Aiken Scholars Academy

an elite academic experience on USC Aiken's campus

AIKEN SCHOLARS ACADEMY

  • Aiken Scholars Academy is a partnership between the University of South Carolina Aiken (USC Aiken) and Aiken County Public School District (ACPSD) to create an academic school of excellence. The school will provide an elite academic experience for qualified students and is set to open in fall of 2018. The Academy will offer advanced students an engaging educational experience that introduces and then immerses them into the collegiate environment.

Q & A

  • What is the Scholars Academy?  Aiken Scholars Academy (ASA) is a partnership between USC Aiken and Aiken County Public School District (ACPSD) to create an academic school of excellence. This school will provide an elite academic experience for qualified students.

    When will the school open?  The school will open in August of 2018, with a beginning enrollment of 50 ninth grade students. Students from all over the county will be able to apply for enrollment.

    Who can apply to attend the Scholars Academy?  Rising 9th grade students (for fall 2018) with a proven record of academic excellence should apply. Standardized test scores, report card grades, writing samples, and recommendations will be a part of the application process.

    Where will the classes take place?  Initially, classes will be taught in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center. Slight renovations to existing facilities to create appropriate spaces may be necessary as the Aiken Scholars Academy grows into its second year.

    How can my child participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities?  Students wishing to participate in extra-curricular activities can join those offered at the high school for which they are zoned. Parents must make arrangements to transport their children to and from these activities.

    How much interaction will my child have with the college students?  During the freshman and sophomore years, high school students will have limited access and exposure to USC Aiken students. During the junior and senior years, Aiken Scholars Academy students will be fully immersed in the collegiate experience. While students will not attend classes their freshman and sophomore year with college students, they will encounter students informally in common spaces like the library, computer lab, Student Activities Center, etc...During the junior and senior year, students will be dual-enrolled, taking USC Aiken courses.

    Are the classes offered here honored at all in-state institutions? What about out-of-state?  There is a state articulation agreement between SC Colleges for accepting transferable credits (sctrac.org). Many out-of-state colleges will accept credits from SC Institutions. ASA advisement  will be provided to determine transferability.

    Will the grading scale be based on the school district’s standards or the university’s?  High school courses taught by high school teachers will follow all instructional and grading policies for ACPSD. Requirements and expectations will be communicated to students and parents. College courses will be taught  according to college standards and grading. College courses will be reflected on the high school transcript, along with the numerical grade for the course. All courses, high school and college level, will factor into the high school GPA. Additionally, the college  courses will be reflected in their post-secondary transcript.

    How large will the individual classes be?  Class sizes will be slightly smaller than an average high school class, with student to teacher ratios of approximately 25 to 1.

    Will ASA students change classes their freshmen and sophomore years?   Students will transition to classes within the Aiken Scholars Academy building (Ruth Patrick Science Education Center).

    Will my student have to apply to the university as a sophomore to take courses as a junior?  No. Students enrolled in the Aiken Scholars Academy and in good academic standing following their sophomore year will seamlessly transition into USC Aiken college classes in the discipline of their choice.

    How can I prepare my middle schooler now to be competitive/accepted?  Students accepted into the Academy must have successfully completed the following coursework: Algebra I, Geometry, English I and World Language I prior to the ninth grade. Preferred coursework includes Physical Education/Health, Computer Science and Pre-Writing (iNFUSION Summer Experience).

    What is the application process for the ASA?  Details, dates and a timeline for the ASA will be accessible to students and parents directly on the ASA website (acpsd.net/AikenScholarsAcademy).

    When will my child be advised of acceptance?  The application process will begin in November 2017, with a deadline of January 19, 2018. Students will be provided an invitation no later than March 1, 2018. Student commitment deadline is March 15, 2018.

    Where can we get more details on ASA?  There will be a parent/student interest meeting on May 25, 2017 to provide details. Additional parent/student interest meetings will be held in the fall of 2017. The ASA website will also be updated regularly to reflect logistical details being finalized by the work group of ACPSD and USC Aiken staff.

     

Engagement Timeline

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Announcements

  • PREPARE NOW - Students accepted into the Academy must have successfully completed the following coursework: Algebra I, Geometry, English I and World Language I prior to the ninth grade. Preferred coursework includes Physical Education/Health, Computer Science and Pre-Writing (iNFUSION Summer Experience).

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  • HAVE A QUESTION? - We welcome your questions and appreciate your interest in the Aiken Scholars Academy. Submit your inquiries using the question mark icon above.

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Interest Meeting Flyer

Interest Meeting Presentation

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