ACADEMICS OVERVIEW

The School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas is grounded in the following 4 Core Pillars:

WORLD LIBERAL ARTS

– The New American Conversation – Discussion and debate, encouraging students to take an active and responsible role in the ongoing conversation about what it means to be an American.

– Our Global Intellectual Inheritance – We provide a true liberal arts experience with deep study of seminal and foundational readings across all core academic disciplines, including math and science.

– Core Reading Lists – Books and texts from across time and geography that illustrate the inherent value of varied lived human experience.

SCHOLAR TEACHERS

– Every Teacher is a Student – Every Employee is a Teacher – our educators are students of their subject, of knowledge and skills more broadly, of teaching, and of their own students.

– Highest Quality Professional Development – RISE, AP, Curriculum Training, Pre-Service, Compliance, Special Programs, Bi-weekly teacher coaching meetings

– Polymaths and Autodidacts – We find teachers who are intellectually voracious, highly qualified experts in more than one field, and curious about the world.

ELEVATED SCHOLARSHIP

– Meeting Students Where They Are – With patience and perseverance from students, parents, and educators, any child can reach their potential, and we provide support and clear, consistent goals to achieve it, without short-cuts.

– Hands-on and Minds-on Intellectual Engagement – We believe in the immense intellectual capacities of young people.

– High School Concentrations – modeled on university-level liberal arts programs exposing students to a variety of content across disciplines. Our students choose from three concentrations: Fine Arts, Humanities, or Math and Science.

– Transformative Senior Experience – daily college counseling, advanced coursework in their concentration, a semester-long service-learning project, and a Senior Oral Defense.

AUTHENTIC SCHOOL CULTURE

– Authentic Student Voices – Students explore their developing beliefs in a safe and supportive atmosphere where critical thinking is balanced with civility and acceptance of differences.

– Self-Expression – We do not have school uniforms, but have a basic dress code, while encouraging students to express their unique identities.

– Service Learning – Students engage with their campus and community through regular and frequent service projects.

High School Academic Concentration

We model our high school program on the bachelor’s degree programs at most liberal arts colleges and universities in which all students, regardless of their major, are exposed to a wide variety of content across disciplines, while also including further and more advanced work in a major field of study.

At the School for Advanced Studies Northwest Arkansas, the options for a major concentration are Fine Arts, Humanities, or Math & Science. All students take rigorous coursework across each of these concentrations, and then further and more advanced coursework within their area of concentration; the advanced coursework includes Advanced Placement courses and college level material.

Fine Arts

Humanities

Math & Science

Course Overview

An Arkansas-specific set of courses, promotion and graduation requirements, electives, and areas of concentration that have been curated to:

– Set graduates up for success in the finest colleges and universities in the world
– Mold character and change lives
– Meet or exceed all the Arkansas state requirements.

College Counseling Program

Our College Counseling Program begins for students and their families in 8th grade. During that school year, students and families will attend an informational meeting, hosted by their college counselor, to learn about and begin planning for the college admission process. Discussion topics will include:

  • Fit versus prestige
  • Financial preparation
  • GPA and standardized tests
  • Extra-curriculars
  • Teacher recommendations
  • High school course and track selection

Grades 9 and 10: In grades 9 and 10, our college counselors will meet with each student (and parent/guardian by request) at least once per year to answer questions and discuss course selection for the coming school year. College counselors will also provide students with individual feedback on their academic record and suggestions for summer and extracurricular choices.

Grade 11: During the 2nd semester of 11th grade (junior year), all 11th grade students participate in a daily College Counseling Seminar that focuses on the fundamentals of the college application process, as well as the initial criteria for personal selection of colleges and universities that are a good fit for each student’s goals and interests.

Grade 12: Based on the exploration students performed in their junior year College Counseling Seminar, during the first semester of 12th grade (senior year), all students vigorously engage in the process of applying to college. College counselors provide daily input, feedback, guidance, and direction, working with students and families on every aspect of the college application process.

Additionally, once the bulk of the college application process is completed, college counselors work with students on completing their senior thesis projects.