Persuasive Communication & Competitive Debate

Learn critical thinking, public speaking, and presentation skills while engaging in competitive debate

Program Highlights

Course is taught by one of America's top performing intercollegiate debate coaches
Course centers professional advocacy skill building applicable to other areas of life
Debate topics will be easy to interface with but will challenge students' intellects
Students will build confidence in their public speaking and presentation abilities

Residential Tuition:


Session 2:
July 14, 2024 July 26, 2024


Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
Cal Poly SLO - San Luis Obispo, CA


  • "My experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed all the activities, classes, and friends I met. With that being said, Summer Springboard really served as an eye opener for me. SSB has taught me what college will be like, from home sickness to adapting to new environments. In all this was an unforgettable experience and I have no regrets coming..."

    Michael T.

  • "This experience was very rewarding. I gained a lot of independence and really learned a lot, I would definitely to this program again."

    Julia J.

  • "I enjoyed getting a taste of the college experience and meeting new people. Both the mentors and the students were very friendly."

    Mia M.

Course Overview

Would you like to improve your research, communication, speaking, and presentation skills while learning to persuade in one action-packed course? Each day students will research a debate topic. They will then compose argumentative cases and deliver to judges throughout the course. After each debate round, students will receive instructor feedback as well as deliver/receive peer. If desired, it may be possible to culminate the course in an in-class debate tournament. This class will sharpen key skills that will boost your speaking confidence and enhance your ability to organize and express ideas clearly.

Meet your instructor

Dr. John Patrick

Persuasive Communication & Debate Cal Poly SLO

John Patrick, Ed.D., is a co-director of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s nationally acclaimed debate team and regularly brings debating workshops to developing nations where democracy is trying to flourish.

Learn more

Topics you'll explore

Course Structure

There are nine 3-hour class sessions over the two-week course. During week one, students have class from 9am-12pm, Monday - Friday. During week two, students have class from 9am-12pm Monday through Thursday. Wednesday afternoons are dedicated to additional academic time (excursions, speakers).

Get started today

Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program