Dates for the upcoming program are July 10 - 30, 2022.         


While successful completion of the rigorous academic program is our priority, we realize that students need to have fun! Therefore, our outstanding Residential Assistants (RAs) offer a wide variety of social and recreational activities to assist in forming lasting friendships and strengthen the ADVANCE community. Throughout the residential program, we focus on helping students have a good time in a safe, supervised environment.


ADVANCE students come from many different backgrounds and have a wide variety of opinions and beliefs. We believe that engaging such diversity is part of the educational experience that the program provides, and we encourage students to embrace the opportunity to learn from others who are different from themselves.



While students are ultimately responsible for their own conduct, the administrative, instructional, and residential staff work together to provide clear guidelines and supervision. ADVANCE employees are prepared to help students adjust to the academic demands of the program and to the experience of being away from home.

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Evening and Weekend Activities 


Activities are offered every weeknight after guided study and Saturday and Sunday afternoon and night. Students are expected to participate in six of the nine activity periods offered weekly.


Typical activity offerings include: 

  1.  Arts and crafts projects (friendship bracelets, collages, duct tape projects, painting t-shirts)

  2.  Games and cards (Munchkin, Apples to Apples, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Chess, ERS, Phase 10)

  3.  Sports (ultimate Frisbee, basketball, ping-pong, football, tennis, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball)

  4.  Dance lessons (salsa, swing, tango, ballroom)

  5.  Music jam sessions

  6.  Visiting a fast-food restaurant

  7.  Other activities may include anime, improvisational comedy, poetry slam, karaoke, reading or a picnic by Chaplin's Lake, murder mystery games, Top Chef, and visits to Goodwill.

  8.  Esoteric activities may include Jedi and/or Sith training, Quidditch for muggles, Humans vs. Zombies, awkward prom, and interactive movies.

  9.  Some long-standing ADVANCE traditions include a 3-on-3-basketball tournament, capture the flag, weekly dances (which are awesome), ping pong tournament, Beach Party, and the amazing, long-hallowed talent show held on the last night of the program.

10.  Students who simply wish to socialize with co-ed friends may do so in one of the common areas in the dorm under staff supervision.

11.  RA Night Out (RANO). Every RA group has a special night once during the program. It takes place during an evening activity period and examples include visiting an local restaurant, watching a movie, a night of board games, or another special group activity. Students really look forward to their RANO and it is a perfect time to create more memories and strengthen the ADVANCE community.


Learning to live with others is an important component of the ADVANCE experience. ADVANCE encourages diversity in its student and staff population, and participants will have the opportunity to live and learn with students from many different cultures and backgrounds. The staff members live on the halls with the students to provide support and supervision.


ADVANCE participants, staff, and instructors from out of town reside in University Place 2 (UP2), an air-conditioned dormitory on Northwestern State's campus. UP2 has suites with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchenette with a small microwave, dorm-size refrigerator, and a sink. The bedrooms are either shared, meaning the student will have a roommate, or private, meaning the student will not have a roommate. Therefore, the suites can house two to four students. Regardless of housing assignments, tuition remains the same for all students.

Each student is assigned to an RA group comprised of 10 to 14 students. Roommate assignments are made by the Coordinator of Residential Life (CRL) and are based on student age and similar likes and interests. After students are accepted to ADVANCE, they will be emailed a form to complete for the CRL to use when assigning students to an RA group and when pairing students with a suitemate or roommate. Housing requests will be considered, but it may not be possible to accommodate all requests. ADVANCE students are placed on same gender halls and students may not visit a hall where those of the opposite gender reside. Any student who violates this policy may be dismissed from ADVANCE. 

For questions about the dorm or other residential concerns, please call the ADVANCE office at 318-357-4500 or email

Keys, ID card, and Security
Students will be issued a bedroom key, an ADVANCE ID card, and a now-famous orange shoestring at the time of dormitory check-in. The ID card serves as the student’s meal and library card. The bedroom key and ID are always to be worn around the student’s neck on the orange shoestring. Should the student lose the room key it must be replaced immediately and the student (or his or her parents/guardians) will be responsible for the $75.00 replacement fee. Although UP2 is always monitored, students are expected to always lock their bedroom to ensure security for personal items. Northwestern State, the ADVANCE Program, nor the UP2 staff are responsible for lost, stolen, or damage to personal items.


There is a laundry room with three washers and four dryers on each floor of UP2. The washers and dryers accept quarters and each load is $1.50, and laundry rooms are off-limits after lights out. Students are responsible for their own laundry and ADVANCE staff members will be glad to provide instructions for sorting clothing and on the use of the machines.



Students eat their meals in the cafeteria along with the residential and instructional staff. Meals include a variety of hot entrées, vegetables, sandwiches, salads, beverages, and desserts to better accommodate differing tastes and dietary practices. Vegetarian entrées are offered at every meal. 

Supper is served quite early so that students may be in guided study by 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and then participate in evening activities. Therefore, we recommend that students bring healthy snacks and bottled water to keep in their suite. Some snack suggestions include microwavable foods (ravioli, spaghetti cups, soup, Ramen noodles), and non-perishable foods (trail mix, beef jerky, pop tarts, crackers, nuts). Remember that students are not living off their healthy snacks. Also, please limit the sugar and caffeine content of all snacks. 

Students are required to drink a glass of water with every meal and should bring bottled water if they dislike tap water. 

Spending Money       

$125 - $150 should be plenty. Students and their parents and/or guardians should discuss budget issues prior to ADVANCE. The program tuition covers almost all expenses, including meals, dormitory room, and most activities. If $125 - $150 is not sufficient for the duration of the program, students may bring a prepaid debit card to access cash from the ATM on Northwestern State's campus. A prepaid debit card may also be used for off-campus activities. Also, parents/guardians may mail money orders or Traveler's checks to their child. Traveler's checks should be made out to the student. When students need to cash a Traveler's check, they will sign the back of the Traveler's check and give it to their RA to cash. We recommend that students bring some cash, money orders or Traveler's checks, and/or a prepaid debit card. As we have no way of cashing out-of-town personal checks, they should not be brought to ADVANCE or mailed to the student.



Mail is distributed Monday - Friday. Mail sent during the third week of the program may not arrive in time to be delivered to students before they leave the program, so family and friends should only send mail through the second week of ADVANCE. There is a U. S. Post Office on campus where students may purchase stamps and send mail. Although ADVANCE staff members distribute student mail, ADVANCE does not accept responsibility for lost or stolen items.


Parents/guardians and friends should address mail to students in the following way:


    *To mail letters and/or packages via the U. S. Postal Service (USPS):                   

    ADVANCE student's name

    ADVANCE Program

    NSU Box 5671

    Natchitoches, LA  71497


    *Northwestern State strongly encourages you to use the U. S. Postal Service (USPS) to send all

    letters and packages.


    To ship packages via UPS or Federal Express:

    ADVANCE student's name

    ADVANCE Program

    175 Sam Sibley Dr

    Suite 5671

    Natchitoches, LA  71457



Students may bring cell phones. Click on Expectations for Student Conduct in the menu box and scroll to the Electronic Devices Policy. Students must adhere to this policy. There are no pay phones in the dormitory.



Students will have full privileges at Northwestern State's Watson Library and may check out books by showing their ADVANCE ID card. Students will be charged overdue fine of $1.00 per day per book and the fine for a lost book is $60.


Musical Instruments and Practice Rooms

Students may bring small musical instruments (clarinet, guitar, violin, et cetera) to ADVANCE. Small instruments may be practiced and stored in the student's locked dorm room. It students play the piano, they may bring sheet music and we will provide a music practice room with a piano three to five times per week. Do not bring large instruments (harp, drums, et cetera) as there is no storage space available for them. Neither Northwestern State nor the ADVANCE Program is responsible for loss or damage to instruments during the program.


Medical Information

ADVANCE employs a medical consultant who is a registered nurse (RN). The RN will address routine health problems, administer first aid, oversee the use of daily medications, screen medical complaints and, when needed, accompany students to a local physician. In an emergency, students will be taken to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible. The RN will request that the treating physician(s) contact the parents/guardians and advise them of the diagnosis and/or treatment. After students return to campus, they will be asked to call home to report their condition.


Students who take prescribed medication during the regular school year must continue to take the medication while attending ADVANCE. Parents/guardians will be expected to provide enough medication for the length of the program.


Thorough completion of the medical forms is essential. The medical forms will be taken to the clinic or hospital as a guide for the health care provider. If medical or emergency contact information has changed since completion of the forms, please provide updated information as soon as possible.     


If a student does not have medical insurance, the student's parent/guardian, not the ADVANCE Program or Northwestern State, will be financially responsible for treatment at a physician's office or the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.


Students will not be allowed to complete registration or move in at the dorm without providing complete medical information and copies of both sides of their insurance cards.