Save these dates:  July 10 - 30, 2016!           The web site will be updated by mid-January, 2016.

The academic curriculum is central to the ADVANCE experience and courses are designed to challenge and inspire gifted 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, discussion, writing and speaking skills, research, 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. 


Courses                    Instructors                 Student Handbook          


Instructional Staff

Our instructional staff is committed to challenging and inspiring their students and to providing an exceptional educational experience. The instructors are a talented and diverse group who are well prepared in the academic fields they have chosen to pursue. Currently, 34 percent of ADVANCE's faculty holds 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.


Student Evaluations 

Evaluations are mailed to student’s homes within two weeks after the close of ADVANCE along with a course description and syllabus. These items may be useful in requesting placement or credit from the student's local school if you so choose. The evaluations are completed by the instructor and assess the student’s performance in such areas as intellectual processes, work habits, peer interactions, and products created in the course such as tests, essays, visual projects, journal and creative writing, research, and presentations.


Students who intend to include their ADVANCE Program participation as part of their college admissions portfolio should be sure to keep a copy of the evaluation. The ADVANCE Program cannot guarantee that copies of the evaluation can be mailed at a later date.


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.


Parent Conferences 

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, June 27th. At registration on Sunday, June 7th, 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.


Requesting Course Credit or Placement

Because many of the courses offered at ADVANCE are not in a typical school's curriculum, ADVANCE students often take courses for enrichment. If, however, 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. If the student wishes to seek credit for a course taken at ADVANCE, it is important to begin the process of seeking credit or placement from the student's school before ADVANCE begins. The following steps will assist the student in obtaining course credit or placement at his or her school:


1.  Before ADVANCE commences, contact the person at the student’s school who would grant credit or placement for a student’s work at ADVANCE (school counselor, vice-principal, or registrar, et cetera). 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. Direct that person to our web site,, for information regarding the program. NOTE: In Louisiana, an End of Course (EOC) exam must be taken for algebra 1, geometry, and biology. EOC's are only offered in May and December and the student will take the EOC at their home school.

2.  Explain that ADVANCE students enroll in one course for three weeks and attend class for 106 contact hours.

3.  Inform the local school official that at the end of ADVANCE, students receive a course description, syllabus, and a student evaluation. However, students will not receive transcripts. If ADVANCE may be of assistance to the student in this process, please contact the Associate Director at (318) 357-4500.

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. 

Computer Access

Computers are available for use by students in specific courses and for limited use by the other students. A computer lab is offered as an activity three times per week for those students who wish to check their email or log in on Facebook. Students only have a few free hours at night and we want them to participate in activities with 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 in either an online or a traditional face-to-face course 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 an Articulation Agreement between Northwestern State and ADVANCE.


4.   The ADVANCE office will contact the NSU 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 following courses while a student at ADVANCE. College students will be granted credit only – no letter grade will be issued.


NOTE: The ADVANCE student will not be issued a transcript from Northwestern State for work completed during ADVANCE.


The following courses are included in the 2015 Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State: 

ADVANCE Course Northwestern State Course
Algebra 2 Math 1020
Brain & Behavior Buffet (2B Buffet) - Psychology Psychology 1010
Chemistry Chemistry 1070
Creative Writing Engligh 2100
Film Studies English 3500
Mythology English 3400
Science Fiction English 3850
United States Gender History History 3300