Tarsus American College
|Tarsus American College|
Leaders for Turkey, Leadership for the World
|Tarsus, Mersin, Turkey|
Tarsus American College or Tarsus American School (official Turkish name: Özel Tarsus Amerikan Lisesi, also known as Tarsus Amerikan Koleji) is a private coeducational high school located in Tarsus, Province of Mersin, Turkey. It is known for the success of its alumni throughout the world. The Economist (1994) noted that Tarsus American School is in the top ten schools in Turkey, due mainly to the success of its graduates. The school maintains a respective fellowship system, in which all students in the school know each other and have strong bonds.
The college was established in 1888 under the name "St. Paul's Institute at Tarsus" after an idea of US newspaper publisher Elliot Fitch Shepard to build an institution in dedication to "St. Paul" during his visit to Tarsus.
In its first years, the school had close contact with the American Board Foundation, a charity organization located in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Alexander Mac Lachlan and presbyterian missionary Harutyun Stephen Cenanyan (25 April 1858, Maraş, Turkey – 25 September 1907, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), a graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, served as the first school administrators until 1891, Thomas Davidson Christie from 1893 to 1920.
Regarding Burke Library alumni records of Union Theological Seminary, dates of Jenanyan's birth and death are given. In addition, the record credited him as founder of St. Paul's Institute.
Education was carried out in the school's first building "Shepard Hall". Mr. Vanderpool, a US citizen, made a large donation in memory of this mother for a much needed building. "Stickler Hall" was once the tallest building in Tarsus with its five stories. Since its construction in 1911 it has been the symbol of Tarsus American College.
The school was called both "St. Paul's Institute at Tarsus" and "Tarsus American College" between 1911 and 1928. Since 1930 the name has been solely Tarsus American College.
Coeducation started in 1979 with 35 girls joining the student body of 506 boys. In 1986, the school graduates its first coed alumni. The same year, the boarding section, available from the preparatory class, was closed until its reopening for boys in 2002.
1888 "St.Paul's Institute at Tarsus " starts its education with eight students. In the first years, it has contact with the American Board Foundation, a charity organization located in Boston, Massachusetts . Between 1888 and 1891 the first school administrators are Alexander Mac Lachlan and Hartune S. Jenanyan. St. Paul 's Institute starts to become familiar, serving the academic needs of Tarsus and its surroundings. 1888-1911 instruction is carried out in the school's first building "Shepard Hall".
1911 Stickler Hall, which is a symbol of TAC today, is added to the campus. The construction of Stickler Hall starts in 1905 by a $10,000 donation from an American citizen, Mr. Vanderpool. "Stickler" got its name from Mrs. Vanderpool's mother. The building, whose construction was completed in 1911, is five stories tall. It was once the tallest building in Tarsus, with a height of 21 meters. Stickler Hall stands out with its high roof reflecting a triangle on every side.
Between the years 1911-1928, the school was known as St. Paul's College and as Tarsus College. The school had to endure difficult times in the First World War, and ultimately was entitled to be a high school / lycée governed by the Turkish Republic in 1928, under an administration led by Mr. Woolworth.
1930 The school graduates its first alumni under the name " Tarsus American College "
1954 "Friendship Hall " building opens.
1960 "Unity Hall " building opens.
1963 Senior year students known as the Legendary Class of 63 refused to participate in their commencement ceremony to receive their diplomas, along with rejection to participate in any social activity, due to a conflict with the school administration. Their move was supported by the whole student body, and with official permission from the Governor, organized a March to the Ataturk Monument, the first of its kind in the history of Tarsus, and placed a black wrath, to protest the School Administration. The School Administration came to terms with this Legendary Class and organized a graduation ceremony for them in the year 2000.
1979 The school starts co-ed education. Alongside 506 boys, there are 35 girls in the student body.
1983 The school graduates its first coed alumni.
1985 The school graduates its last all boys alumni.
1986 The boarding section, available from the preparatory year, is closed.
1988 "Centennial Hall " construction is completed and opened to service
1989 "Sadık Paşa Konağı" is rented and starts to be used as an annex to the school buildings.
1990 Maynard Hall is added to the school campus.
1997 The renovation of Stickler building, the symbol of he school, begins. After the law of eight years of primary education becomes effective, the middle school section is removed. Meanwhile, a preparatory year is added to the high school / lycée section. The Health and Education Foundation opens the Tarsus SEV Elementary School to fill the gap of a middle school.
1999 Stickler Hall, which was not used for some time, is re-opened for use.
2002 The school re-launches its boarding section for boys.
2003–2004 TAC initiates a four-year high school / lycée program. Today the school provides its students with modern academics through its laboratories, multi-functional sports hall, sports complexes, auditorium and libraries.
Tarsus American College offers its students qualified education with options. TAC is authorized to offer the IB Diploma Programme since November 2004, the programme is taught in English.
Student life in TAC
The academic programs constitute the skeleton of the school's work, but other programs are available. These other programs are:
Activities and Clubs
Tarsus American College hosts a brotherhood system among students.
Every student from the Prep class to grade 11, is required to take part in a club activity each week. The activity period is the last session on Wednesday afternoon. To oversee the activities of clubs, there is an activity coordinator who oversees the matching of students in clubs at the start of the year and who also helps the administration to monitor attendance of the clubs as well as monitoring the quality of work undertaken by the clubs. He/she is responsible for the reservation and use of the auditorium, for the provision of service buses where necessary and to help guide teachers through the process of getting official approval from the local Ministry of Education Office for trips outside the school.
Club targets could be a production as in a drama club or music club or the publication of a work by students, a writing club or a magazine club or it could include attendance at a certain number of debating conferences or competitions in the case of the Debate Club or Model United Nations and so on.
Attendance to clubs during school time is obligatory. The activities in clubs to be offered in the 2006-2007 academic year are as follows: