About the Portland Speech & Debate Institute

INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION- We maintain a 5-1 faculty to staff ratio for a reason- small labs allow students to get to know their lab leaders and get constructive feedback on all aspects of debating. The best way to learn debate (or learn MORE about debate) is in a setting where students can ask questions and get individualized help.

SKILLS FOCUS- Research is important (see the next paragraph!) Theoretical knowledge is important. But even more important are the skills that help you utilize knowledge and research in debates. Our lab leaders will conduct daily drills and a large number of practice debates (with re-dos, stop/starts) as well as two full practice tournaments.

RESEARCH- You’ll leave the PSDI with a large amount of research. Some of that will be produced by our staff; we’ll also give you the tools to create high quality research of your own. Most importantly, our curriculum will focus on learning research skills that you can utilize throughout the course of the season.

ADAPTABLE CURRICULUM- Circuits vary, styles vary, and the types of skills necessary to succeed in each circuit varies as well. Our curriculum is designed to improve debating on every level, from local circuits to national circuits. Our curriculum is also designed to adapt to the skill level of each participant, whether novice, varsity or somewhere in between. Labs will be assigned in recognition of these parameters.

DIVERSE STAFF- Our staff will be hired from experienced debate coaches and students, with an emphasis on creating a staff that has experience at numerous other debate programs. We expect that our staff will include individuals who have led labs and designed curriculum at numerous other camps in the Northwest and throughout the nation.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION- Lewis & Clark’s campus is known as one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses. There may not be a better spot to spend 2 weeks in the summer than Portland, OR. We will provide shuttle service to and from PDX airport for no charge. The campus also has everything you need to succeed- modern classrooms, wireless internet, and strong library resources.

A FUN TIME- Debate is a rewarding educational experience, but it also needs to be a fun experience. We will have games, picnics, movies, and a bunch of other fun activities that integrate the educational experience with entertainment. Relationships that are built at the Portland Speech & Debate Institute will last a lifetime.