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USNA Facilitates Virtual Summer Seminar Program

  POSTED ON: Tuesday, July 7, 2020 2:31 PM by

The U.S. Naval Academy virtually hosted the 2020 Summer Seminar program for potential midshipmen candidates from May 31 to June 24.

The program is typically held on the yard in three six-day sessions, offered to rising high school seniors as a look into USNA academics, athletics, and military training. This year 2,540 candidates from around the world joined virtually, completing team challenges, academic workshops, and even morning physical education.

“We created online classrooms for squads to have the chance to interact,” said Karin Dolan, USNA Office of Admissions. “We knew that if we were having a virtual classroom experience, then we had to fill them with meaningful engagement.”

All service academies canceled their respective summer education programs this year due to COVID-19, but after receiving a flood of inquiries from candidates asking if there was any way to have a similar experience, Dolan and her team decided to discuss ways to give candidates a preview of life at USNA.

“We were the only service academy to provide an online version of the summer experience,” said Dolan. “And we’re happy to have had the chance to engage the candidates in whatever way we could, like interacting with midshipmen and getting into the teamwork aspect.”

Seven, three-and-a-half day sessions consisted of academic challenges, admissions briefs, leadership workshops, midshipmen question panels, physical education, and opening and closing ceremonies.  Candidates also completed candidate fitness assessments, which will become part of their application to USNA should they apply.


The Summer Seminar program is typically led by a group of approximately 150 midshipmen; this year a group of 40 recently commissioned junior officers created an effective schedule for each session, and led squads of nine to ten students.

 “I liked answering all the questions the candidates had, and doing that allowed me to reflect on what pieces of advice the Academy imparted onto me,” said Ensign Anthony Polo, who headed seven different squads. “My favorite part was definitely working with the students and seeing their motivation and ambition toward attending USNA.”


Candidates from all over the world participated, some even waking all of hours of the night from Japan, Singapore, Belgium and Switzerland, to work with their squad.

“I really enjoyed the physical and academic challenges that were presented to our group,” said Tre Dessalines, a candidate from Orange County, Calif., who participated in session 2A. “I thought it was awesome that even though we were miles apart and had never actually met, we were able to come together as a team and complete challenges.”


As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the US. Navy and Marine Corps.

Category: Academics, People, General Interest, Athletics