The ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE) at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, Louisiana is privileged to offer the only residential program for gifted youth in the state of Louisiana that is affiliated with Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP). Northwestern State, a Member of the University of Louisiana System, offers the ADVANCE Program and assumes full responsibility for the instruction, administration, and outcomes of the Program.
ADVANCE students work hard, play hard, and go home happy. Then they come back!
ADVANCE is a three-week residential program that offers a challenging and rewarding curriculum for gifted students entering grades 8 through 12 next fall. By bringing together academically talented students, ADVANCE is able to offer a unique educational experience, one geared both to the students’ high abilities and to their need for peers who share their academic abilities and their love of learning.
Students enroll in one course for three weeks of intense and demanding study. Classes are conducted for 6 hours Monday through Friday, 3.5 hours on Saturday, and the courses require attendance at a one-hour guided study Monday through Friday evenings. This provides 106 contact hours to cover an entire year’s worth of high school material or a semester of college level material.
Courses have approximately 15 students and are taught by a diverse and talented group of highly qualified Instructor-Teaching Assistant (TA) teams. These teaching teams are committed to inspiring and challenging their students and to providing an exceptional educational experience. The classrooms and laboratories utilized are located on the Northwestern State campus or on the campus of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA).
The residential life portion of ADVANCE is vital to the program, offering balanced recreational and social activities to complement the intensive academic curriculum. ADVANCE has built up a host of traditions and a strong community of staff and students that keep ADVANCErs returning year after year. In short, the ADVANCE Program provides everything gifted students could want in a summer experience: an intellectually challenging curriculum that stretches their academic capabilities; the chance to live and interact with peers of similar abilities and interests; and the opportunity to just have fun with other kids during summer break.
In keeping with the maxim and our philosophy, mens sana in corpore sano (a sound mind in a sound body), ADVANCE offers a challenging academic experience with low student-faculty ratio complemented by creative and diverse recreational activities.
While participation in ADVANCE fosters intellectual, social, and emotional growth, it is important to recognize that genuine academic motivation is the true heart of the program. Students not willing to rise to this intellectual challenge or those primarily interested in a “summer camp experience” should refrain from applying to ADVANCE. However, the truly motivated student will enjoy a stimulating environment and a community of peers unlike any she or he has ever experienced.