How do I join the Honors Program?
Students interested in becoming a member of the Honors Program must go through an application process. Minimum requirements must be met to apply and only a limited number of students are admitted each year. Minimum requirements for application include: a 90% grade point average (for the current school year), 85 composite national percentile (NP) on the High School Placement Test, and an excellent attendance record. Students who meet these requirements and complete the application are considered by the Honors Program committee.
What courses constitute the Honors Program?
All Honors Program students will be in an honors-only class entitled Honors Leadership Seminar. Additionally, the Honors Program Courses will be classes at the H (Advanced) & A.P. (Advanced Placement) levels. These courses are academically rigorous. Within these courses students will learn with fellow Honors Program members, as well as other advanced-level students. Classes such as religion and art electives will be non-leveled; thus, the student will be presented the opportunity to learn and interact with a wide variety of classmates. This opportunity is rooted in the fact that Elder High School feels strongly that an Honors Program member should not only be a student of the Program, but also a student of Elder High School.
What is the Honors Leadership Seminar?
The Honors Leadership Seminar is a course designed specifically for the Honors Program. Students will take this semester-long course once during their freshmen year and once during their sophomore year. This first year of the course will stress personal effectiveness with a focus on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The second year course examines organizational leadership increasing student understanding of the development of vision, mission, and communication. Leaders throughout the community will speak to the class about their experiences.
Is there going to be summer work?
YES. During the summer before the freshman year and sophomore years, Honors Program students must complete the physical education and health classes, unless they opt to take the PE waiver. By completing these classes in the summer, students will be afforded the opportunity to take advanced-level classes and the Honors Leadership Seminar. These summer classes are relatively short and can be taken with minimal disruption to athletic schedules. A scholarship to pay for these courses is provided. During the summer before the junior and senior years, students will have the option to take a science elective. This may be beneficial to those students who are interested in pursuing higher levels of science in high school in order to facilitate college endeavors. Students will also complete a summer assignment including reading and discussing a leadership book.
Will there be any additional workshops outside of the classroom?
YES. During July and August of each summer, students will be asked to participate in one-day to one-week team building, leadership training, or community-service workshops or retreats. During the school year, students will participate in some evening workshops and seminars which will focus on continued leadership skills and feature guest speakers. These activities are designed to achieve the Program’s overarching goal of creating the complete Elder Man. These activities will be scheduled to cause as little conflict as possible with athletics, organizations, and clubs.
Will I have to complete any special projects?
YES. Students in the Honors Program will complete various service projects throughout the school year. During the summer after their freshman year the students will participate in three days of service at a variety of locations in the city. During the summer after their sophomore year, the group will decide on an organization to serve over multiple weeks completing a specifically designed project.
I want to study art for four years. Is this possible?
YES. Students interested in pursuing a fine or performing art are highly encouraged to do so. Elder believes in creating well-rounded young men. The study of the fine and performing arts furthers this goal. Students can take their fine or performing arts classes all four years by choosing to take these classes during their elective periods.
I am an athlete, am I going to be able to do all of this?
YES. It will be a lot of hard work, and Program members must prioritze. Nonetheless, if an Honors Program student is dedicated, he will find time to complete and participate fully in the Program. No matter what the sport and no matter what the level, student athletes will be able to participate. Honors Program coordinators will work around athletic schedules as much as possible in order to facilitate students' successful experience in the Program.
Am I going to be “different” because I am in this program?
YES and NO. This program is selective, and only a qualified number of applicants will be admitted. There will be a limited number of spaces each year, and every year students will be evaluated to determine whether or not they can remain in the program. In that sense, Honors Program students are going to be different. On the other hand, it is extremely important at Elder High School that we develop students’ God-given talents. Therefore they will be able to take not only the advanced classes, but also classes that they may have a specific interest in such as Computer Programming, Industrial Design, Film Production, or Shakespeare.
Will the program cost anything?
Students accepted into the program pay the regular Elder tuition but will receive a significant scholarship to be applied toward the tuition. There also may be times when students will have to raise funds or contribute funds for class mission, retreat work or projects. Fundraising will be coordinated during the Honors Leadership Seminar and with student advisors.