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General Information about CTYOnline Courses FAQs

General Info

Which courses am I eligible to take?

When do courses begin and end?

What are the costs?

Can I get credit for my course?

How can I obtain a record of my CTYOnline participation?

Can students in individually paced courses take a break and postpone their enrollment?

What is Pizza Party?



Q: Which courses am I eligible to take?

A: CTY focuses on challenging students in their areas of strength. Students who qualify in the quantitative area of the appropriate test are eligible to take courses in math, computer science and technology, engineering, or the sciences, while students who qualify in the verbal portion can take courses in writing, grammar, critical reading,  visual literacy, humanities, or social science. Note that for certain subjects that tap a range of abilities such as world language, music, web design, and JavaScript, students who achieve qualifying scores in any of these areas become eligible to enroll.

To see the programs and courses for which you are eligible, use CTY Eligibility Assessment if you have test scores for SCAT, PLUS, SAT, or ACT tests, or check the Tables Showing Eligibility Guidelines and Qualifying Scores on the Eligibility page. You should also review the course descriptions by clicking on the course title on the Course List since many courses have prerequisites.

Students who wish to establish eligibility with the SAT or ACT should select "Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth" and/or CEEB code "5334" when selecting reporting options in order for test scores to be sent to CTY.

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Q: When do courses begin and end?

A: CTY's distance math and computer science and technology, and science courses below the AP level except for Forensics and Inventions are individually paced, and students can request to start at any time of the year. Students enroll for a period of time ( 3, 6, or 9 months) and can work at their own speed under the guidance of their instructor. If students complete a course with at least 5 days enrollment time remaining, they can advance to the next course to finish their enrollment period. If students do not complete the course, they can re-enroll and pay for additional time. The Intro to Forensics and Inventions in Engineering courses are both session-based, so the courses start and end according to their session's schedule. See the course calendar for start and end dates and for application deadlines.

Courses in writing, grammar, critical reading, world language, visual literacy, and all AP courses except AP Calculus are also session-based with specific start and end dates.  See the course calendar for start and end dates, and application deadlines. (AP Calculus courses are offered as individually paced courses that students may start at any time.)

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Q: What are the costs?

A: Please see the Tuition and Fees page.

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Q: Can I get credit for my course?

A. Please see Credit or Placement page.

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Q: How can I obtain a record of my CTYOnline distance education participation?

A: Course completion documents are sent to each student who successfully completes a course. Final Grade Reports may be issued upon request for all students who take CTYOnline courses in their schools. In addition, CTY offers an Official Academic Record that indicates all of the student's participation within CTY. There is a $5.00 fee per record sent. If you do not need an Official Academic Record, you can also print out the student's unofficial academic record by logging into MyCTY as a Parent, selecting Student Participation, and clicking on the button on the right that reads "unofficial academic record."

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Q: Can students in individually paced courses take a break and postpone their enrollment?

A: Yes. Students who are unable to work on an individually paced course because of a vacation, illness, or camp can postpone their enrollment for breaks of seven days or longer. Parents must log into MyCTY, select Student Participation, and then Submit Postponement. The course is placed on hold, and the end date is adjusted when the student returns to the course. If parents do not know their MyCTY login information, select the "Forgot Your Password" link or call the CTY Information Office at 410-735-6277 during business hours. Session-based courses cannot be postponed.

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Q: What is Pizza Party?

A. CTYOnline's Pizza Party is an online discussion group where CTYOnline students can talk about books, movies, music, and philosophy -- whatever. Gentle monitoring is provided to enforce reasonable rules of good taste and appropriate behavior.

There are four grade groupings.
Grades 2 - 3
Grades 4 - 6
Grades 7 - 8
Grades 9 - 12

 In order to participate, the student's parent must "opt in" using the Pizza Party online form.The parent will need the student's CTY ID number, and email messages will be sent to confirm the choice.

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Math, Science, Computer Science and Technology FAQs

STEM

What are individually paced courses?

How do we choose which course to take?

How is content delivered?

Can students in grades Pre K-1 become eligible?

How long does it take to complete a course?

What if time is up and the course is not finished?

What if there is still time remaining when the course is completed?

Can students complete a course that typically takes 6 month in 3 months or 9 months instead?

Can students take a break and postpone their enrollment?

How will course progress be documented?

How quickly after registration will the course begin?

Once my child is assigned a course start date, can I postpone to start the course on a later date?

We received course materials. Can we start immediately?

Although my enrollment has not started yet, can I log in to make sure that everything is working properly?

What should I do if I have trouble logging into my individually paced course?

How important is parent participation?

What is the Web-Based Whiteboard?

What if the student is also attending a CTY summer program?


Q: What are individually paced courses?

A: Math, computer science, and science courses below the AP level are individually paced EXCEPT Intro to Forensics and Inventions in Engineering. Students may start individually paced courses at any time during the year and progress at their own pace during their enrollment time. Enrollment and tuition for individually paced courses are time based, and students may enroll in a course for three, six, or nine months. [Since Intro to Forensics, Inventions in Engineering, and the AP science courses are session-based, students in these courses must apply by the application deadlines and begin and end their courses according to set schedules.]


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Q: How do we choose which course to take?

A: See the chart Choosing an Appropriate Math Course. Course descriptions and detailed curricula are also available online. In addition, CTY qualified CTY students may register for online placement testing for math and several computer science courses at https://ctyjhu.org/surveys/placement/math.cfm

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Q: How is content delivered?

A: Courses are delivered either online or in multimedia classrooms unless otherwise stated. Some courses require the purchase of textbooks. See course descriptions for details. Students and instructors communicate via email, phone, and interactive virtual classrooms. Instructors track student progress and reply to individual student needs.

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Q: Can students in grades Pre K-1 become eligible?

A: Many Pre K-1 students take CTYOnline distance education courses. See CTYOnline Eligibility Requirements.

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Q: How long does it take to complete a course?

A: The time it takes to complete a course varies greatly depending upon the course and the student. Each course description contains a suggested period of time for course completion. Most students complete a course in three to six months. Generally, students need three to five hours per week for lessons, problem sets, instructor correspondence, and homework.

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Q: What if time is up and the course is not finished?

A: Students can extend time for one or more months online, through MyCTY, under "Manage Enrollments."

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Q: What if there is still time remaining when the course is completed?

A: Students who complete a course with five or more days remaining in their enrollment are advanced to the next most appropriate course after receiving the grade  for the course just completed. Students can work on this course until their enrollment period ends. Many students who are advanced into a course choose to extend their time for one or more months in order to complete the additional course.

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Q: Can students complete a course that typically takes 6 month in 3 months or 9 months instead?

A: Students may enroll for any individually paced course for 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months because individually paced courses are designed to be completed at the student's pace. Many courses, such as Honors Algebra I, Honors Algebra II, Honors Precalculus with Trigonometry, and AP Calculus AB and BC provide schedules showing students the pace they need to follow to complete a course in 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months.

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Q: Can students take a break and postpone their enrollment?

A: Yes. Students who are unable to work on an individually paced course because of a vacation, illness, camp, or other reason can postpone their enrollment for breaks of seven days or longer. Parents must log intoMyCTY, select Student Participation, and then Submit Postponement. The course is placed on hold, and the end date is adjusted when the student returns to the course. Parents who do not know their MyCTY login information may select the "Forgot Your Password" link or call the CTY Information Office at 410-735-6277 during business hours.

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Q: How will course progress be documented?

A: Once enrolled, students engage in regular assessments to determine mastery of concepts. Course management systems allow instructors to document student achievement. Course completion documents, which include a grade, are sent to each student who successfully completes a course.

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Q: How quickly after registration will the course begin?

A: After the receipt of a student's application, at least two weeks are required to process the registration, assign an instructor, and send out course materials.

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Q: Once my child is assigned a course start date, can I postpone to start the course on a later date?

A: Yes. MyCTY allows you to postpone your child's individually paced distance education course. Log into MyCTY as Parent, choose Student Participation, then Submit Postponement.

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Q: We received course materials. Can we start immediately?

A: No. Due to the high volume of enrollments during our peak summer period, we are not able to change starting dates administratively. A delay of two weeks (at the minimum) between registration and starting date is unavoidable during our peak summer months for individually paced courses. Since the courses are self-paced, however, students may still be able to make their personal deadlines for completing a course if they are motivated and work hard during the time available to them. Parents can, however, postpone starting dates by logging into MyCTY as a Parent, choosing "Student Participation," and submitting a postponement until the desired starting date.

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Q: Although my enrollment has not started yet, can I log in to make sure that everything is working properly?

A: You will not be able to access the course before the enrollment start date.

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Q: What should I do if I have trouble logging into my individually paced course?

A: First, assuming that you are trying to begin your course on or past your start date, refer to the Quick Start Guide (which contains essential information, including course logins) and your Assignment letter (which contains access codes). If you are still unable to log into your course, email your instructor at the address given in your Assignment letter and describe your problem. If the instructor is not able to help,  review the information on the Support page, and if you are still having problems, fill out the Technical Support form found at the bottom of the Support page.

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Q: How important is parent participation?

A: It is appropriate for parents to assist students with their course and to help students maintain an acceptable rate of progress. We request parental support to ensure that tests are taken and submitted promptly. In an effort to foster independent learning and inquiry, we ask parents to encourage students to communicate with their instructor. Younger students may need some assistance using a computer.

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Q: What is the Web-Based Whiteboard?


A: Students in math, physics, and computer science courses have access to the online virtual classroom. Here students can interact with our instructors in real-time using a common, dynamic, graphical palette. The virtual classroom includes the ability to insert special mathematical symbols, expressions, and graphs. To learn more about the virtual classroom, view a demo.

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Q: What if the student is also attending a CTY Summer Program?

A: Students enrolled in a CTYOnline individually paced program during their CTY Summer Program session should postpone their distance education enrollment through MyCTY under "Student Participation" for the time they are away.

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Advanced Placement FAQs 

AP  

Are CTYOnline AP courses approved by the College Board?

How much does it cost to take an AP course?

Do CTYOnline AP science courses include labs?

When are CTY's AP courses offered?

Why do students enroll in AP courses and take AP exams?

How many AP courses can a student take?

Can students take an AP course for review and not for a grade?

Where can I take the AP exams?

Can I take a vacation during my CTYOnline AP course?

How can I get more information about the AP tests?

What codes should CTYOnline students enter on their College Board AP application forms?


Q: Are CTYOnline AP courses approved by the College Board?

A: All CTYOnline AP courses have been reviewed and approved by the College Board to use the "AP" designation. To view the College Board’s AP Course Ledger listing all AP courses offered world wide that were reviewed by the Advanced Placement Program Audit and are authorized to include the “AP” designation, visit https://apcourseaudit.epiconline.org/ledger/index.php and type in "Center for Talented Youth at Johns Hopkins University" as the high school name.

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Q: How much does it cost to take an AP course?

A: Please see the Tuition and Fees page.


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Q.  Do CTYOnline AP science courses include labs?

A. CTYOnline AP science courses include 20-25 (depending on the course) "hybrid labs."  Our Hybrid labs include both hands-on experiments that students can safely perform at home with easy to obtain materials and virtual experiments for components of the labs that would not be feasible for students to do at home. Our virtual experiments are real experiments (not simulations), and each student's results differ according to the accuracy and precision of his or her data-gathering techniques. Students who enroll in our AP Chemistry courses must purchase a chemistry kit containing chemicals and instruments necessary for the hands-on experiments. This combined hands-on and virtual approach allows students to develop practical skills in manipulating instruments and materials and to perform multiple trials of lab procedures that would be dangerous, costly, and time-consuming in the physical lab. In CTYOnline AP science courses, students perform all of the labs on which they will be tested on the AP exam.

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Q: When are CTYOnline AP courses offered?


A: All CTYOnline AP courses, except AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics, are offered in the session-based format, with specific start and end dates. All courses are offered for a 30-week academic year session; most are also offered during intensive 12-week spring and summer sessions. Students receive a course schedule specifying due dates for assignments and tests. See the AP Calendar for specific start and end dates.

AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics follow the program guidelines for CTYOnline distance math courses, which are individually paced. Students may enroll in AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Statistics at any time during the year.  Students intending to take one of the AP exams should enroll by early January at the latest to allow enough time to complete the course before the AP tests in May.

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Q: Why do students enroll in AP courses and take AP exams?

A: Students who undertake AP level course work in high school demonstrate their readiness for college-level work and their willingness to tackle challenging academic material. Many universities and colleges award advanced standing or credit for college-level courses based on the scores a students achieves on AP tests taken in high school. Depending on the university's policies, the student may be able to begin studying the subject at a higher level or be awarded credit that will count toward a degree with that university. Policies about awards, advanced standing, and required AP scores vary by university. Some AP courses also prepare students to take SAT Subject Tests.

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Q: How many AP courses can a student take?


A: CTYOnline AP courses are demanding and require a significant time commitment (For example, AP Physics requires 20 hours per week during spring and summer). Students should not attempt more than one AP course at a time. Students considering higher course loads should first confer with program administration by emailing ctyonline@jhu.edu before registering.

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Q: Can students take an AP course for review and not for a grade?

A: Although the tuition is the same, students can request to audit an AP course. Students on audit status do not receive a grade for the course, and the course is not listed on their CTY Official Academic Record. Students must discuss this option with their instructor during the first two weeks of their AP course.

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Q: Where can I take the AP exams?

A: Many students arrange to take the AP exams in their own high schools. Other students contact the College Board before March 1st to find the names and locations of other organizations offering the exams and make special arrangements before March 15th. Finally, CTY students can arrange to take their AP exams in CTY's Mt. Washington, Maryland location. No matter which location, all students must take the AP exams during the official AP testing dates set by the College Board.

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Q: Can I take a vacation during my AP course?

A: In general, students who are unable to participate in an AP course for an extended period of time are discouraged from applying for that session. Students who will be away for a vacation (one week or less) should let the instructor know as early in the session as possible. The instructor will try to work with them to arrange a schedule for make up assignments.

Students in the individually paced AP Calculus courses are the exception to this general rule. AP Calculus students can “postpone” their time while away through MyCTY. Postponement requests cannot be made retroactively, by phone, email, or through the student’s instructor. Postponed time will be added onto the end of the course enrollment time.

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Q: How can I get more information about the AP tests?

A: The College Board offers Advanced Placement Examinations each May. You must register and pay a fee for each test. Contact the College Board for information about registration and testing dates, fees, and application information.

Please begin this process early. Students considering applying to specific colleges or universities may want to review those institutions' AP credit policies. Information about the SAT Subject Tests is also available from collegeboard.com, where a List of Test Dates is posted.

Students considering applying to specific colleges or universities may want to review those institutions' AP Credit Policies.

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Q: What codes should CTYOnline students enter on their College Board AP application forms?

A:  The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Online Provider Code (Item G on the AP application) is 062. The School Code (Item X on the AP application) is 992101.

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Arabic, Chinese, Spanish Language FAQs

World Language

Who is eligible to take World Language courses?

When can I take a World Language course?

How does the World Language program work?

What is the time commitment for World Language courses?

What happens if I miss a class?

What is the schedule of due dates?

Can a student enroll in a CTYOnline World Language course that overlaps with a CTY Summer Program course?
 


Q. Who is eligible to take World Language courses?

A. Students must have either a qualifying reading/verbal score or qualifying math score  on the appropriate test to be eligible for World Language courses. Students with qualifying scores who are unsure which world language course to take may request a placement test from CTY to ensure proper placement. Email ctyonline@jhu.edu with the student's full name, CTY ID number, and the world language for which the student desires correct placement.

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Q. When can I take a World Language course?

A. See the course calendar for starting dates and application deadlines.

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Q. How does the World Language program work?

A. Course materials include multimedia CD-ROMs and text materials that must be purchased by students, and students interact with instructors in virtual classrooms using high speed Internet. Courses are tailored to age groups, with separate courses with age-appropriate materials for grades 2-6, and for grades 7-12. The courses are session-based, and students will have many opportunities to stay in touch with their classmates to continue to develop their language skills. The course website includes the complete syllabus, extensive multimedia learning materials, quizzes, tests, gradebook, recordings of the virtual classroom sessions available for review, messaging capabilities, discussion forums, calendars, and more.

Students log into the real time, virtual classroom led by an instructor twice a week for one hour sessions. Students have two individualized conversation practices with instructors (15 minutes) and teaching assistants (30 minutes) each week using telephone  or voice over IP (Skype). These practice sessions emphasize everyday conversational speaking, role-playing, and pronunciation.The virtual classroom includes audio and video interaction with live video of the instructor, audio, web tours, chat, polling, and many other features to enhance online learning. Using Broadband internet access, students use their headsets or microphones and speakers to interact with instructors and classmates.

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Q. What is the time commitment for World Language courses?

A. Students should expect to spend at least 5 - 6 hours per week during the 12 week course. 

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Q. What happens if I miss a class?

A: All world language classes are recorded, and you can find the recording link in the course website. After a student who misses a class reviews the recording, the instructor will answer any questions and help the student to catch up with any missed topics.

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Q: What is the schedule of due dates?

A: World language courses are all session-based, and they begin and end on specified dates. Instructors provide students with a syllabus containing the schedule for any tests, quizzes, or homework assignments. 

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Q. Can a student enroll in a CTYOnline World Language course that overlaps with a CTY Summer Program course?

A: No. Students attending a CTY summer residential program cannot participate in any distance course during the same time period. Students who will be away at other camps or on vacation for extended periods with no access to a computer or the Internet should also not register for a session-based course that overlaps with the absence. 

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Writing, Grammar, Critical Reading, Music, and Visual Literacy FAQs

Humanities

How does the writing series work?

How do the language arts courses work?

Where should I start?

What formats are offered?

What are the hours for writing and language arts courses?

Can a student take a CTYOnline writing or language arts course at the same time as a vacation or a CTY Summer Program course?

What if I have a summer vacation planned?

 Is it possible to take a math, science, or computer science individually paced course and a session-based writing or language arts course at the same time?

How is work evaluated?

Q: How does the writing series work?

A: Students submit work according to a set schedule. Instructors comment thoroughly on the work, mixing praise with constructive criticism. Students apply these extensive comments to the next step in that project. Both exchange letters about each others' comments, creating a conversation between instructor and student not only about the work but also about the process of doing the work. Web-based courses include peer review workshops of student work and/or peer discussions of readings, fostering a richly interactive community.

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Q: How do the language arts courses work?

A: Art Meets Science and the Young Readers Series involve substantial reading and written discussions of texts. Students typically read, discuss, and write at least every other day (academic year & early summer) or daily (intensive midsummer).

The Art Meets Science courses also include a writing workshop in which the instructor and peers offer constructive criticism.

In the Building Blocks and From Structure to Style, students work with the instructors in an online collaborative community to learn about grammar usage and the application of this knowledge to their own writing. Grammar Fundamentals covers a broad range of topics to meet current middle-school grammar standards and reinforces lessons with online grammar games, puzzles, tests, and written assignments.

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Q: Where should I start?

A: Students with qualifying verbal scores should review the course descriptions for students in your grade level, paying special attention to the sample assignments and detailed course information, before deciding which course is the best fit. Writing and language arts student new to CTYOnline should choose courses that list no prerequisites other than a qualifying SCAT, SAT, or ACT score.

Several courses require completion of other CTYOnline or CTY summer program courses as additional prerequisites and are intended for students returning to the program. A few writing courses have different prerequisites, so please review the course descriptions carefully.

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Q: What formats are offered?

A: Language Arts courses are web-based, and all instruction takes place in a web classroom.

Several writing courses offer a choice between Email or Web-based formats and others also offer a flexi-paced alternative. See course descriptions.

We set the schedule

    Email: Students and instructors exchange letters and assignments via email, and students can query their instructor via email during the writing process. This format is best for independent, well organized students whose other commitments limit their available time. The early summer session's relaxed schedule is almost entirely email courses.

    Web-based: Students interact with their instructors in a web classroom, and some lessons require pre-writing exercises in addition to essays. Also, this format includes mandatory writers' workshops and/or discussions in which students comment upon each others' work and thoughts. This format is best for students who enjoy computer-mediated interaction, relish sharing their writing with an audience, and can commit adequate time to the work (see time commitment, below). Please review technical requirements.

You set the schedule

    Flexi-paced: Students start the course on a set date and develop with their instructors a schedule to complete the course within the next nine months. Students submit one assignment at a time, allowing instructors two weeks to review and provide feedback before moving on to the next unit. Although the flexi-paced format provides considerable flexibility, students must manage their time carefully to avoid rushing at the end of the course. The Process of Writing, Writing for an Audience, Crafting the Essay, and Writing Analysis & Persuasion are offered in the flexi-paced format.

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Q: What is the time commitment for these courses?

A: Students need not be online at a specific time. They can post and read messages in the web-based classrooms at any convenient time as long as they finish work by the deadline.

The critical reading, grammar, and visual fluency courses require about three hours a week of work.

The time needed to devote to writing courses varies according to the format.

Email writing students should expect to commit two hours weekly (academic year), three and a half hours weekly (early summer), or one hour and a half daily (intensive midsummer).

Web-based writing students should expect to commit three hours weekly (academic year), five hours weekly (early summer), or two hours daily (intensive midsummer).

Flexi-paced writing students should expect to spend about four hours per assignment.

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Q: Can a student take a CTYOnline intensive midsummer course in writing or language arts at the same time as a vacation or a CTY Summer Programs course?

A: No. Because the midsummer writing and language arts courses are intensive versions of our fall and spring courses, students will have 1.5 to 2 hours of coursework each week day. This time commitment is not feasible when a student is also on vacation, at camp, or in a CTY summer program. Students enrolled in CTY Summer Programs must schedule their CTYOnline writing or language arts courses for a different time period or may choose the flexi-paced format, if available.

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Q: What if I have a summer vacation planned?

A: Most early summer session (12 weeks long) courses allow for two weeks total vacation, scheduled at the student's convenience. Notify the instructor at the course's start. When not on vacation, students must meet scheduled due dates. Students who make up their work can finish their courses in ten weeks, and students in the Young Readers’ courses are particularly encouraged to try to keep up with their classmates whenever possible. If in doubt, please contact us before applying at ctyonline@jhu.edu. Learn more details about the summer sessions and see sample summer schedules for writing and language arts courses at www.cty.jhu.edu/ctyonline/writing/calendar.html

Q: Is it possible to take a math, science, or computer science individually paced course and a session-based writing or language arts course at the same time?

A: Yes. Keep in mind that each course requires a substantial time commitment; thus, it may be difficult to combine two CTYOnline courses with a busy schedule of homework and extra-curricular activities. Students may take both types of courses at the same time if they receive both a qualifying math score and a qualifying verbal score on the appropriate test.

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Q: How is work evaluated?

    Writing courses

        Instructors write a lengthy commentary on every assignment. Instead of "A+ Great Work!" Instructors' comments may be up to a page long! View samples of Crafting the Essay student work and instructor critiques.

            Assignment, Student Essay, and Instructor Critique
            Another Student Essay and Instructor Response
            Award-Winning Student Essay

    Language Arts courses

        Reflecting a dual emphasis on discussion and on writing, instructor comments assess your efforts in both these areas. Participation in discussions is mandatory, and feedback about your participation and your writing is provided on an ongoing basis.

    Final evaluations for all courses

        About six weeks after the course’s end, you’ll receive a detailed descriptive evaluation of performance.  This evaluation focuses on aca­demic performance, progress, and effort. The evaluation is addressed to you (the student) and written in a formal tone.

        Topics discussed in the evaluation are content-centered and are specific.  Educators are able to recognize the high level of work and to measure student achievement by their own standards.  Letter grades are not given, but we can provide them if your parent or guardian makes a written request.

        Accompanying the final evaluation is a Certificate of Participation, a course description, and advice about credit and placement.

        The Center for Talented Youth is accredited for grades 5 through 12 by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215-662-5603).

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CTYOnline News and Deadlines�

  • April 13th is application deadline for Arabic, Chinese, and Spanish Readers' courses that begin May 5th. Apply now.
  • Students may enroll ANYTIME for individually paced math, computer science and technology, and most science courses, and start in approximately two weeks.
  • Math and/or verbal qualifiers may enroll in four Young Readers' courses: Wild Things, Robot Encounters, In Search Of, and The Right Stuff.
  • Math and/or verbal qualifiers in grades 7-9 may enroll in new Young Adult Readers' course, Dangerous Games and Rebellions beginning this summer.
"Our son has been involved with JHU-CTY for six years; CTY has been very important in augmenting his education."