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Selecting Courses

Active Learning

Classes at the CTY program allow students to work at a challenging pace, explore topics in depth, and develop new skills while studying subjects that students their age often do not get the opportunity to pursue.  Students report that the summer program experience gives them a better picture of their own academic abilities and potential, helps them to develop better work and study habits, and refines their educational goals.

All classes have twenty or fewer students and instructors expect students to participate actively in all aspects of class. Students write extensively, engage complex problems in their discipline, and put knowledge to use in independent and creative ways. The atmosphere in classes is casual but intense. Students who take intellectual risks and approach their classes with energy and creativity benefit greatly from these classes.  

Interest in the Subject

As your child reads through the course descriptions, some may immediately sound interesting. Others may be unfamiliar. One of the benefits of the program is the opportunity for children to discover new interests. If your child would like to know more about a particular course, you can:

  • Read the course descriptions and the syllabus
  • Help your child look at the sample texts. Though the texts change every year, the books can indicate whether or not the subject interests your child, and give you a sense of the level of the course.
  • If you have more detailed questions about a specific course, please call 410-735-6277 or email and ask to speak to the summer programs staff member responsible for that course.

Acceleration and Enrichment

Some courses offered at this program enable students to accelerate in their chosen subject, for example Fast-Paced Upper School Chemistry. Students and families should verify with a school administrator whether acceleration is allowed in the student’s home school. If acceleration is not possible, students may benefit more by taking an enrichment course like Introduction to the Biomedical Sciences or Cryptology. In enrichment courses, students are exposed to academic material that they would not normally encounter until college. In these courses, students explore new disciplines and gain knowledge and skills that will complement their home school curriculum.


Rather than assign grades, instructors in these classes write detailed evaluations describing each student’s progress and achievements in the course and outlining areas for further growth. If students want to inquire about receiving credit in their home schools, families should work with the principal or guidance counselor. Remember that only your school can make a decision about credit or placement.

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