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The Scholars Program

Clubs and organizations 2 March 2018

The Scholars Program provides extra support to CATS’ top students

David O’Donnell, Scholars Program Coordinator and Chair of the Social Sciences Department talks about the scheme

Students on the program have the opportunity to visit world-leading institutions, such as MIT and Boston University, attending talks by eminent speakers on a range of subjects. They also take trips to museums, art galleries, the theater and concerts and enjoy social events as a group. 

David O’Donnell has coordinated the program for three years and he feels that idea of going off campus “in small groups”, to “have dinner and go to an event is really something that appeals to these students.” David is clear to point out that the main purpose of the program is to “offer our top students a different experience than just learning in the traditional, conventional classroom.”

At CATS Academy Boston we look to further encourage the students who are committed to their learning and acknowledge their commitment. As David says "there are “students who want to do extra, who are deeply into learning” and “that is what we are looking for in the Scholars Program.” 

Prospective scholars have to apply for a place on the program and the selection process is determined by the students’ good character, academic excellence, and for demonstrating a continuing commitment to learning.  

The Scholars Program supports the curriculum

David O'Donnell:

“Last year we saw the Chair of the Department of Government at Harvard University speak about the relationship between Putin and Obama. He also took the time to talk us through the history of Russian−US relations over the past 100 years. Students loved it."

“We have a strong program of social science electives covering history and economics (US History and World History, through to Advanced Placement (AP) Economics, AP World History and AP US History). The talks we attend relate to these subjects and the curriculum. And when we teach the courses we focus not just on the past, but how these events are relevant today."

The benefits of joining the Scholars Program

The program provides the means for students to visualize their future study options while getting to know fellow scholars and teachers. The teachers have been through the college application process themselves and many to universities and colleges in Massachusetts, so they identify with the students, they value their ambition to secure a place at a top college or university and can share their insights on the application process.

David O’Donnell:

“One big secret about the Scholars Program is how much the students enjoy the libraries on the campuses they visit. Usually, the Scholars are supposed to visit a college library for one hour, but they always ask to stay longer."

Maya Stoilova, Grade 10, Bulgaria:

“We get to know the teachers more on these trips, It’s more personal, important information is passed on informally, like how to succeed in subjects that are difficult. 

“I used to find American colleges confusing because there are so many, and such a variety. But after several Scholars trips this year I now know I want to study Economics & Psychology at a liberal arts college, like Williams College. I like the idea of small classes, working closely with professors, near the mountains."

Hugo Yao, Grade 11, Hong Kong:

“These trips build better communication between teachers and students."

Scholars at Williams College

Scholars outside Williams College, Massachusetts

This year the Scholars took six day-trips to colleges: Williams College, Boston University, Harvard University, Connecticut College, Endicott College, Wellesley College, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Next year, the Scholars have planned an overnight trip to New York to see Cornell University, New York University and Fordham University as well as day trips to Boston College, Babson College, Olin College of Engineering, Tufts University, and Bowdoin College.

The Scholars Program has been a great success since its inception three years ago. It is a big investment for CATS Academy and the rewards should be evident long into the future.


Find out more about our Scholars Program here.

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