No. Once Mentors have developed the elective courses they wish to offer for the summer, we create a master schedule that divides them as evenly as possible between the three elective periods - both numerically and by discipline / area of interest. This is different from traditional school, where the same course might be taught all day long, every period. Our innovative schedule maximizes the number of elective opportunities, offering greater variety, challenge and exposure for participants. Sometimes, very popular courses are offered in more than one period. To streamline the request and scheduling processes, we often track those multiple offerings [...]
We cannot fulfill requests to change course schedules. Our unique scheduling process is very different from a typical master scheduling processed utilized at an elementary, middle or high school. It's intensive and takes into consideration many factors both on the individual Scholar level as well as the program-wide level. Allowing one person to change courses would require we extend that opportunity to everyone, and this would severely compromise the program's ability to move forward successfully. We are happy to make an accommodation in the event a Scholar is no longer able to participate in a course they've been assigned. Examples: A [...]
Courses do not "fill up" as requests come in, and there is no "seniority" consideration for returning Scholars. Once everyone's requests are in, we perform scheduling in the order that we received the requests. This does not mean, however, that those who submit first necessarily receive all of their first choices. We work very hard to schedule Scholars in as many of their top choices as possible. As we perform scheduling, inevitably the combination of choices results in our moving one Scholar from first choice to second in order to prevent another Scholar from not receiving a first choice at all. The [...]
Our Course Catalog and master schedule will introduce you to the courses we're offering for the summer and in which period each will take place. You will build a list of the three courses you like the most in each of the three elective periods, taking into consideration: Scholars receive at least one first-choice course overall (though this is not a guarantee that you will receive all first choices) Scholars may take a maximum of two courses within the same discipline / area of interest (make your requests diverse!) Scholars may not repeat courses taken in previous summers When we [...]
Course ideas come from lots of places! Scholars and parents tell us about courses they would like for us to develop -- and ones we should offer again! -- in an evaluation completed at the end of each summer. The faculty hired as Mentors bring their own specialties, talents, expertise and inspiration to our course development process. Our annual program theme gives is some ideas for course subjects and topics, too. Mentors participate in an intensive lesson planning process utilizing DECATS philosophy and methodology, creating a one-of-a-kind differentiated education program for academically gifted kids.
The upcoming summer's Course Catalog, which includes names and descriptions of courses we're offering as well as the master schedule for the summer, isn't available until after sign-up and registration have concluded. To get a sense of the types of courses you can expect to be offered, you can review the previous summer's elective courses.