Four Week Program

SDI Four Week Institute Dates --- June 26-July 22, 2022 --- Cost as low as $2300*

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Exceptional Faculty
Four week staff are among the most sought after debate institute instructors in the nation. Simply put, they are incredible debate thinkers and teachers dedicated to providing the most fun and educational experience possible. You don't have to worry about what particular lab students will be placed in because our staff is great throughout each and every lab. Our staff roster is not just a few shining stars--they are all experienced, dedicated and extremely talented. Click here for more details about the four-week staff -- and if you ask around to investigate our staffs' reputation, you will almost certainly be impressed.

Quality Reputation & Overwhelming Recommendations
At the end of last year's 4-week SDI, we surveyed every student for feedback about the camp. The results were an impressive endorsement: 100% of attendees would recommend the 4-week SDI to a friend. We also asked how the SDI compared to other institutes our students had attended, and virtually all of this feedback favored the SDI. Students mentioned several specific factors, including more practice debates, better evidence, dedicated instructors, and earlier completion of core research assignments.

Lab Ratios Are Excellent
Some institutes place students in lab groups of 32-40 with only two or three instructors. At the 4-week SDI a lab group with two instructors would never have more than 16 students. Typically, we have four full-time institute faculty members teaching workgroups that are no larger than 32 students. Better lab ratios mean that SDI students get more personal time and exposure to more of our great staff.

More Actual Debates and Rebuttal Redos
By providing four-week students with a packet of evidence at registration or beforehand, practice debates and speeches will begin within the first day or two of the camp. The four-week session will include multiple judged tournaments for relaxed, yet structured, opportunities for students to gain direct feedback. Four-week students will typically leave the SDI having participated in at least eighteen practice debates. Each student will also typically participate in several rebuttal redo sessions where they will have the opportunity to immediately integrate coaching advice by re-giving speeches from earlier practice debates.

Work With a Variety of Instructors
Students will be placed in lab groups appropriate to their experience level that are run by multiple lab instructors (student to teacher ratios will generally never be greater than 8:1), plus they will work with several additional faculty members over the course of the camp in even smaller settings. Topics for these sessions will include a variety of core argument writing groups and several debate theory practicums. By the end of the camp, four week students will have gotten feedback and instruction from most of the instructors.

Personal Skills Development
We have a heavy emphasis on individual debating and skills development, not just mass lectures. One unique part of this approach is a technique called "co-teaching" where students become an active part of the learning environment by directly participating in the lab instruction of some particular topics. To really learn how to master the subjects necessary for debate success, four-week SDI students will take part in several guided exercises where they will learn how to explain, persuade and convince others of debate concepts. Two examples are student-driven (and instructor guided) strategy discussions, and sessions where students experience the perspective of judges by practicing the process of deciding and explaining how they would vote in actual debates.

Very Competitive Prices and No Hidden Fees
The SDI is already well known for offering outstanding debate instruction at affordable prices, and the four-week session is a perfect continuation of this philosophy. Comparable debate camps are hundreds of dollars more expensive. Considering our staff, quality, prices, and constant innovation, the 4-week SDI is among the best and most affordable debate camps around. There are also no application fees and no additional or separate lab fees. Plus we offer a limited pool of need-based scholarship funds.

Spartan Sophomores

The SDI offers a special program for students entering their second year of debate (grades 9-11). Two classes place heavy emphasis on the development of debating skills, with a particular focus on practice debating.

In order to apply for this program, simply fill out the application for the four-week program, and indicate that you are entering your second year of debate.


*Price: as low as $2300 (deposits by April 5th)

$2500 if deposit paid after April 6th