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The web site has been updated for 2016!
The academic curriculum is central to the ADVANCE experience and courses are designed to challenge and inspire gifted or talented students. Course offerings are for academic enrichment or acceleration and span a broad spectrum, including: natural sciences (with laboratory components), mathematics, computer sciences, and the humanities. Classroom activities engage students in critical thinking, problem- solving, writing and speaking skills, and higher-order thinking. Many of the courses are similar to those offered to undergraduate students at universities and students are encouraged to take advantage of enrichment courses that are not available at their local school.
ADVANCE is not designed to remediate skills - the courses are fast-paced and intensive. Students are urged to select courses from subject areas in which the student's SAT or ACT scores demonstrate strong aptitude because their teacher will cover a great deal of material at a very quick pace. To the best of their ability, instructional staff attempt to accommodate a variety of learning styles.
Our instructional staff is committed to challenging their students and to providing an exceptional educational experience. The instructors are a talented and diverse group, each has a minimum of a master's degree or is currently enrolled in a graduate program, and some of the faculty hold Ph.D.'s or terminal degrees in the subject matter taught.
Our instructors strive to provide interesting, high-energy educational experiences that often differ from those that students encounter in their local schools. Instructors employ a variety of instructional strategies, including exploration of real-world phenomena, discussion groups, journal and creative writing, guest speakers, lab experiences, field trips, individual or group research, and media presentations (computer, film, television). Enrollment is limited to 15 students per course and therefore ADVANCE has a low student-faculty ratio.
Every course also has a teaching assistant (TA) who is selected from a competitive pool of outstanding undergraduate and graduate student applicants. TAs are an integral part of the academic experience and many are interested in pursuing a career related to their course topic. They assist with class instruction during the day, lead the hour-long guided study five nights per week, serve as role models, and enforce the ADVANCE behavioral guidelines. Additionally, TAs strive to build a sense of community within the classroom setting and live in the dorm to provide additional student supervision.
Evaluations are mailed to students within two weeks after the close of ADVANCE, along with a course description and syllabus. The evaluations assess the student's performance in such areas as intellectual processes, work habits, peer interactions, and accomplishments in the course such as tests, essays, visual projects, journal and creative writing, research, and presentations. The evaluation will indicate the student's cumulative average, the score earned on the final, and if the instructor recommends credit for the student. A student must earn a 70 percent or higher on the ADVANCE final in order for the instructor to recommend the student receive credit.
The ADVANCE Program will not send information to the student's home school regarding completion of work at ADVANCE unless it is requested in writing after the program closes.
Students who intend to include their ADVANCE Program participation as part of their college admissions portfolio should be sure to keep a copy of their student evaluation. The ADVANCE Program cannot guarantee that copies of the evaluation will be available at a later date.
Requesting Course Credit or Placement
The ADVANCE instructor may only recommend credit; conferral of school credit is always the responsibility of the student's school at home. If the student wishes to seek credit for a course taken at ADVANCE, the student must follow the policies of his or her individual secondary school. It is important to begin the process of seeking credit or placement from the student's school before ADVANCE begins. The following steps may assist the student in obtaining course credit or placement at his or her school:
1. Contact the person at the student’s school who could grant credit or placement for a student’s work at ADVANCE (school counselor, vice-principal, or registrar, et cetera).
2. Direct the school official to our web site for information regarding the program.
3. Give the school official a copy of the syllabus for the course that the student will take at ADVANCE.
4. Inform the school official that ADVANCE students enroll in one course for three weeks and attend class for 106 contact hours.
5. Inform the school offcial that ADVANCE students do not receive transcripts from Northwestern State or the ADVANCE Program. Students will receive an evaulation completed by their instructor after the program ends.
6. Inform the school official that ADVANCE students must earn a 70 percent or higher on their final in order for the ADVANCE instructor to recommend credit.
Remember, neither Northwestern State’s ADVANCE Program nor Northwestern State will produce a transcript for ADVANCE students. School credit may only be issued by the student’s home school.
Some schools may require the student to take a test after attending a summer academic program to confirm that the student knows the course material and is ready to move to a higher level course. In Louisiana, an End of Course (EOC) exam must be taken for algebra 1, biology, and geometry. As EOCs are only offered in May and December, the student must take the EOC at his or her home school. An ADVANCE final exam is not equivalent to an End of Course (EOC) exam in Louisiana.
Parents are an integral part of their child's academic successes and our instructors welcome the opportunity to talk with parents about their child's performance at ADVANCE. Parent conferences are available before and after the closing ceremony on departure day, Saturday, July 30th. At registration on Sunday, July 10th, parents may select a time for their parent conference. A telephone conference may be arranged for parents who are unable to be present on departure day. However, all phone conferences must take place before the end of the program.
Computer labs are available for classes that require word processing and class-related work and assignments. The labs will be available for limited use by other students.
Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State
Some of the courses offered by ADVANCE may qualify for articulated college credit at Northwestern State. The following details the necessary steps to be taken:
1. When a former ADVANCE student is of college age, the student must be admitted and enrolled at Northwestern State.
2. The former ADVANCE student must contact the ADVANCE office while enrolled as a college student at Northwestern State.
3. The former ADVANCE student may then request articulated credit for a course taken at ADVANCE if the course was included in the Articulation Agreement between Northwestern State and ADVANCE.
4. The ADVANCE office will contact the Northwestern State Registrar and complete the necessary paperwork in order for the former ADVANCE student to obtain credit for an ADVANCE course that was included in an Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State.
5. The former ADVANCE student will then be granted Northwestern State credit contingent upon the student earning a grade of B or better in one of the courses below while a student at ADVANCE. College students will be granted credit only - no letter grade will be issued.
The following courses are included in the 2016 Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State:
|ADVANCE Course||Northwestern State Course|
|Algebra 2||Math 1020|
|Brain & Behavior Buffet (2B Buffet) - Psychology||Psychology 1010|
|Creative Writing: Express Yourself in Style||Engligh 2100|
|Film Studies: Great Directors||English 3500|
|Shakespeare in Performance||English 2110|