Scholars Program

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USAF52, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    My son has been accepted into the Scholars program at the Academy and will have 2 Scholars classes next semester. As usual, my son is short on details :wink: so I read the description in the USAFA catalog which just gives an overview. If any current or former cadets who have participated in this program could shed a little light on what they felt about this program, what all is involved, plusses, minuses, etc. I would appreciate it!
     
  2. tutmom

    tutmom Member

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    My C3C cadet is in the 2nd year of the scholars program. Even though he is a physics major, he also loves the reading and discussion that takes place with the scholars program (and he preferred AP classes over IB classes throughout high school). The classes are smaller and he has gotten to know the other cadets in his classes well as well as his professors. He has taken chemistry, history, economics, military strategy so far I think.
     
  3. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    I agree with everything Tutmom said. I also have a C3C this year in the scholars program. For her it is a chance to connect with peers of the same background. She too is a physics major and has taken probably the same scholars level classes as Tutmom's son. The one benefit for her is that she is able to take other humanities classes as she is beyond most of the Academies English classes (she validated most of them with AP classes/tests in high school and the Academies entry testing in BCT last year). She speaks highly of the classes she has that are in the scholars program (they are usually her favorites for the semester).
     
  4. shoots1994

    shoots1994 Member

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    is it possible to be accepted into the scholars program after your fourth class year? how do you apply?
     
  5. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    I am a firstie (and a physics and math double major) and I have been in the scholars program since second semester freshman year. I like it because the focus is on discussion and thinking instead of just memorizing facts. We typically write more papers and have less multiple choice type tests than the regular core. As far as disadvantages, some of the people in scholars tend to dominate all discussion, which if you are shy like I was for my first two years, means your participation grade is low because you do not get the opportunity to speak.

    and to shoots1994, yes you can, but it is rare due to the competitive nature of the program. My best advice is to contact Major Derek Varble and ask him. He is the head of the scholars program right now (I think)
     
  6. shoots1994

    shoots1994 Member

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    Thanks for the info! I guess what I'm trying to ask is if acceptance is based on high school grades or USAFA grades? I want to be in the scholars program (throughout HS I've been taking English through my local university; discussion format is how I learn best), but I don't think my HS GPA is high enough.
     
  7. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback. My son also did well in his high school AP classes, and from what he's mentioned he's validated some classes through that as well as the tests he took in BCT. Hopefully he's thought this through and will enjoy the additional writing and discussions in class!

    And to shoots1994, from what he mentioned, he was asked/invited to submit his info (not sure exactly what was on the form) so that he could be considered. I got the impression you have to be asked to participate, but definitely check it out and find out what the process is.
     
  8. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    shoots1994, we were posting at the same time I guess! Are you currently a HS senior applying for admission? From what I understand, the program doesn't begin until second semester of the 4th degree year, although the selection process goes on during late first semester. I would guess that grades that first semester are going to be the major factor, since that will better indicate that the cadet can handle the academy curriculum/workload. But definitely ask if you're going to call and find out info about it. I do think its a very small program, less than 50 people or so if my son had the correct information.
     
  9. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 WPAFB

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    some is based on high school performance and some on your first semester grades. They have to be very good to even get an invitation to apply. And you are correct, it is a very small program.
     
  10. shoots1994

    shoots1994 Member

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    USAF52: Yes, I'm applying this year!! VERY nervous!!

    USAFA10s: Thanks! I'm really hoping to 1) get into USAFA and 2) get invited into the scholars program. I've heard great stuff about it! But even the normal core classes are top notch so I'll be grateful just to get into USAFA:smile:
     
  11. USAF52

    USAF52 Member

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    Good luck to you shoots!
     
  12. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    I was invited to apply for the Scholars Program, but unfortunatally I did not get in.
    They put me on the Waiting List, and I can try again next semester when people leave the program.
     
  13. 808

    808 New Member

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    Other than the small class sizes, Whats the benefits of the scholars program? (like do the classes contribute more to your class rank or something?)
     
  14. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Go to the search bar above and use the keywords "scholars" or "honors" to find the many threads on this topic.

    Raimius, eagle36, USAFA10s, and I have all posted many commentaries on this subject.

    In lieu of repeating the information again, I will give this short piece:
    If you are looking for just a description, searching these threads in the past will provide a lot of info.

    If you are asking what the advantages are, should you do it, or is it worth it, the RESOUNDING answer from all of us is YES. There is no additional weight for scholars, but the course grades given are typically higher than core curves. The material and class is generally more interesting and fun. The load is no more difficult, and often less time-consuming.
     
  15. marciemi

    marciemi USMA Alumnus

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    Another parent of a 2014 cadet in the program.

    @Shoots - my son didn't get in the first semester. Starting in the program second semester freshman year is based on your grades at midterms (early October) and his weren't high enough, although he raised them by the semester. He reapplied second semester and his advisor backed him strongly due not only to his USAFA grades, but his HS grades/classes/ACT scores. So yes, if you're borderline, what you did in HS can definitely help you. He began in the program this year (beginning of sophomore year) and so far has really enjoyed his scholars' classes.
     
  16. shoots1994

    shoots1994 Member

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    marciemi: Thanks, that answers my question exactly! The way they talk about it in some of the promo material, it sounds as though if you can't get in freshman year, you can't get in at all. Thanks again, and good luck to your son!
     

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