Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing

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Hardcore studying in the 2nd floor area

The Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing (MASMC) is a two-year residential early college entrance program for gifted high school students at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri, replacing the junior and senior years of high school. It provides an opportunity for students with a passion for math and science to get ahead in a college career, earning both a high school diploma and an Associate of Science degree.

Dean: Dr. Cleopas Samudzi

The Program

Missouri Academy students must complete the following coursework to graduate:

  • 2 semesters of composition
  • Chemistry through General Chemistry II
  • 2 semesters of physics (Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism)
  • Mathematics through Calculus II
  • 1 semester of oral communication
  • 1 semester of literature
  • 3 semesters of history/humanities
    • American History
    • American Government
    • an additional semester of history/humanities
  • 2 semesters of computer science
  • 2 semester of biology

Certificates

At the end of the two year program, graduating students will receive an Associate of Sciences degree, as well as a high school diploma. The Academy has two options regarding high school diplomas. A student may choose to remain on the rolls of his or her sending high school, and receive a diploma from them. A student may also opt to sever ties with his or her sending school and receive a diploma from Maryville High School.

Philosophy

The Missouri Academy follows a dual strategy in student development.

It seeks to prepare students both academically and socially to participate in science, math, and technology programs throughout the country. It has met with some success, though a large portion of Academy graduates remain in Missouri and attend University of Missouri - Rolla, University of Missouri - Columbia, or Truman State University.

The Academy also attempts to imbue the ideals of integrity and quality in its students. This has led to fierce reactions amongst students, who will often argue that the Academy is attempting to enforce an arbitrary morality. As a result, this half of the strategy takes a somewhat nominal role in student life, and is generally disregarded. There seems to be an annual attempt to revive these values, but it hasn't lasted long.


Academic

Pros

  • College-level curriculum
  • Less time in class
  • Less busy work
  • Take care of high school core classes and college general education requirements at the same time
  • Many Missouri schools will transfer most or all of credit earned

Cons

  • No competitions with other high schools due to state regulations (but students can form intramural sports teams)
  • NWMSU credit may not transfer to the most prestigious universities
  • NWMSU not as math and science oriented as universities like UMR


Social/Other

Pros

  • Living away from home and parents
  • Opportunities to meet new people
  • Living with other people your age
  • Generally less 'high school' activity such as cliques, stereotyping, and immature behavior (although there are exceptions to this)
  • Increased independence
  • The campus is an arboretum, so it is full of delicious trees (I don't mean for eating, but I suppose you can).

Cons

  • Living away from home and parents
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships outside the Academy
  • Lack of amenities in Maryville
  • Many restrictive rules
    • No Internet after 12 (We no longer have this restriction as of 2013)
    • No cars (but transportation is provided)
    • Students are not allowed to go certain places (ex: other residential halls, fraternities, and sororities)
    • Students are often required to 'check in' and have several curfews

Student Opinions

The academy was not intended as an opportunity to get ahead in one's college career. The goal was to "graduate scholars who are both academically and developmentally prepared to succeed in the best college and university science, mathematics and technology programs". While you do receive an AS and a high school diploma, the "best" colleges and universities often won't accept most of the college credit you do earn at Northwest Missouri State University, and I suggest that it be looked on as an educational opportunity, not as cheap college credit, even though Dean Samudzi seems to view it this way. -Chris Johnson, Discoverer

External links