The ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE), a residential program for gifted, talented, and honors students, is hosted by Northwestern State University (NSU) in Natchitoches, Louisiana. ADVANCE and NSU assume full responsibility for the instruction, administration, and outcomes of the program.
ADVANCE, now celebrating its 33rd year, is a three-week residential program that offers a challenging and rewarding curriculum for gifted, talented, or honors students who are currently in grades 7 through 11. Students enroll in one course for three weeks of intense and demanding study. Courses have approximately 15 students and are taught by a diverse and talented group of highly qualified Instructor-Teaching Assistant (TA) teams. These teaching teams are committed to challenging their students and to providing an exceptional educational experience. The classrooms and laboratories utilized are located on the Northwestern State campus.
While the academic program at ADVANCE is top-notch, the residential program sets ADVANCE apart from other similar summer programs. The residential life portion of ADANCE is vital to the program, offering balanced recreational and social activities to complement the intensive academic curriculum. ADVANCE has built up a host of traditions and a strong community of staff and students that keep ADVANCErs returning year after year. In short, the ADVANCE Program provides everything bright and inquisitive students could want in a summer experience: an intellectually challenging curriculum that stretches their academic capabilities; the chance to live and interact with peers of similar abilities and interests; and the opportunity to have fun with other kids during summer break.
ADVANCErs consistently state that program participation changes their lives in many positive ways and that friendships made while at ADVANCE are long-lasting and important. Students often refer to ADVANCE as their second home and their peers as extended family. We are proud to offer a program where students feel comfortable, accepted, and academically challenged!
ADVANCE Promotional Video
The academic curriculum is central to the ADVANCE experience, and courses are designed to challenge and inspire gifted, talented, and honors students. Students enroll in one course for three weeks of intense and demanding study. Course enrollment is typically limited to 15 students creating a low student-faculty ratio. Classes are conducted for 6 hours Monday through Friday, 3.5 hours on two Saturday mornings, and courses require attendance at a one-hour guided study session Monday through Friday evenings. Students receive 106 contact hours to cover an entire year’s worth of high school material or a semester of college level material.
ADVANCE is not designed to remediate skills – the courses are fast-paced and intensive. Students must select courses from subject areas in which they have strong academic aptitude, because their instructor will cover a great deal of material at a very quick pace. To the best of their ability, instructional staff attempt to accommodate a variety of learning styles.
Our instructional staff is a diverse and talented group of highly qualified Instructor-Teaching Assistant (TA) teams who are committed to challenging their students. ADVANCE instructors have a minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent and have experience teaching in a variety of classroom settings. Teaching Assistants are top students from a leading universities. In addition to their classroom duties, TAs strive to build a sense of community within the classroom setting and live in the dorm to provide additional student supervision. The classrooms and laboratories utilized are located on the Northwestern State campus.
Our instructors strive to provide interesting, high-energy educational experiences that often differ from those that students encounter in their local schools. Instructors employ a variety of instructional strategies, including discussion groups, journal and creative writing, guest speakers, lab experiences, field trips, individual or group research, exploration of real-world phenomena, and media presentations (computer, film, art). These classroom activities are designed to engage students in critical thinking, problem-solving, writing and speaking skills, and higher-order thinking.
Evaluations are mailed to students within seven days after the close of ADVANCE, along with a course description and syllabus. The evaluations assess the student’s performance in such areas as intellectual processes, work habits, peer interactions, and products created in the course such as tests, essays, visual projects, writing assignments, research, and presentations. The evaluation will indicate the student’s cumulative average, the score earned on the final, and if the instructor recommends credit for the student. A student must earn a 70 percent or higher on the ADVANCE final for the instructor to recommend the student receive credit.
The ADVANCE Program will not send information to the student’s home school regarding completion of work at ADVANCE unless it is requested in writing after the program closes.
Students who intend to include their ADVANCE Program participation as part of their college admissions portfolio should keep a copy of their student evaluation. The ADVANCE Program cannot guarantee that copies of the evaluation will be available at a later date.
Requesting Course Credit or Placement
The ADVANCE instructor may only recommend credit; conferral of school credit is always the responsibility of the student’s school at home. If the student wishes to seek credit for a course taken at ADVANCE, the student must follow the policies of his or her individual secondary school. It is important to begin the process of seeking credit or placement from the student’s school before ADVANCE begins. The following steps may assist students in obtaining course credit or placement at their schools:
- Contact the person at the student’s school who could grant credit or placement for a student’s work at ADVANCE (school counselor, vice-principal, or registrar, et cetera).
- Direct the school official to our website for information regarding the program.
- Give the school official a copy of the syllabus for the course that the student will take at ADVANCE.
- Inform the school official that ADVANCE students enroll in one course for three weeks and attend class for 106 contact hours.
- Inform the school official that ADVANCE students do not receive transcripts from Northwestern State or the ADVANCE Program. Students will receive an evaluation completed by their instructor after the program ends.
- Inform the school official that ADVANCE students must earn a 70 percent or higher on their final for the ADVANCE instructor to recommend credit.
Remember, neither Northwestern State’s ADVANCE Program nor Northwestern State will produce a transcript for ADVANCE students. School credit may only be issued by the student’s home school.
Some schools may require the student to take a test after attending a summer academic program to confirm that the student knows the course material and is ready to move to a higher-level course. In Louisiana, an End of Course (EOC) exam must be taken for algebra 1, biology, and geometry. Louisiana students will take EOCs at their home school the fall after ADVANCE. An ADVANCE final exam is not equivalent to an End of Course (EOC) exam in Louisiana.
Parents are an integral part of their child’s academic successes and our instructors welcome the opportunity to talk with parents about their child’s performance at ADVANCE. Parent conferences are available before and after the closing ceremony on departure day, Saturday, July 24th. At registration on Sunday, July 4th, parents may select a time for their parent conference. A telephone conference may be arranged for parents who are unable to be present on departure day. However, all phone conferences must take place before the end of the program.
Computer labs are available for classes that require word processing and class-related work and assignments. Additionally, a computer lab is offered twice a week as an activity for students.
Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State
Some of the courses offered by ADVANCE may qualify for articulated college credit at Northwestern State. The following details the necessary steps to be taken:
- The former ADVANCE student must be admitted and enrolled in either an online or a traditional face-to-face course at Northwestern State.
- The former ADVANCE student must contact the ADVANCE office while enrolled at Northwestern State.
- The former ADVANCE student may then request articulated credit for a course taken at ADVANCE if the course was included in an Articulation Agreement between Northwestern State and ADVANCE.
- The ADVANCE office will contact the Northwestern State Registrar and complete the necessary paperwork for the former ADVANCE student to obtain credit for the course taken while an ADVANCE student.
- The former ADVANCE student will then be granted the letter grade received during ADVANCE contingent upon earning a grade of B or better and a 70% or higher on the final exam in one of the courses listed below while a student during the 2021 ADVANCE Program. NOTE: The ADVANCE student will not be issued a transcript from Northwestern State for work completed during ADVANCE.
The following courses are included in the 2021 Articulation Agreement with Northwestern State:
|ADVANCE COURSE||NORTHWESTERN STATE COURSE|
|Algebra 2||Math 1020|
|Brain and Behavior Buffet – Psychology||Psychology 1010|
|The Constitutional Convention||History 4330|
|Creative Writing||English 2120|
|Marvel Comics and Film Studies||English 3500|
All applicants must provide the following documents with their application:
- A copy of the applicant’s most recent report card.
- A copy of the applicant’s most recent state standardized test scores. If scores have been misplaced, many schools provide that information on school transcripts, and transcripts may be submitted to ADVANCE.
Louisiana applicants who earn LEAP achievement levels of Advanced or Mastery in the subject area that corresponds to the desired ADVANCE class and submit a satisfactory report card will be accepted to the program.
Louisiana applicants who earn LEAP achievement levels of Basic, Approaching Basic, or Unsatisfactory in the subject area that corresponds to the desired ADVANCE class will be required to submit two examples of outstanding schoolwork, and a teacher must email the ADVANCE office (email@example.com) stating why they recommend the student as a candidate for the program.
Texas applicants who earn STAAR performance standards of Masters or Meets in the subject area that corresponds to the desired ADVANCE class and submit a satisfactory report card will be accepted to the program.
Texas applicants who earn STAAR performance standards of Approaches or Did Not Meet in the subject area that corresponds to the desired ADVANCE class will be required to submit two examples of outstanding schoolwork, and a teacher must email the ADVANCE office (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating why they recommend the student as a candidate for the program.
Applicants from other states: Contact the ADVANCE office at 318-357-4500 or email@example.com.
Applicants who have taken an ACT or SAT:
If applicants have taken an ACT or SAT and their scores meet those shown in the chart below, they may submit those scores along with a copy of their most recent report card with their application. Applicants will be notified if state standardized test scores and a teacher recommendation are needed.
The left side of the chart below indicates qualifying scores for students who took an ACT or SAT while in the 7th grade. If students achieve the required scores while in 7th grade, they do not have to retake the test to apply to ADVANCE in future years.
The right side of the chart indicates qualifying scores for students who took an ACT or SAT while in 8th – 11th grades.
Students qualify for specific courses based on their scores on subsections of the ACT or SAT. For example, *Students who submit ACT scores and wish to enroll in a math, science, or technology course at ADVANCE should qualify with either their ACT math or science score. Students who wish to enroll in a humanities course should qualify with either their ACT English or reading score. **Students who submit SAT scores and wish to enroll in a math, science, or technology course at ADVANCE should qualify with their SAT math score. Students who wish to enroll in a humanities course should qualify with their SAT EBRW score.
Abbreviations for the ACT qualifying scores are E = English; M = Math; R = Reading; S = Science. Abbreviations for the SAT qualifying scores are EBRW = Evidence-Based Reading and Writing; M = Math.
|ADVANCE QUALIFYING SCORES|
IF TEST TAKEN IN
IF TEST TAKEN IN
GRADES 8, 9, 10, or 11
Students must meet at least one of the following:
E > 20
M > 18
R > 20
S > 20
Or a combination of:
M > 17 and E > 19
M > 17 and R > 19
EBRW > 510
M > 500
Students must meet at least one of the following:
E > 22
M > 20
R > 22
S > 22
Or a combination of:
M > 19 and E > 21
M > 19 and R > 21
EBRW > 540
M > 520
Application and Payment Deadlines
*April 26, 2021 (Applications and payments are due by 11:59 PM.)
*Late applications will be considered, with full payment, as classroom and dorm space permits.
- Rank Your Preferred Courses
Students enroll in one course of in-depth-study for the three-week session. You may identify up to five courses you are interested in and rank them from most preferred (#1) to least preferred (#5). Please only rank courses that you truly intend to accept. Listing only one course choice does not increase your chances of being placed in that course and limits your chances of participating in ADVANCE this summer.
Click here to apply and pay the $50 application fee online.
Red Asterisks indicate required fields.
Place a checkmark in the authorization box of the application.
You must pay the nonrefundable $50 application fee online before clicking the “add to basket” button. Forms of online payment accepted by Northwestern State include American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa (including check cards).
- Submit Required Academic Documents
Admission decisions and course placements will not be made until the ADVANCE office receives all components of your application. Be sure you provide the following:
- Program application, including course rankings
- Student/parent signatures
- Payment of the nonrefundable $50 application fee
- A copy of the applicant’s most recent report card
- A copy of the applicant’s most recent standardized test scores. If scores have been misplaced, many schools provide that information on school transcripts, and transcripts may be submitted to the ADVANCE office. Click here to learn about acceptable achievement levels on Louisiana’s LEAP test and acceptable performance standards on Texas’s STAAR test. Applicants from other states should call the ADVANCE office at 318-357-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
- Financial aid application (if applicable) with required tax forms and documentation
- Submit the required academic documents by one of these methods:Email: Scan, attach, and email the documents to email@example.com
NSU Box 5671
Natchitoches, LA 71497
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Documents may not be faxed to the ADVANCE office.
If you are accepted…
- You will receive an acceptance email within two weeks of our office receiving your application, application fee, and academic documentation.
- The nonrefundable $400 enrollment deposit is due within two weeks of our office sending you an acceptance email. If we do not receive your enrollment deposit within that period, you will forfeit your place in the program. Note: Financial aid applicants will wait to pay their enrollment deposit within five days of accepting their financial aid offer.
- After you pay the nonrefundable $400 enrollment deposit, our office will mail an acceptance packet to you. The packet contains your course syllabus and several forms to complete and return to ADVANCE. We will also email you and your parent/guardian a link to the student handbook. A printed copy of the handbook will not be mailed unless requested.
Note: If Covid-19 forces Northwestern State University (NSU) to cancel the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE) residential program prior to the start date, all enrolled students will be given the option to transition to an online format at a reduced tuition rate of $1,000 or receive a refund for payments they have made toward the cost of the program. We hope vaccinations allow NSU to offer an on-campus program.
Balance due date
The payment due date is April 26, 2021 at 11:59 PM.
If ADVANCE does not receive your remaining balance by the specified due date/time, you will forfeit your place in the program.
Ways to make payments
- Online: Online payments may be made through a secure website by clicking this link Online Payment or by typing this URL in your internet browser: https://commerce.cashnet.com/TIPADVPMT. Northwestern State accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa (including check cards).
- By mail: If paying by check, cashier’s check, or money order, make it payble to NSU’s ADVANCE Program. Mail it to ADVANCE Program, NSU Box 5671, Natchitoches, LA 71497
- We cannot accept payment by phone or fax.
If you are placed on a waiting list
If you accept placement in one of your lower ranked courses, your name will be placed on the waiting list for all your higher ranked courses. If a spot becomes available in one of your higher ranked courses, we will notify you immediately by email. You will have one day to decide if you want to move to your higher ranked course.
Apply early for best course selection and to avoid being placed on a waiting list!
Financial aid is limited, based upon need, not merit, and is available to both in-state and out-of-state students. All financial aid applications and documentation must be received by the ADVANCE office on or before the financial aid application deadline. All financial aid applications will be reviewed at one time to determine which students have the most need. The parent or guardian of the financial aid applicant will be notified of the amount of financial aid awarded by phone and/or email within three business days of the financial aid application deadline.
Financial Aid Deadline
April 5, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Late applications will not be considered.
Financial Aid Instructions
- Should parents/guardians want to apply for financial aid on behalf of their child, they must first submit the student application with the required academic documents and the nonrefundable $50 application fee. Click either “Online Student Application” to apply online or “Print Student Application” (It is a fillable PDF.) to complete the application via your computer. Print the fillable application before closing the PDF and submit it with required academic documents.
- The financial aid application has been removed from the website because the deadline was April 5, 2021.
- Submit the printed financial aid application and applicable financial documents by 11:59 pm on April 5, 2021.
- Financial aid applications received after the specified deadline will not be considered.
- Incomplete financial aid applications will not be considered.
Submit Required Documents
Use one of the following methods to submit the financial aid application and required financial documents:
- Scan, attach, and email the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use the following mailing address:
NSU Box 5671
Natchitoches, LA 71497
- Use the following shipping address (for UPS or FedEx):
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71457
- Documents may not be faxed to the ADVANCE office.
After a Financial Aid Offer is Made
- Parents/guardians must either accept or decline the financial aid offer within five days of being notified of the offer. If the offer is declined, the $50 application fee will be refunded.
- If the financial aid offer is accepted, the $400 nonrefundable enrollment deposit is due within five days of accepting the offer.
- The remaining balance due date will be extended and specified in your financial aid offer. However, all balances must be paid by May 29, 2021.
Program tuition is $2,750, and some classes carry and additional $50 lab fee. Tuition includes room, board, instructional costs, and most recreational activities. A nonrefundable $50 application fee is due at the time of application.
- Should a family have two or more children who qualify for and enroll in ADVANCE, a $250 discount will be given to each student.
- A $250 discount will be given to a student if he/she is a dependent of a Northwestern State employee.
*All payments, including the $50 application fee, $400 enrollment deposit, and remaining balances are nonrefundable.
*COVID-19 Refund Policy: If Covid-19 forces Northwestern State University (NSU) to cancel the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE) residential program prior to the start date, enrolled students will be given the option to transition to an online format at a reduced tuition of $1,000 or receive a refund for payments made toward the cost of the program. We hope vaccinations allow NSU to offer our on-campus program.
ADVANCE students come from many different backgrounds and have a wide variety of opinions and beliefs. We believe that engaging such diversity is part of the educational experience that the program provides, and we encourage students to embrace the opportunity to learn from others who are different from themselves.
While students are ultimately responsible for their own conduct, the administrative, instructional, and residential staff work together to provide clear guidelines and supervision. ADVANCE employees are prepared to help students adjust to the academic demands of the program and to the experience of being away from home.
Evening and Weekend Activities
Activities are offered every weeknight after guided study and Saturday and Sunday afternoon and night. Students are expected to participate in six of the nine activity periods offered weekly.
Typical activity offerings include:
- Arts and crafts projects (friendship bracelets, collages, duct tape projects, painting t-shirts)
- Games and cards (Munchkin, Apples to Apples, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Chess, ERS, Phase 10)
- Sports (ultimate Frisbee, basketball, ping-pong, football, tennis, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball)
- Dance lessons (salsa, swing, tango, ballroom)
- Music jam sessions
- Visiting a fast-food restaurant
- Others activities may include anime, improvisational comedy, poetry slam, karaoke, reading or a picnic by Chaplin’s Lake, murder mystery games, and visits to Goodwill.
- Esoteric activities may include Jedi and/or Sith training, Quidditch for muggles, Humans vs. Zombies, awkward prom, and interactive movies.
- Some long-standing ADVANCE traditions include a 3-on-3-basketball tournament, capture the flag, weekly dances (which are awesome), ping pong tournament, Beach Party, and the amazing, long-hallowed talent show held on the last night of the program.
- Students who simply wish to socialize with co-ed friends may do so in one of the common areas in the dorm under staff supervision.
- RA Night Out (RANO). Every RA group has a special night off campus once during the program. It takes place during an evening activity period and examples include visiting an arcade room, bowling alley, an inexpensive restaurant or having a picnic by Cane River. Students really look forward to their RANO and it is a perfect time to create more memories and strengthen the ADVANCE community.
Learning to live with others is an important component of the ADVANCE experience. ADVANCE encourages diversity in its student and staff population, and participants will have the opportunity to live and learn with students from many different cultures and backgrounds. The staff members live on the halls with the students to provide support and supervision.
ADVANCE participants, staff, and instructors from out of town reside in University Place 2 (UP2), an air-conditioned dormitory on Northwestern State’s campus. UP2 has suites with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a kitchenette with a small microwave, dorm-size refrigerator, and a sink. The bedrooms are either shared, meaning the student will have a roommate, or private, meaning the student will not have a roommate. Therefore, the suites can house two to four students. Regardless of housing assignments, tuition remains the same for all students.
Each student is assigned to an RA group comprised of 10 to 14 students. Roommate assignments are made by the Coordinator of Residential Life (CRL) and are based on student age and similar likes and interests. After students are accepted to ADVANCE, they will be mailed a form to complete for the CRL to use when assigning students to an RA group and when pairing students with a suitemate or roommate. Housing requests will be considered, but it may not be possible to accommodate all requests. ADVANCE students are placed on same sex halls and students may not visit a hall of members of the opposite sex. Any student who violates this policy may be dismissed from ADVANCE.
For questions about the dorm or other residential concerns, please call the ADVANCE office at 318-357-4500 or email email@example.com.
Keys, ID card, and Security
Students will be issued a bedroom key, an ADVANCE ID card, and a now-famous orange shoestring at the time of dormitory check-in. The ID card serves as the student’s meal and library card. The bedroom key and ID are always to be worn around the student’s neck on the orange shoestring. Should the student lose the room key it must be replaced immediately and the student (or his or her parents/guardians) will be responsible for the $50.00 replacement fee. Although UP2 is always monitored, students are expected to always lock their bedroom to ensure security for personal items. Northwestern State, the ADVANCE Program, nor the UP2 staff are responsible for lost, stolen, or damage to personal items.
There is a laundry room with three washers and four dryers on each floor of UP2. The washers and dryers accept quarters and credit cards, each load is $1.25, and the laundry rooms are off-limits after lights out. Students are responsible for their own laundry and ADVANCE staff members will be glad to provide instructions for sorting clothing and on the use of the machines.
Students eat their meals in the cafeteria along with the residential and instructional staff. Meals include a variety of hot entrées, vegetables, sandwiches, salads, beverages, and desserts to better accommodate differing tastes and dietary practices. Vegetarian entrées are offered at every meal.
Supper is served quite early so that students may be in guided study by 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and then participate in evening activities. Therefore, we recommend that students bring healthy snacks and bottled water to keep in their suite. Some snack suggestions include microwavable foods (ravioli, spaghetti cups, soup, Ramen noodles), and non-perishable foods (trail mix, beef jerky, pop tarts, crackers, nuts). Remember that students are not living off their healthy snacks. Also, please limit the sugar and caffeine content of all snacks.
Students are required to drink a glass of water with every meal and should bring bottled water if they dislike tap water.
$125 – $150 should be plenty. Students and their parents and/or guardians should discuss budget issues prior to ADVANCE. The program tuition covers almost all expenses, including meals, dormitory room, and most activities. If $125 – $150 is not sufficient for the duration of the program, students may bring a prepaid debit card to access cash from the ATM on Northwestern State’s campus. A prepaid debit card may also be used for off-campus activities. Also, parents/guardians may mail money orders or Traveler’s checks to their child. Traveler’s checks should be made out to the student. When students need to cash a Traveler’s check, they will sign the back of the Traveler’s check and give it to their RA to cash. We recommend that students bring some cash, money orders or Traveler’s checks, and/or a prepaid debit card. As we have no way of cashing out-of-town personal checks, they should not be brought to ADVANCE or mailed to the student.
Mail is distributed Monday – Friday. Mail sent during the third week of the program may not arrive in time to be delivered to students before they leave the program, so family and friends should only send mail through the second week of ADVANCE. There is a U. S. Post Office on campus where students may purchase stamps and send mail. Although ADVANCE staff members distribute student mail, ADVANCE does not accept responsibility for lost or stolen items.
Parents/guardians and friends should address mail to students in the following way:
*To mail letters and/or packages via the U. S. Postal Service (USPS):
ADVANCE student’s name
NSU Box 5671
Natchitoches, LA 71497
*Northwestern State strongly encourages you to use the U. S. Postal Service (USPS) to send all letters and packages.
To ship packages via UPS or Federal Express:
ADVANCE student’s name
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Students may bring cell phones. Click on Expectations for Student Conduct in the menu box and scroll to the Electronic Devices Policy. Students must adhere to this policy. There are no pay phones in the dormitory.
Students will have full privileges at Northwestern State’s Watson Library and may check out books by showing their ADVANCE ID card. Students will be charged overdue fine of $1.00 per day per book and the fine for a lost book is $60.
Musical Instruments and Practice Rooms
Students may bring small musical instruments (clarinet, guitar, violin, et cetera) to ADVANCE. Small instruments may be practiced and stored in the student’s locked dorm room. It students play the piano, they may bring sheet music and we will provide a music practice room with a piano three to five times per week. Do not bring large instruments (harp, drums, et cetera) as there is no storage space available for them. Neither Northwestern State nor the ADVANCE Program is responsible for loss or damage to instruments during the program.
ADVANCE employs a medical consultant who is a registered nurse (RN). The RN will address routine health problems, administer first aid, oversee the use of daily medications, screen medical complaints and, when needed, accompany students to a local physician. In an emergency, students will be taken to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center and parents/guardians will be notified as soon as possible. The RN will request that the treating physician(s) contact the parents/guardians and advise them of the diagnosis and/or treatment. After students return to campus, they will be asked to call home to report their condition.
Students who take prescribed medication during the regular school year must continue to take the medication while attending ADVANCE. Parents/guardians will be expected to provide enough medication for the length of the program.
Thorough completion of the medical forms is essential. The medical forms will be taken to the clinic or hospital as a guide for the health care provider. If medical or emergency contact information has changed since completion of the forms, please provide updated information as soon as possible.
If a student does not have medical insurance, the student’s parent/guardian, not the ADVANCE Program or Northwestern State, will be financially responsible for treatment at a physician’s office or the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center.
Students will not be allowed to complete registration or move in at the dorm without providing complete medical information and copies of both sides of their insurance cards.
- I will take full advantage of the academic and social opportunities provided by ADVANCE. I will diligently work in my course, attend all classes and guided study sessions, participate in six out of nine activity periods offered every week, and positively contribute to the ADVANCE community.
- I understand and will adhere to the established ADVANCE policies to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the program for all students. I will follow the direction of all ADVANCE employees.
- I will always conduct myself in a truthful, accountable, and reasonable manner as an ADVANCE participant. I will be considerate of other participants, ADVANCE employees, and the employees and property of the dormitory and Northwestern State.
- I will not lie, cheat, plagiarize, or steal in my academic or social actions and I will not support the actions of those who may do so.
- I understand that harassment (verbal or physical), intimidating behavior, playing pranks or practical jokes, and bullying will not be tolerated. This includes via electronic devices, photographs, and through any form of social media.
- I will view ADVANCE as a community and will share in the responsibility of maintaining an environment where individual actions do not violate the integrity of the community as a whole. I will accept responsibility for my own actions and accept the consequences of those actions.
- I understand that participation in ADVANCE is a privilege, that participants come from many different backgrounds and have a wide variety of opinions and beliefs. I will appreciate the similarities and respect the differences that make each ADVANCE student unique.
- As a participant of the ADVANCE Program, I understand that Northwestern State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, and age.
The ADVANCE Program cannot accommodate students who are either unwilling or unable to live up to these expectations.
Basic Residential Life Rules
ADVANCE students will:
- Respect and follow the directions of all ADVANCE employees and seek their guidance as needed.
- Eat all meals in the cafeteria, attend required dorm meetings, and maintain cleanliness and respect for property, buildings, grounds, or any facility used by the ADVANCE community (including but not limited to, the student’s assigned dorm room and suite, dormitory common areas, cafeteria, classrooms, and all venues for activities, sports, and dances).
- Always wear their ADVANCE ID tag and room key around their neck on the orange shoestring.
- Be and stay on their respective hallway at 10:00 pm.
- Adhere to the lights out rule of 10:30 pm for younger students and 11:00 pm for older students.
- Sleep in their assigned bed in their dormitory room each night.
- Not leave their dormitory room until 7:00 a.m. unless participating in a supervised morning run or yoga.
- Always be in the presence of a staff member except when in their room or suite, on their hallway, or in the dorm room or suite of another ADVANCE student on their hall.
- Not engage in inappropriate public displays of affection.
- Not leave campus unless accompanied by an authorized staff member, their parents/guardians, an authorized ADVANCE employee, or with a person whom their parents/guardians have given written permission to the ADVANCE office to take their child from the dormitory or program.
- Use good common sense and show respect and consideration for others and the property of others.
If a student is found with any of the prohibited items, the items will be confiscated for the duration of the program. ADVANCE will not assume responsibility for loss or damage to confiscated items. Possession, use, or sale of certain prohibited items may result in dismissal from ADVANCE. The following items must not be brought to ADVANCE by the student, purchased during ADVANCE, or sent to the student while attending ADVANCE:
- Video Game Consoles (Wii, Wii-U, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox*One, et cetera)
- Hand-held video games (3DS, DSi, Vita, PSP, et cetera)
- Collectible card games (CCGs), trading cards, and tarot cards
- Role-playing game books or other items associated with role-playing games
- Desktop computers and printers, laptops, netbooks, tablets (such as the iPad)
- Televisions and portable DVD players
- Cooking devices (toaster ovens, hot plates, coffee pots, crock pots, et cetera)
- Bicycles, skateboards, morfboards, hoverboards, unicycles, scooters, roller blades, skates, shoes with wheels, motorcycles, cars, or other moving devices
- Curtains or any items hanging from windows, ceilings, or light fixtures
- Laser pointers or halogen lamps
- Weight benches or workout machines
- Pets of any kind
- Weapons of any kind (including pocket knives)
- Alcohol, tobacco products, illegal substances and/or drug paraphernalia
- Any flame-producing devices (including matches, lighters, incense, candles, fuels, fireworks, explosives, or other incendiary devices)
Items 1 – 6 above are not meant to be punitive, but to ensure that students are participating in activities, engaging with other students, and not tempted to stay up past lights out.
In addition to the above list, we reserve the right to confiscate for the length of the program any items that, in our judgment, demonstrate the potential for distracting students from the goals of the program, or that pose undue risk to property or to the safety and well-being of the ADVANCE community.
Actions resulting in immediate dismissal include:
- Possession of weapons of any kind (including pocketknives).
- Possession, sale, or use of alcohol, tobacco products, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia.
- Tampering with fire alarms, extinguishers, or fire hoses.
- Possession of open flame items or incendiary items (matches, lighters, incense, candles, fireworks, fuels, explosives, et cetera).
- Academic dishonesty including, but not limited to, cheating, plagiarism, or theft in academic endeavors.
- Social dishonesty including, but not limited to, theft.
- Failure to remain in assigned residence hall room after lights-out.
No tuition refunds will be made to participants and/or their parents/guardians if a participant is dismissed from ADVANCE.
Actions resulting in possible dismissal include:
- Being anywhere on campus unaccompanied by a staff member.
- Lack of academic effort or not attending to academic work in a satisfactory manner.
- Interaction of a sexual nature or sexually suggestive manner with any other person.
- Vandalizing property belonging to another person, Northwestern State, or any facility used by the ADVANCE community. If a student damages property, the parents/guardians of the student will be held responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of the property.
- Undermining the safety or wellbeing of self or others (including threats).
- Unexcused absences from class or evening guided study.
- Verbal or physical harassment of other participants or ADVANCE employees, including, but not limited to, bullying, intimidating behavior, playing pranks or practical jokes, including via electronic devices, photographs, or through any form of social media.
- Not cooperating with adult supervision.
- Visiting or having visitors of the opposite sex on the residence hall.
- Leaving assigned dormitory room or hall after lights out.
- Fighting, including hitting or pushing another person, either as an aggressor or in response to the aggressive or irritating actions of another.
- Disruptive or inappropriate behavior in the classroom, dormitory, on campus, or in the city of Natchitoches.
- Misuse of campus computer equipment or computer privileges by such actions as visiting inappropriate Internet sites, sending inappropriate email messages, or posting inappropriate photos and/or text on any form social media, disrupting computer operations, or damaging computer equipment.
No tuition refunds will be made to students dismissed from ADVANCE.
Students may bring the following electronic devices, but they must always remain in the dormitory:
- Cell phones
- Portable music players (iPods, mp3 players, Discman, et cetera)
- eBook readers (Kindle, Kindle Fire, Nook, Kobo, Sony’s Reader, et cetera)
ADVANCE reserves the right to limit the use of any allowed item if, in our judgment, it is distracting the student from academics or participation in activities.
- Students may not bring desktop computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets (such as the iPad), or printers.
- Students may not take electronic devices outside of the dormitory.
- Students must leave all electronic devices in their locked dormitory room while attending class, guided study, or activities.
- If a student is found with an electronic device outside of the dormitory, a staff member will take the electronic device from the student and return it to the student that night at 10:00 pm (on-hall).
- ADVANCE may confiscate electronic devices for the duration of the program if the student sends inappropriate email or text messages, attaches inappropriate photos to email or text messages, leaves inappropriate voice messages, or posts inappropriate messages or photos on any form of social media.
- Electronic devices may not be used after lights out.
- If a student is found using an electronic device after lights out, a staff member will take the electronic device from the student and return it to the student the next morning before breakfast.
Northwestern State, the ADVANCE Program, or NSU housing staff will not assume any responsibility for a student’s personal electronic devices, which includes, but is not limited to, cell phone bills and broken, lost, stolen, or confiscated electronic devices.
Dress Code for Students and Staff Members
While a summer program, students and staff members should remember that ADVANCE remains an educational environment. Students should therefore dress in a manner that does not distract from the primary academic mission of the program and should maintain appropriate standards of modesty and safety in attire. Students should wear modest clothing that fits in a reasonable manner (not too tight or too baggy) and is not too revealing. Specific rules for proper attire at ADVANCE include, but are not limited to, the following:
- No shorts or skirts that are too short or low. Undergarments should not be revealed whether the student is standing, sitting, bending over, or reaching for something above.
- No bare midriffs or cleavage are to be shown should the student be standing, sitting, bending over, or reaching for something above.
- No strapless tops may be worn. Tops must have either straps or sleeves that secure it to the students’ bodies, and all tops must adequately cover undergarments.
- Profane or offensive language or images on T-shirts or other articles of clothing are prohibited. These include, but are not limited to, language, graphics, or scenes that are suggestive, crude, vulgar, violent, racially motivated, or promote the use of alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any illegal substance or activity.
- Swimwear shall be modest and not too revealing. A t-shirt is to be worn over swimwear while in the pool.
- Males must wear lined swim trunks per Northwestern State’s policy.
- If an ADVANCE staff member believes that a student’s attire is inappropriate to the academic or social setting, the student will be asked to change clothes.
- For health reasons, shoes must be worn.
Please keep in mind that the Dress Code is in place to ensure that the ADVANCE community remains an academic environment and that clothing worn by students does not present a disruption to that environment. Please leave the inappropriate clothing at home.
ADVANCE, now celebrating its 33rd year offering a residential academic summer program for gifted, talented, and honor students, has encountered a range of attitudes from parents concerning academic performance in the program. The following advice will help you prepare your child to succeed in the classroom:
- Emphasize that academic self-improvement, as opposed to earning a particular grade or being the first in the class to complete assignments, is acceptable. Encourage your child to do the best that he or she can do.
- ADVANCE courses are brief, very intense, and require a greater effort than he or she may be accustomed to making at his or her school at home. Many of the courses at ADVANCE are taught on the college level.
- Discuss with your child that is it okay to not know the subject at first, because it is assumed that students have little if any knowledge of the subject.
- Reassure your child that constructive criticism is used as a means for learning and should not be taken negatively.
- Remind your child that he or she will be among a group of very bright young people who learn new material quickly and comparisons to others should be avoided.
Help Prepare Your Child for Residential Life
Hailed as an exemplary academic program, the ADVANCE Program also has a stellar residential life component to ensure that our students have a terrific time while learning. Parents can play an important role in preparing students for the residential experience before the program begins. The following advice can help you prepare your child to do well socially and residentially:
- ADVANCE students find that they have many common interests once they begin socializing, so please encourage your child to participate in a variety of nightly and weekend activities and meet new, interesting people. Multiple activities are offered when students are not in class and are designed to appeal to our diverse student population.
- Emphasize that working through the inconveniences of dormitory life can lead to the development of close long-lasting friendships at ADVANCE.
- Encourage your child to talk about their experiences and concerns with staff members. Our staffers are incredibly gifted college students who are here to make a positive difference in the lives of our students, but we cannot help a student if we do not know there is an issue to address.
- Review the Expectations for Student Conduct with your child. ADVANCE is a highly structured program and operates with one set of rules for everyone. Students fully committed to all aspects of the program, including academics, residential life, and all student expectations, report the highest levels of satisfaction with their ADVANCE experience.
Help Your Child Unplug
While students can bring a few electronic devices (click on Expectations for Student Conduct in the menu box and scroll down to Electronic Devices) for limited use while at ADVANCE, please assist us in limiting usage while students should be sleeping. Cell phones, with their apps and data plans, offer many distractions to students after lights out. Students will need to be rested to engage fully each day in class. Additionally, students are not allowed to stay in their rooms using their devices during activities. Activities are thoughtfully planned to strengthen the ADVANCE community, assist in the creation of friendships, and to ensure that all students have a great time.
2021 special note regarding visitation: Due to COVID-19 and our desire to keep everyone well and on campus during ADVANCE, we request that parents and guardians do not visit during the program.
All students are expected to remain at ADVANCE during the weekends, as the weekends form an integral part of the ADVANCE experience. ADVANCE students find that weekends offer the most time to socialize, develop friendships, and strengthen the ADVANCE community while having a great time. Consequently, we discourage families from visiting students and taking them off campus. However, accommodations can be made for a family event, such an anniversary party or the wedding of a sibling. Arrangements are to be made with the ADVANCE office prior to the beginning of the program.
Should parents/guardians choose to check their child out of the program for any amount of time, they must go through the proper checkout procedures. This includes having their child notify their RA prior to the time of checkout, completing the proper form in the dorm’s lobby, and presenting a photo ID.
Should parents/guardians allow their child to be checked out by someone else (such as another relative, a neighbor, or parent of another ADVANCE student), parents/guardians will have to submit written permission 24 hours prior to the student being checked out detailing exactly who the student will be with and for how long. Email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone who checks an ADVANCE student out of the dormitory will be required to present a photo ID before doing so. This policy is designed for the safety of the student and is not flexible.
- Other than a parent, legal guardian, immediate family member, staff member, or instructor, no other visitors for a student, staff member, or instructor will be allowed in an individual room, suite, residential hallway, study room, laundry room, wing lobby, wing TV room, or within the stairwells.
- A non-family visitor is only allowed in a downstairs lobby.
- A visitor cannot participate in an ADVANCE activity.
- All visitors must adhere to the ADVANCE Residential Life and Academic regulations.
- The visitor must seek 24-hour advance permission from the director, associate director, or the coordinator of residential life.
- If any ADVANCE employee deems that a visitor’s actions or inactions are disruptive, the visitor will be asked to leave the premises.
Being away from home can be difficult. Our task is to help all students feel like they are part of the ADVANCE community from the first day. The students will meet everyone in their RA group and classroom before on-hall on the first night. Additionally, we make every effort to create a supportive environment and plan several required group activities the first week to help students meet one another.
From our experience, we ask that parents please allow your child a few days to become comfortable with the program and wait for him or her to call you when they can report on the fun and interesting things taking place at ADVANCE.
If your child becomes homesick, chances are that we already know about the situation. However, you may contact our office or our counselor for ideas on helping your child adapt to the new environment. If your child has not phoned home and you are curious or concerned, you may contact our counselor who will gather information for you. Keep in mind that frequent contact with your child may prolong or intensify homesickness. Remember, most students who initially experience homesickness ultimately succeed in and enjoy their time at ADVANCE.
Notifying Your Child of Distressing News
Please do not contact your child directly regarding a family emergency until you have first spoken with ADVANCE personnel. We prefer that an ADVANCE staff member be present when any troubling news is given to a student at ADVANCE if the student may be upset by the news.
Should parents/guardians need to reach ADVANCE personnel regarding an emergency at home, they should do so in the following manner:
- ADVANCE office hours are 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday – Friday; 9:45 am – noon Saturday. The office numbers are 318-357-4500 or 318-357-4595.
- At registration on Sunday, July 4th, parents will be given emergency contact numbers to use between 4:30 pm and 8:00 am.
Under the Federal Campus Security Act (20 U.S.C. 1092f), anyone may view the annual security report for Northwestern State by using this link, https://www.nsula.edu/universityaffairs/police/ (Click on Annual Security Report, scroll down, and click on Main Campus Annual Security Report.) The security report includes campus crime statistics and the institution’s safety and security policies. Or you may call (318) 357-5431 or visit the Northwestern State Police Department at 315 Caspari St, Natchitoches, Louisiana.
WHAT: Student Arrival and Registration
WHEN: Sunday, July 4, 2021
TIME: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Louisiana Scholars’ College (in Morrison Hall on NSU’s campus)
326 Caspari Street
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
NOTE: If the student must arrive after 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 4th, arrangements must be made with the ADVANCE office by Monday, June 28th.
- Students report to registration first and will be told who their RA is, receive a t-shirt, and briefly meet the director, counselor, and medical consultant (nurse).
- After registration, students and their parents/guardians will drive to our dorm, UP2 (Directions will be provided.) located at 136 Sam Sibley Dr., Natchitoches, LA.
- Students eat lunch with their families. Supper on Sunday, July 4th, is the first meal provided for students.
- Parents/guardians must leave campus by 4:30 p.m. so participants may have supper with their RA groups.
WHAT: Closing Ceremony
WHEN: Saturday, July 24, 2021
TIME: 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Northwestern State University
Magale Recital Hall
140 Central Avenue
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Note: The ceremony will be held in Magale Recital Hall which is upstairs in the Creative and Performing Arts Annex.
- Students must sit with their classmates during the closing ceremony.
- After the closing ceremony, students walk back to the dormitory with their classmates.
- Students must inspect their dormitory room with their RA before they may leave the program.
WHAT: Parent/Guardian Conferences
WHEN: Saturday, July 24, 2021
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.; 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
WHERE: Northwestern State University
CAPA Annex (band and choir halls)
140 Central Avenue
Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457
- At registration on Sunday, July 4th, parents/guardians will schedule their conference time for July 24th.
- Parent/guardian conferences will be conducted before and after the closing ceremony on Saturday, July 24th.
- All conferences must take place before the close of the program.
If students fly to or from ADVANCE, all flights must arrive and depart from the Shreveport Regional Airport, Shreveport, Louisiana. Upon arrival, students should go directly to the baggage claim area of the terminal and an ADVANCE staff member, who will be wearing an ADVANCE t-shirt, will be there to meet them. The ADVANCE Program will only provide transportation between the Shreveport airport and the Northwestern State campus on the first and last days of the program at a charge of $50 round trip paid in advance. To assure a place on our shuttle van from the airport, parents must provide us with their child’s flight information and return Form F by June 11th. We cannot guarantee that we will meet students who have not provided their flight information.
Students should plan to arrive at the Shreveport airport on Sunday, July 4th, between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. so they will arrive at Northwestern State in time to begin the program.
Parents should not book a return flight home after 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 24th.
NOTE: All students must check out of the dormitory by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 24, 2021.
|Typical Weekday at ADVANCE|
|7:45 am – 9:00 am||Breakfast|
|9:00 am – noon||Class|
|Noon – 1 pm||Lunch|
|1:00 pm – 4:00 pm||Class|
|4:00 pm – 5:00 pm||Dorm time|
|5:00 pm – 6:00 pm||Supper|
|6:00 pm – 7:00 pm||Guided Study|
|7:00 pm – 9:30 pm||Activities|
|9:30 pm – 10:00 pm||Dorm Time|
|10:00 pm||On hall for all students|
|10:30 pm||Lights out for younger students|
|11:00 pm||Lights out for older students|
|Attendance is required at all of the above activities. Staff will supervise students during these times.|
|Quiet hours are observed from 10:30 pm to 7:00 am. Students must remain on their hall until 7:00 am unless they participate in a staff supervised morning run or yoga.|
Each weekday of the summer program will include a variety of academic and extracurricular activities in addition to free time for students to work on projects or enjoy new friendships. The days are quite full, but they are designed to ensure that students have fun both in and out of the classroom. Weekdays will be more structured with classes conducted in the mornings and afternoons. Students are required to attend all classes and 6 of 9 activity periods per week.
Because weekdays are so incredibly busy, we ask that parents refrain from visiting at that time.
Large activities, some of which have become storied traditions at ADVANCE, are offered on the weekends. Also, several off-campus activities will be offered.
Saturday: Class will be held on Saturday morning from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm. There will be activities on Saturday afternoon and students will either attend the dance or a movie on Saturday night.
Sunday: Brunch will be served from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm instead of a traditional breakfast and lunch. Therefore, on Sunday morning students may choose to attend a religious service, do laundry, socialize in a staff supervised area in the dorm, or sleep late. There will be activities on Sunday afternoon and evening. All RA groups will have a meeting at 9:45 pm.
Staff members must arrive on Northwestern State’s campus Wednesday, June 30, 2021, by 3:00 pm to move into the dorm and begin orientation. Staff members will leave campus on Saturday, July 24, 2021, when all supplies are placed in storage.
The starting salary for staff members is $1,400. Staff members are required to live in the dormitory utilized by ADVANCE and eat all meals with students and fellow employees in the cafeteria.
All staff applications must be received by March 12, 2021. Our office will then contact you by phone or email in late March to schedule a phone interview.
A background check is a condition of employment for all Northwestern State employees.
Use the Application for First-Time Residential Assistant (RA) and/or Teaching Assistant (TA) form if you have never applied for a summer position with ADVANCE. Use Application for Returning Residential Assistant (RA) and/or Teaching Assistant (TA) form if you have previously worked for ADVANCE, or completed a first-time application in 2020 and participated in a telephone interview.
References for First-time Applicants
Staff Reference Form. All first-time applicants are required to have two references on file before a telephone interview will be scheduled. We suggest using current or past employers, co-workers, professors and/or instructors as references. We do not recommend using friends or family members as references. Your references may complete the Staff Reference Form on your behalf and email it to email@example.com.
Please complete and submit this information if you would like us to mail you information about ADVANCE.
Watch the 2021 movie “Guardians of ADVANCE” below.
View the entire playlist of ADVANCE Film Studies movies
ADVANCE Talent Show 2019
The students of ADVANCE are smart AND talented! These students all prepped their performance in under a week, while also taking rigorous academic courses. NOTE: Some portions of this video have increased volume in order for performances to be audible
ADVANCE Program 2018 Talent Show
The ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars at Northwestern State proudly posts the 2018 Talent Show! Thanks participants and we hope you enjoy watching!
2018 ADVANCE Calydonian Boar Hunt
The ADVANCE Program’s mythologies class did a very impromptu production of the Calydonian Boar Hunt. Enjoy!
ADVANCE Shakespeare Performance 2016
The ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars’ Shakespeare Class performed selections from Taming of the Shrew, Much Ado About Nothing, and Othello on July 27, 2016.
ADVANCE Talent Show 2016
This is a talent show! The students performing attended the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars in July 2016.
2015 Theatre Performance Dress Rehearsal
ADVANCE Shakespeare 2007
ADVANCE is accepting applications for July 4 – 24, 2021
Late applications will be considered, with full payment, as classroom and dorm space permits.
COVID-19 Refund Policy: If Covid-19 forces Northwestern State University (NSU) to cancel the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars (ADVANCE) residential program prior to the start date, enrolled students will be given the option to transition to an online format at a reduced tuition of $1,000 or receive a refund for payments made toward the cost of the program. We hope vaccinations allow NSU to offer our on-campus program.
Harriette Palmer, Associate Director
To mail letters or packages via U. S. Postal Service:
NSU Box 5671
Natchitoches, LA 71497
To ship packages via UPS or FedEx:
NSU’s ADVANCE Program
ADVANCE student’s name
175 Sam Sibley Dr
Natchitoches, LA 71457
Note: Northwestern State strongly encourages you to use the United States Postal Service (USPS) to send all letters and packages.