ASMSA unveils targeted growth programs


As the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts begins its search for members of the class of 2024 and 2025, it recently introduced two new programs that highlight the school’s expansion of enrollment through templates. growth targets.

The programs are HELIX, or Helping Elevate Low Income Students to Excellence, Prep Academy and the Distinction Program in Visual Arts and Design. The HELIX Prep Academy, which builds on the success of several previous programs, offers low-income students – especially those who have experienced gaps – a second year of transition to ASMSA to better prepare them and help them through excel in their junior year and beyond, while the Distinction in Visual Arts and Design program creates a new arts program that builds on the school’s mission while developing students’ talents in the visual arts and design – serving as ASMSA’s most recent investment in the arts department.–k

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Charlie Feick, director of admissions for ASMSA, said she was excited to roll out the programs.

“I am very happy that we can continue to develop,” she said. “Because we already have some great opportunities here with some of our other programs, and therefore being able to reach more students from a variety of backgrounds and interests is just exciting. “

Feick said the HELIX Prep Academy is a bridging program that helps entering second year students prepare for the traditional ASMSA format.

“It therefore seeks specifically to serve students from low-income or rural backgrounds who have experienced gaps in opportunities,” she said. “It’s about making sure they have the skills and knowledge they need to thrive early in the college program.

“And so, by bringing them to campus, they will not only be able to experience the residential program, which will help them feel more comfortable in their junior and senior year, but they can intentionally develop some of the skills. they acquire… need – organizational skills, time management, study skills – that sort of thing, ”Feick said.

Before enrolling in ASMSA, applicants for HELIX Prep Academy must have completed Algebra I and submitted standardized passing / assessment scores, including a 19 or higher on the Composite ACT, and a sub- minimum score of 19 on the English, Mathematics and Act Reading sections.

The Distinction in Visual Arts and Design program, which allows “students passionate about the visual arts to have sufficient time to explore the fundamentals while focusing on building a portfolio that reflects their personal interests”, includes a sequence of eight courses that align with most major and undergraduate visual arts minors.

“We’ve had the arts in our name since the early 2000s,” Feick said. “In fact, we’ve had it on our behalf longer than we haven’t. And we’ve grown and grown and developed the arts, but all the while, it’s kind of the arts that is. are grafted onto our STEM framework. And so it changes that and combines our arts program with our STEM program. It will be a real artistic track for students who are passionate and interested in the arts, where that can be their primary focus. “

Feick, who comes from a low-income rural area and is a first-generation college graduate, knows firsthand the difference such programs can make in the lives of young people.

“It’s hard to see yourself succeeding somewhere where you don’t see or feel you relate to someone the same way,” she said.

“And so, knowing that I share a similar past – that I grew up 3 miles down a dirt road in a trailer and, you know, went to Harvard for my masters in education – seeing that, ‘Yes, you can do it, “” You can go from here to here. ‘ And knowing that we are here to support them and give them all the tools they need to build and find that success.

“Because it was certainly my educators in my life who made it possible for me to do it. And so being able to see someone who has had the same experience will help them see that they can do it themselves too. excited about the (HELIX program) so because it emphasizes equity and access to ensure that young people can thrive and it is not based solely on the circumstances of your birth that you have no control, ”she said.

“So ensuring that students in rural areas who don’t have the same opportunities can still be successful in this early university environment. Or first generation students from a low income family, which was my experience, ”mentioned. “My parents didn’t know anything about the university experience – what FAFSA was, how to apply for it – and so students in this type of background don’t have the general knowledge of higher education institutions – how they function, how they work, so it will help to provide them and their families with this knowledge and skills, which will enable them to make a successful transition to university.

The programs are expected to start next August when the renovation of the historic convent and chapel, which will add 24 additional beds, will be completed. Students interested in applying to enroll in ASMSA and wanting to learn more about the application process can find out more at

Registration is open for the next two preview days, Friday October 15 and Saturday November 20.


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