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Michael Mathias - Parent of Sarah Mathias

As the father of an extremely bright daughter, I found myself searching for an advanced, more challenging program for fall 2005. There are a number of 'early admission' programs, but I was drawn to the Advanced Academy because of its approach and residence program (they all offer college-level academics). Parent and student recommendations (like this) were confirmed by a visit to the campus and meetings with the staff (I strongly recommend a visit).
As I write this after graduation in May 2007, I can honestly write that the Advanced Academy exceeded my expectations:
  • The staff is top-notch, personable and goes the extra mile for the students. This goes from the residence hall to the Honors House to the classroom. I felt 'known' and 'heard' as a parent in all of my communication with these fine people.
  • My daughter was chosen to be personally mentored and critiqued as a promising writer by one of her professors. She worked with the dorm newspaper for both years, and was employed as an editor / writing-mentor, and was published in the Eclectic. Great opportunities!
  • The president of the university teaches a Business Challenges course, a favorite of many of the Academy students. The marketing research work in this course qualified my daughter to participate in the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in California. The amazing thing is that he flew in for her group's presentation!

The Advanced Academy offered these and other exceptional opportunities, far exceeding what my daughter would have experienced in a traditional high school. She matured and developed leadership skills. The rigor of the program helped her to cultivate responsibility and discipline in a college environment. She enters Wheaton College in Chicago this fall with their President's Scholarship and with two years of college credit (allowing her to double major or begin Master's work early). Even more, I feel that she enters with a far better foundation than other eighteen year olds beginning their college experience.