Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science
|Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science|
|Type||Early Entrance to College Program|
|Director||Ronald G. Keller|
|Address||600 Park Street
Hays, KS 67601
The Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) is a two-year, residential, early-entrance-to-college program for high school juniors and seniors who are academically talented in the areas of mathematics and science. Located on the Fort Hays State University campus in Hays, Kansas, students concurrently complete their last two years of high school while earning 68 college credits.
The Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science (KAMS) was established by legislative action in 2006 by the Kansas legislature. The establishment of this program stemmed from national concern regarding anticipated shortages of students who would be sufficiently well prepared in mathematical and scientific problem solving. Recognizing that American youth would need to compete in an increasingly technological global society, Kansas is the 16th state to create alternative educational programs that would attract students to the fields of mathematics and science as well as offer young students an accelerated education in these areas of study.
Fort Hays State University, part of the Kansas Board of Regents system, was chosen to host the Academy after an extensive bid process. After finding a home, a planning committee worked to develop and shape the Academy including securing resources, hiring staff, promoting the Academy throughout the state, and recruiting students. In August 2009, KAMS opened its doors to the first class of 26 students.
Information Sessions throughout the state and a Preview Day on the FHSU campus occur in the fall, and completed applications are due in February. KAMS uses criteria such as ACT/SAT scores, cumulative GPA, class rank, teacher evaluations, personal interviews, essays, and short answer questions in its admissions process to select high school sophomores who are most likely to succeed in an academically challenging environment. KAMS currently selects approximately 30 Kansas students per class, with the option to admit a number of international students as well.
KAMS students participate in a fun engineering activity in the residence hall. KAMS students are expected to earn 68 college credit hours over the two-year academic program. Students must complete both years to successfully complete the program. Courses are taught by doctoral level professors at Fort Hays State University. Courses include the subject areas of calculus, geometry, chemistry, physics, biology, computer science, english/communication, history, leadership, and a unique global climate change course that all students take together. Students may also be able to take elective courses (such as band, music, theatre, foreign language, etc.) as long as the required core curriculum is met.
Grade progress reports are sent home periodically throughout the semester. Student must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 to avoid being put on academic probation, wherein steps are taken to boost the student's academic performance. If a student is unable to improve performance after being put on probation, they are returned to their sending high school.
All KAMS students are required to engage in an extensive and intensive research project to successfully complete the program. Students are exposed to various research opportunities both on the FHSU campus and nationwide. Students select their topic and are assigned a mentor in the spring of their junior year. Work is completed throughout the rest of their KAMS experience culminating in a research paper and display presentation at the end of their senior year.
As a residential program, students live in a residence hall on the FHSU campus that has been designated for KAMS. Meal plans are required for all students. Males and females live on separate wings. The building and wings themselves require key and swipe card access to gain admittance. Students must check in and out of campus whenever leaving. Professional staff live in residence with the students to supervise them while they are out of class, as well as provide developmental and social programming.
Clubs and organizations
While the academic demands of the Academy are great, there is time to participate and become involved in many of the student clubs and organizations through FHSU. Popular groups include the Astronomy Club and Student Government Association. Students also become involved in groups off campus.
KAMS students are expected to be involved and give back to their community, as well as the state of Kansas at large. Volunteering and community service is an important aspect to being a KAMS student. Group events as well as individual efforts are vital to success as KAMS.