Classic

July 11th – August 6th, 2024

The Michigan Classic is a four-week policy debate workshop designed for students who desire a challenging summer workshop experience and who wish to engage in competition at an advanced level the following year.

The Classic offers separate divisions for rising Seniors/Juniors and Sophomores. Approximately 60 students are selected for the Senior/Junior Division and 160 students for the Sophomore Division.

Lab Groups

Classic students are assigned to Lab Groups of about 28-32 people. Each Lab Group is taught by three to four of the full-time institute faculty members. This Lab Group serves as the central instructional unit throughout the workshop. Students work with the same lab leaders throughout the Classic to enable the instructors to learn the work habits, strengths, and weaknesses of the debaters. Classic students also work with other faculty members in selected situations, such as theory classes and seminars.

2024 Classic Staff

Classic for Juniors/Seniors– Gershom Chan (Niles West High School), Nate Glancy (Niles North High School and Michigan State University), and Eric Oddo (Niles North High School)

Classic for Sophomores- Alex Brown (Montgomery Bell Academy), Sean Duff (Washburn Rural High School), Chris Fry (Glenbrook North High School), Natalie Gao (University of Michigan), Nate Graziano (Kent Denver School and University of Kentucky), Nicholas Jennings (Niles West High School), Jake Lee (Mamaroneck High School), Sarah Lee (University of Memphis), Joshua Michael (Notre Dame High School and University of Southern California), Donald Pierce (Emory University), Thomas Reese (University of Southern California), William Soper (University of Kansas), Alaina Walberg (University of Kansas), Ella Williams (Macalester College), Victoria Yonter (Solorio Academy), and Jared Zuckerman (Glenbrook South High School)

Classic Online/Remote Lab– Michael Greenstein (Glenbrook North High School), MJ Jones (Washington University in St. Louis), and Aaron Vinson (New Trier High School)

For more information on our faculty members, click here.

Analysis of the Topic

In addition to the work of their Lab Groups, students learn about the content of the topic from many division-wide lectures. These lectures include broad-based surveys of both affirmative and negative arguments. Students also receive a lecture offering a rigorous and detailed defense of the principles and policies that are represented by the status quo.

Students are assigned to faculty members other than their lab leaders for the purpose of writing the core arguments of the topic. The core argument groups meet several times during the first and second week of the Classic to analyze, outline, research, and ultimately write briefs covering the central issues of the topic area. The work product of these groups is shared among all institute participants.

Communication Skills

Students participate in three sets of practice debates, with each debate critiqued by faculty members. Every debate is accompanied by rebuttal rework sessions for intensive individualized instruction. The Classic provides each student a journal for written judge comments which debaters take to each successive debate so that subsequent judges and coaches can establish criteria for and evaluate the level of improvement.

Detailed speaker position lectures provide practical advice on constructive and rebuttal techniques; organizational systems; and advanced strategic concepts concerning time allocation, argument selection, cross-examination and weighing.

Theory Instruction

Virtually all theory instruction at the Michigan Classic takes place in small classes of eight  students and one instructor. Our curriculum emphasizes the practical applications of basic and advanced debate theory. For these theory classes students are assigned to two faculty members other than their lab leaders.

What Coaches Have To Say About the Classic

“As a high school coach, I have sent many debaters over the last decade to the Michigan Classic. It has always focused on improving important debate skills and producing high quality evidence. As a member of the Classic staff, I know that the faculty at Michigan is one of the most committed and engaging in high school debate.”

Tim Alderete
Policy Debate Coordinator at The Meadows School

What the 2023 Students said

Would you recommend the Michigan Debate Institutes to friends and teammates? 100% yes

Would you recommend your Classic Lab to friends and teammates? 100% yes

Fees

The total fees for the 2023 Michigan Classic are $4750 plus a $65 application fee for in-person and $3000 plus a $65 application fee for online/remote. Students who are admitted must submit a regular deposit one week after their acceptance. Payment of the balance must take place no later than May 1.

Application Policy

Applications must be received no later than June 1st. A $65 application fee is required. Students will be notified of their admission status (accepted, wait-listed, or rejected) no later than June 1st. Please do not call to inquire about admission status unless you have not heard from the Classic by one week from your application date. Applications for Financial Aid must be received by March 1.

Admission Policy

No applicant will be considered without submission of a full and accurate application and the receipt of the $65 application fee. The extent and quality of the applicant’s previous debate experience, including demonstrated potential, will be the dominant factors in admissions decisions. Other factors which may be considered include: the strength and number of tournaments attended, speaker awards, previous institute attendance, the comments offered in the enclosed Letter of Recommendation, and geographic diversity.

Click here to go directly to our Application Page

The Michigan Classic Plus

July 7th – August 6th, 2024

If you want to attend debate camp for longer than four weeks, but can’t attend the Seven Week Program, we suggest you try the Classic Plus. The Classic Plus gives you a week prior to the Classic for development of a full affirmative and in-depth learning on the topic in a very small directed learning environment with a very low student to teacher ratio.

The 2024 Classic Plus will be taught by Eric Oddo (Niles North High School) and Nathan Glancy (Niles North High School and Michigan State University)

Fees

The total fees for the 2024 Michigan Classic Plus are $5450 plus a $65 application fee. The 2024 Michigan Classic Plus is only offered in-person. Students who are admitted must submit a regular deposit within a week of their acceptance. Payment of the balance must take place no later than May 1.

Application Policy

Applications must be received no later than June 1st. A $65 application fee is required. Students will be notified of their admission status (accepted, wait-listed, or rejected) no later than June 1st. Please do not call to inquire about admission status unless you have not heard from the Classic by one week from your application date. Applications for Financial Aid must be received by March 1.

Click here to go directly to our Application Page