May Term is a unique two-week program which occurs at the conclusion of the spring semester (the last two weeks of May before Memorial Day). It provides students with opportunities to take one in-depth course, to travel, or to participate in an apprenticeship experience. Students must successfully earn two credits in May Term (one each year) as part of the Academy’s graduation requirements.
May Term courses in past years have included: quilting, auto mechanics, narrative technique in 20th century fiction, a study of the poetry of T.S. Eliot, short-wave radio, intercultural communication between Japan and the USA, ultra-modern physics, Starfleet Academy boot camp, working with Habitat for Humanity, and introduction to film making. The courses change each year and are offered by Faculty, Student Life Counselors, or other individuals. Students receive the May Term catalog before spring break. Scheduling for May Term takes place the last week of March.
Several extended and short-term trips are usually available for May Term. Extended trips in the past have been to China, Italy, Russia, England, Germany, Costa Rica and to the Stratford Festival and Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada. Announcements for extended trips are made in December. Students usually pay a deposit to confirm their participation on extended trips. Parents can frequently participate on extended trips with their student.
Short-term trips use travel as part of a May Term course rather than being the main focus of the course. One recent example is a class on the Spring Flora of the Eastern United States, which culminated with a four-day trip to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
All trips are conditional on having adequate student enrollment and final approval from the May Term Committee.
The apprenticeship program matches students with professionals in areas of their interest. Apprenticeships are frequently conducted with individuals from the student’s home community, but may be conducted at other locations with approval. The program allows students to shadow a professional or to work with the mentor on projects (the apprenticeship experience is not intended to be along the lines of errand running). In order to arrange an apprenticeship during the May Term, the student must complete a May Term Apprenticeship Proposal from which can be obtained from the Office of Academic Affairs.