Our vision is to create an environment that focuses on the whole student where we facilitate the learning process in order to build the knowledge and skills geared towards preparing scholars for their future. We will accomplish this by providing scholars with a unique educational experience immersed in the college atmosphere. In collaboration with the University of South Carolina Aiken, ASA provides a high-quality education through rigorous high school and college coursework in a nurturing and supportive learning environment to prepare scholars for entrance into an ever-changing and advanced society.
ASA SUMMER OFFICE HOURS- The ASA office will be open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. June 8th - July 24th. We will resume normal office hours Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. July 27th.
2020 SUMMER READING CHALLENGE- ASA is hosting a Summer Reading Challenge for all students. We hope this challenge encourages you to read widely and deeply in ways that give you time to think and to talk with others, both for pleasure and for edification. Anybody in our Scholar family can participate, and we encourage parents, guardians, grandparents, and siblings to read along with us. Print out your own SCHOLAR Bingo Board and play along! You win, of course, by reading – but this Challenge has some prizes for Scholars. There will be drawings for prizes for across, up-down, and diagonal “Bingo” as well as for FULL BOARD “Bingo.” [NO FOUR CORNERS!] There will also be a yummy celebration for all Scholar participants! Teh challenge starts June 1st-August 16th with boards collected on the first day of school!
ONLINE STUDENT REGISTRATION FOR THE 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR IS UNDERWAY - Aiken County Public Schools' online rolling student registration for all new and returning students is underway. Parents and guardians of new ACPS students should click on the words "New Student Registration" to be directed to the new ACPSD student registration page.
For parents and guardians of all returning ACPS students, the best way to register online is to click on the words "PowerSchool Parent Portal" to access the link to 2020-21 online registration, which will be located at the bottom left of the page. Simply click the “Returning Student Registration 2020-2021” link to get started.
Parents who need to set up a Parent Portal account should reach out to their current school for information on how to access the parent portal account. Student Information Clerks will support parents and guardians.
We are looking forward to a terrific 2020-21 school year, and to welcoming back teachers, staff members and students to our respective campuses. Parents and guardians please take advantage of our online student registration as soon as possible.
ASA AFFINITY CARD- We are excited to announce that we are now part of the SRP Affinity Card Program!!! SRP is committed to community and making a difference. Join SRP in their efforts to give back to our school by requesting an Aiken Scholars Academy debit card! Every time you use your Aiken Scholars Academy debit card, SRP gives money to our school! SRP makes it easy for YOU to make a difference. Learn how to get an Aiken Scholars Academy debit card at www.srpfcu.org/AffinityCards.
As Chief Officer of Operations and Student Services, Dr. Shawn Foster provided excellent and distinguished levels of service in a critical role for Aiken County Public Schools.
Carl White, who has served as principal at Midland Valley High School for the last decade, has utilized his leadership skills to help young people achieve the very best versions of themselves.
Comprehensive curriculum planning, safety and facility enhancements, and a significant investment in student laptops are among the list of projects underway.
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 advanced academic experience for qualified students. The Academy will offer advanced students an engaging educational experience that introduces and then immerses them into the collegiate environment.
When did the school open? The school opened its doors to the first cohort of students in August of 2018, with a beginning enrollment of 50 ninth grade students from all over the county.
Who can apply to attend the Scholars Academy? Rising 9th grade students 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. For the 2nd cohort, an interview component will be added after the intial application review process. Only 50 students will be accepted annually. Students must reside in Aiken County and are required to show proof of residency upon enrollment.
Where do classes take place? Currently, classes are taught in the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center on the University of South Carolina Aiken campus. A new building will be renovated to house the school in the future with plans to open in the 2021-2022 school year.
How can my child participate in sports or other extra-curricular activities? Students wishing to participate in athletics can join those offered at the high school for which they are zoned as long as they meet SCHSL eligibility requirements. ASA will offer extra-curricular activities as well for student participation. Parents must make arrangements to transport their scholar to and from activities at the zoned school outside of regular school hours and for activities at ASA that take place after school hours.
How much interaction will scholars 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 when selecting courses. Students are encouraged to research the institutions they want to attend for transferable credits.
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 via course syllabi. 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 25:1.
Will ASA students change classes their freshmen and sophomore years? Yes, scholars 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. Scholars 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 applying to the Academy must be enrolled in English I and Algebra 1 or Geometry in 8th grade. If students do not complete Geometry in 8th grade they must complete in the summer through ACVA. Additional recommended coursework includes Computer Science, World Language and Pre-Writing (iNFUSION Summer Experience in the summer before 8th grade). Students should maintain good grades and are encouraged engage themselves in their school and community.
What is the application process for the ASA? The application will open each fall with ample time for students to complete and submit. Details, dates and a timeline for the ASA will be accessible to students and parents directly on the ASA website under the Future Scholars tab.
When will my child be advised of acceptance? Applications will open in November, with a submittal deadline in late January or early February. Applicants will be notified of acceptance prior to Spring Break.
Where can we get more details on ASA? ASA hosts multiple informations sessions throughout the school year for intersted applicats, as well as offers Open House opportunities for potential students to observe classes. Please contact the school for dates and times 803-306-1400.
How will academic scholarships be affected with such a small number of students? Although each scholarship opportunity must be researched, state scholarships provide for means of qualification other than class rank. Please review the qualification information for Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program and LIFE Scholarship by following the links here.
2019-2020 Awards Ceremony
SCHOLARS IN ACTION!
Attributes of Premier Students
For a closer look at the Attributes of Premier students in Aiken County Public Schools, click on the words "Attributes of Premier Students," or simply look around your school as we're sharing these attributes in a big way and posters and banners are everywhere!