Student Handbook – Academic Programs
Academic Affairs Policy and Procedures
III. Academic Programs
The academic programs of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities are comprised of a Core Program, an Exploratory Program, and an Extended Program. The Core Curriculum consists of study in the subjects of science, mathematics, humanities, and core interdisciplinary studies. The Exploratory Curriculum includes individual exploration through independent research, colloquia, apprenticeships, Academy elective courses and University elective courses. The Extended Curriculum utilizes the total Academy environment to educate the whole person through programs in leadership, wellness, community service and cultural events.
A. Core Curriculum
The Core Curriculum is comprised of subject requirements from the traditional liberal arts and sciences that all students are expected to complete. A balanced study of science, mathematics, and the humanities is emphasized. Students will typically enroll each semester in at least one English course, one world languages course, one social science course, one science course, one mathematics course, and one or two electives.
The Indiana Academy requires the equivalent of three years of study in a laboratory science. One year must be in biology, one year in chemistry, and one year in physics. Four science credits in laboratory courses must be taken at the Academy.
Students who have not completed a one-year course in physics during their first two years of high school must successfully complete an Academy physics course that correlates with their math placement.
Mathematics and Computer Science
The Indiana Academy requires the equivalent of four years of study in mathematics. Four credits must be completed through Academy course work. As a minimum requirement, students must complete the equivalent of one year of study in mathematics beyond the levels of geometry and second year algebra/trigonometry. The initial placement in mathematics courses will be based on a mathematics placement exam, SAT math scores, and the high school transcript. Students who wish to appeal their placement should first consult with the Chair of the Math/Computer Science Division.
Students must also demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers by the end of the junior year (first year). Students may demonstrate computer competency by passing a proficiency exam or successfully completing .5 credit of Computer Applications.
Humanities consist of four areas: English, World Languages, Social Studies and the Fine Arts.
English – Students must successfully complete the equivalent of four years of study in English language and literature, with two years completed at the Academy. Of the four credits required at the Academy, one semester of American Literature must be taken in the fall semester of the junior year and one semester of World Literature the spring semester of the junior year.
World Languages – A wide range of languages is offered at the Academy, typically Spanish, French, German, Latin, Russian, Chinese and Japanese. Other languages may be available through Ball State University. Students must complete the equivalent of three years of study in one world language or two years of study each in two different languages. Because students enter the Academy with varying backgrounds in world languages, students in Spanish, French, German, and Latin are placed in a levels depending on their scores on a national test administered prior to the beginning of the junior year. Placements are based on competency in the language not “set time.” Students in Chinese, Japanese, and Russian are placed by teacher recommendation after the first week of classes.
If taking one language, a student must successfully complete the Academy 302 course in that language. Students entering the Academy with three years of a language may meet this requirement by demonstrating third year proficiency on a national test. If taking two languages, a student must earn four credits in each language. For languages taken at the Academy to meet this requirement, the credits must include the successful completion of the Academy 202 course.
Social Studies – The Indiana Academic Honors Diploma requirements for social studies are satisfied by successfully completing Foundations of the American Experience, American History 1, and American History 2. In addition students must successfully complete one additional credit in social studies at the Academy to earn the required four credits.
Fine Arts – equivalent of one year of study in the fine arts must be completed prior to graduation. Students may complete the fine arts requirement by enrolling in courses offered by the Indiana Academy, selected courses offered by the University, or courses offered by Burris Laboratory School. Transfer credit may be used to satisfy the graduation requirement in the fine arts.
Students are urged to continue the study of fine arts beyond the minimum requirement for graduation. Courses in both the performing arts and the appreciation of fine arts are available as electives.
B. Exploratory Curriculum
The Exploratory Curriculum provides the student with the opportunity to inquire and discover. The exploration may take the form of inquiring into new subjects through elective courses offered by either the Academy or Ball State University, or it may involve investigation of a new career through apprenticeship to a researcher or practicing professional. Independent research is encouraged in the Exploratory Curriculum so that the excitement generated by inquiry and discovery leading to new knowledge is included in each student’s learning experience.
Students must complete two semesters of Colloquia – one their junior year and one their senior year. The purpose of the Colloquia series is to provide students with the opportunity to discuss and study ideas across disciplines. One half credit is awarded for the successful completion of each colloquium semester for a total of one credit for the series.
Students have the option to complete a one-credit research requirement at the Academy. Research courses have two primary goals: 1) students are to write a research proposal with an investigative design that may be implemented to answer an identified research question and 2) students are to develop a research design based on current knowledge and to analyze results of carrying out the particular design with the potentiality of writing a report of the results.
Through directed study, students work with instructors who have expertise in an area of interest for them that cannot be acquired within the Academy curriculum. To enroll in a directed study, a student must have completed at least one semester at the Academy. Interested students must first have the cooperation of an instructor who would be responsible for the directed study. If an instructor agrees, the student must detail in writing a directed study proposal on a form available online on the Indiana Academy web site. The form must be approved by the instructor, the division chair, and Director of Academic Affairs. If it is approved, a copy of the form will be sent to the instructor and another to the guidance office. If it is disapproved, the form will be returned to the instructor.
Enrolling in more than one directed study per semester will be considered only under special circumstances:
- The student must file a petition with the Academic Affairs office (forms will be available in the Academic Affairs office);
- All grades earned the previous semester must be a “B” or higher (exceptions will be considered only in situations where the student’s graduation requirement cannot be met through the regular curriculum offerings);
- The directed study must be approved by a committee consisting of the guidance counselor (committee chair), the student’s advisor, and the division chair(s);
- The directed study must be approved by the Director of Academic Affairs.
Directed Study proposals need to be submitted to the Director of Academic Affairs within the first ten (10) school days of the semester in which the directed study is desired. No student may take a directed study if a similar course is available in the Indiana Academy curriculum unless an explicit need or conflict can be shown by both the instructor and division chair.
May Term is a two-week program which occurs at the conclusion of the second semester. Two credits of May Term are required for graduation from the Academy. May Term provides the student an opportunity to take an in-depth course or workshop in an academic area that is not normally covered in the Academy curriculum. Domestic and international study trips are also offered as part of the May Term experience.
During May Term, students may also elect to participate in the apprenticeship program. The apprenticeship program is a partnership for learning between a student and professional practitioner, or “mentor,” engaged in some form of creative work. Apprenticeship opportunities are sought which allow the student to engage in professional research or problem solving activities. Students are placed with volunteer mentors on the basis of personal interest. Guidelines for May Term apprenticeships are available in the Office of Academic Affairs.
Internships are optional opportunities for students to learn from direct experiences with creative and productive adults. Students may schedule four to eight hours per week in the internship program. Students can earn one half credit per semester for successful participation in an internship scheduled four hours per week and one credit for an internship scheduled eight hours per week.
To arrange an internship, students must follow these guidelines:
Registration for Fall and Spring Internships: Registration for both Fall and Spring internshuips must be completed by the end of the second week of the semester classes. Registration must be approved by the Director of Academic Affairs. The student should make an appointment with the Director of Academic Affairs to discuss the internship.
Internship Proposal: Final approval of the internship cannot occur until a one to two page proposal is submitted and approved by the Director of Academic Affairs. The proposal should:
- identify the company or person who will be the mentor,
- specify the reason for pursuing the internship, and what is to be gained from the experience,
- include specifics on the hours that will be worked, starting and ending dates, and the address and phone number of the contact person.
Initial Meeting of Participants: After the initial approval of the Internship, a meeting must be held that includes the Director of Academic Affairs or designee, the student, and the mentor. Procedures, evaluations, and visitations will be discussed at this meeting.
Internship Requirements: Internships may be scheduled for four or eight hours per week depending upon the availability of the mentor and student scheduling preferences. Regular attendance and punctuality is a necessity. Absence from internship sessions must be reported to the Academy’s Director of Academic Affairs prior to the scheduled time with the mentor, except in emergencies. Unexcused absences by an intern may result in removal from the internship program. Interns and mentors are required to document attendance.
During the internship, an Academy faculty member will visit the site to talk with the mentor and observe the student at work.
Students enrolled in an internship must keep a journal of their activities and thoughts during the internship. This will be turned into the Director of Academic Affairs at the end of the semester.
The requirements for graduation from the Indiana Academy generally allow for students to enroll in one or more elective courses each semester. Students may enroll in elective courses offered through the Indiana Academy and in courses offered by Burris Laboratory School or Ball State University.
(a) Academy Electives
The Indiana Academy offers elective courses in advanced topics in the area of science, mathematics and humanities. Students may select Academy elective courses after consultation with their academic advisors.
(b) Burris Laboratory School Electives
Students may enroll in courses offered by Burris Laboratory School in order to satisfy some elective course requirements. Students, upon the recommendation of their academic advisors and with the approval of the Office of Academic Guidance and the registrar of Burris Laboratory School, may select Burris Laboratory School courses. Enrollment in Burris Laboratory School courses is on a space available basis.
(c) Ball State University Electives
Students enrolled in the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities may enroll in Ball State University courses after consultation with their advisors and with permission of the chairperson of the BSU academic department or instructor offering the course. University courses must be scheduled around the student’s Academy class schedule and must be approved by the Office of Academic Guidance. At registration, the student must indicate whether the class is being audited for Academy credit or whether it is being taken for university credit.
Credit by Auditing: By auditing a University course, students receive Indiana Academy credit, but not University credit. Registration and audit fees are the responsibility of the individual student, unless the course is needed for graduation from Indiana Academy. Any other fees, including lab and book fees, are also the student’s responsibility. However, if the student chooses to drop a Ball State University course that they are auditing after the Ball State drop deadline, the student will in most cases be responsible for the audit fee.
University Credit: When enrolling for University level credit, students receive credit toward college graduation as well as Indiana Academy graduation. Registration and tuition fees are the responsibility of the individual student who enrolls in University courses for college level credit.
It is the student’s responsibility to adhere to Ball State registration deadlines for classes taken during any semester including the summer sessions. It is also the student’s responsibility to inform the professor that even though they are auditing the course, they will need a mid-term grade reported as requested by the Office of Academic Guidance.
Dual Credit: Through an arrangement with Ball State University, Academy students may receive university credit for specified Academy classes. Students should check with the Office of Academic Guidance for an updated list of these courses and tuition information.