Central Honors Institute

The 2024 CHI application has been closed. Please check back later for the 2025 camp dates.

June 23-26, 2024
Columbus Campus

Central Honors Institute Scholarship Application

Calling all high ability students in middle school

Central Community College – Columbus Campus is pleased to announce the 20th Annual Central Honors Institute (CHI) academic camp for high ability learners is scheduled for June 23–26, 2024.

Students who will be entering the 7th or 8th grade in the fall of 2024 and who have demonstrated academic accomplishments, leadership, and maturity among their peers are invited to apply to our four-day residential camp. At CHI, campers will have the opportunity to meet other high ability learners from across the state while participating in one of four STEM based academic tracks. The instructors who lead these tracks are some of the brightest, most innovative educators from across the state.

With the help of our highly qualified staff comprised of two (2) social directors, eight (8) instructors, four (4) residence hall advisors and five (5) student interns, we promise to keep things exciting and fast-paced to help students stay two steps ahead of any first-time jitters! During their stay at camp, students will get to fully experience life on a community college campus by living in one of our two modern residence halls and eating all meals in the CCC cafeteria. Each day, students will attend classes that are designed to challenge them academically through hands-on activities and experiences. Students and their peers will also engage in a variety of organized social activities that are facilitated by our camp social directors.


CHI Camp is open to students who will be entering the 7th or 8th grade in the fall of 2024 and who score at or above the 65th percentile in all areas on a standardized assessment (see list below) or score at or above the 80th percentile in at least one area.

We accept the following standardized assessments: MAP, SAT, SRA, MAT, CAT, ITBS, CTBC, STAR and NSCAS. We do not accept ACT or NeSA test scores.

Application Instructions
Admissions into CHI Camp is highly competitive and based on both academics and recommendations. To apply to CHI, students and parents must complete an online or paper application. Students will need to have a current math, science or language arts teacher fill out the teacher recommendation section on the application. In addition, a school counselor or official will need to complete the “Qualifying Standards” section of the application.

Selected students will be notified around mid-April and will receive a registration packet in the mail along with additional camp details and information.


Send NO money now. 

Tuition for the four-day camp is $435, which includes professional staff and educators, room, board, supplies, recreational activity fees, and a CHI T-shirt. We offer a partial scholarship of up to $175 to help offset the cost of camp for students with demonstrated financial needs.

Central Honors Institute Scholarship Application

Tuition is due when the student has been notified of CHI acceptance in mid-April. Late cancellations are subject to partial tuition being withheld. No refunds will be given after June 15. 

CHI Classes & Learning Environment

Below are the four academic tracks being offered in 2024. Click a title to expand and view details about the section.

CHI Creativity Track

CHI Creativity Track – Students are encouraged to explore their creative side in unique and challenging ways. Activities include designing games, improv activities, writing, acting, and inventing. You may choose to design with technology, such as using a 3D printer. You will use teamwork to problem solve and learn from each other. Your confidence will soar, and you will find out you are creative in ways you never imagined.

CSI at CHI Track

CSI at CHI Track – Is enjoying math a crime? These inquisitive campers will discover quite the opposite as they use technology, math, and advanced problem-solving skills to investigate and solve several puzzling cases throughout the week. This curriculum is advanced, yet creative, with lots of teamwork, problem solving, and challenging applications to help these analytical students become “crime scene investigators.”

CHI Stream Team

CHI Stream Team – Biology based, this track gets campers out of the classroom and into the “real” world. Using scientific methods and ecological concepts, Stream Team campers will investigate the living and non-living objects, food web, and biodiversity in a nearby aquatic ecosystem. Students will perform advanced-level data collection, research, and analysis as they spend their week learning about Stream Ecology.


FLY CHI Track – Designed to encourage interest through hands-on activities, in an environment that is supportive, enriching, and fun. This track will focus on the fascinating aspects of flight from archery to ornithology, rockets, gliders, combustion and beyond. Many demonstrations in chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, math, and technology will be used to both educate and entertain these “STEM” campers.

CHI Faculty and Learning Environment

CHI faculty have distinguished instructional credentials and have been selected for their experience and enthusiasm working with this age group. While the typical CHI student excels at academics, many are pleasantly surprised by the challenging academic experiences they will have at camp. Best of all, our CHI learning environment supports acceptance, growth and excellence. Central Community College-Columbus has been proud to host CHI campers since 2003.

CHI Social Program

Having fun and learning to feel confident in a new setting are important components of the CHI agenda. Our social program includes activities such as swimming, bowling, putt-putt, Frisbee golf, table games, group games and relays. CHI draws from a large geographic area which allows campers to meet kids from other schools and cities and form friendships beyond their normal peer group.

Academy Schedule

Here’s what our typical day at CHI camp looks like:  

Daily Schedule

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. — Breakfast

8:15 – 8:45 a.m. — Large group activity / challenge 

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. — Morning classes

12:00 – 12:45 p.m. — Lunch

12:45 – 1:15 p.m. — Organized lunch activities 

1:30 – 4:00 p.m. — Afternoon classes

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. — Large group activity / challenge

5:30 – 6:30 p.m. — Dinner

6:30 – 9:00 p.m. — Evening social activity

9:30 -10:00 p.m. — Residence hall time 10:00 p.m. — Lights out

First and Last Day 

The 2024 camp schedule is in the process of being finalized. 

Students who are selected to attend camp will receive instructions regarding the check-in/check-out times and location for Sunday, June 23 and Wednesday, June 26. In addition, we will be sharing a packing list of items for students to bring to camp. Please watch for these handouts to be mailed out at the end of May. 



All questions for the Central Honors Instititue should be directed to:

Erica Chochon at eleffler@cccneb.edu or by calling 402-562-1458.  

Checkout our Google Photo Book to view photos and activities from previous years.

Camp Administrators

Erica Chochon, Regional Director, 4500 63rd Street, P.O. Box 1027, Columbus, NE 68602-1027

Karin Rieger, Associate Dean of CWE, 4500 63rd Street, P.O. Box 1027, Columbus, NE 68602-1027