who mature and are able to handle it are that much more prepared for college.