The Gatton Academy
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The Carol Martin Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky is a unique opportunity for some of the Commonwealth's brightest high school students. This page contains relevant details for prospective students and their families.
The Gatton Academy selects approximately 60 Kentucky residents each year to attend the program. Gatton Academy applicants are high school sophomores who will have completed Geometry, Algebra I, and Algebra II by the end of their sophomore year. Students are selected based on SAT or ACT scores; academic grades from ninth and tenth grades; interest in advanced careers in science, technology, engineering, and math; student responses to application essay questions; interviews by Academy staff members; and recommendations from teachers and other individuals who can attest to a student's need and preparedness for the program.
The Student Admissions Packet for the Class of 2017 is available on the Admissions page.
Taking Challenging Courses is the First Step
Rigor is at the heart of the Gatton Academy academic curriculum. As such, it is important that prospective students seek challenge in their coursework leading up to admission to the Gatton Academy. Middle school students should consider taking Algebra I by the eighth grade so they can complete both Geometry and Algebra II by the end of their sophomore year. Though many districts are offering Algebra and Geometry to advanced middle school students, other districts are not. The desire to attend the Academy can serve as a springboard for encouraging districts to offer this option to students.
Even though some schools limit Advanced Placement options to freshmen and sophomore students, all available opportunities for advanced and honors courses should be sought. All students applying to the Academy in their sophomore year must have completed Algebra II.
Get Involved In and Out of the Classroom
There are three specific elements our admissions staff looks for in Academy applicants: maturity, personality, and individuality.
Maturity is gauged as the academic preparation necessary to be successful in university-level study while, in tandem, addressing the challenges of living in a residential environment. Service learning is often a great way to develop maturity and a sense of one's responsibility to self, family, and community.
Personality refers to the passion that students bring to the Gatton Academy for math and science. While numerous students make good grades in these subjects, it takes a student who has a passion for them and wants to pursue an advanced career in STEM to be the right fit for the Academy. Have you participated in a science fair? Are you involved in STLP at your school? Our admissions team looks for activities both in and out of the classroom that defines a student's interest in math and science. The Academy has compiled a list of summer programs available around the country for middle and early high school students interested in math and science.
Finally, we look for what makes a student an individual. We anticipate this year's pool of applicants to reach 300 students from across the state. What makes you stand out as unique? Your awards and extracurricular activities are useful in this area. We are not looking for the longest list of accomplishments; instead, we are looking for quality and commitment. The Academy understands that students are only beginning their high school careers and will have had limited options for leadership in clubs and organizations.
Get Familiar with Either the ACT or SAT
It's never too early to begin thinking about these tests. While the EXPLORE and PLAN tests will familiarize students with the format of the ACT, the materials on these tests is appropriate to the grade level in which the test is given. There is no substitute to taking a full ACT or SAT exam. Many students find their scores improve as they become more comfortable with the expectations and pacing of the test.
All students who wish to apply for the Gatton Academy must have taken either the ACT or SAT prior to the submission deadline. The Gatton Academy recommends students take the exam at least once during their sophomore year so that scores reflect the current aptitude of the student. If possible, students are encouraged to test in June after their freshman year and in December of their sophomore year. Dates for the ACT and SAT in fall and winter 2014-2015 are available on our Timeline page.
Attend an Information Session
Gatton Academy representatives will conduct around fifteen information sessions across Kentucky during every fall semester. Information sessions are a wonderful opportunity to speak with Gatton Academy staff members face-to-face without having to travel to Bowling Green.
Visit a Preview Weekend
In order to allow students and parents the opportunity to experience the Gatton Academy living/learning environment, the Gatton Academy is pleased to announce that preview days will be held in the fall and winter. Middle and high school students and their families are invited to attend Preview Days to tour Schneider Hall, speak with Gatton Academy students, their parents, and staff while experiencing life within the Gatton Academy community. The Preview Day session begins at 10:00 a.m. and concludes at 2:00 p.m. Please RSVP no later than the Thursday before a Preview Day.
2014-15 Dates: Will be announced in August
When in Doubt, Ask Questions
Members of the Gatton Academy staff are always available to answer questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 270.745.6565 and should be viewed as a resource when considering this educational opportunity. We are happy to arrange contact with a current student or parent, who can share their experiences as well.