Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science

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For other uses, see Tams (disambiguation).
Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science
Location
Denton, Texas, United States
Information
Type Residential Public
Established 1987
Dean Dr. Richard Sinclair
Grades 11th and 12th
Enrollment 376
Campus size 869 acres (3.3 km²)
Campus type Suburban
Website

The Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science ("TAMS") is a two-year residential early entrance college program serving approximately 375 students at the University of North Texas.[1] Students are admitted from every region of the state.[2] TAMS is a member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology.

TAMS was established in 1987 by the Texas legislature, in order to provide high school students seeking careers in math, science, and engineering an opportunity to take advanced coursework.[3][4] TAMS operates wholly within the University of North Texas.[5] Students take UNT classes for their two years at TAMS, and graduate with a TAMS high school diploma, as well as a UNT college transcript with a minimum of 57 hours of transferable college credits.[6]

Admissions[edit]

Applicants are limited to Texas residents who are sophomores in high school.[7] Applicants must complete Algebra II prior to admission and must take the SAT no later than January of their sophomore year.[8] Selected applicants are then invited to interview at one of TAMS's "Interview Days."[9] During Interview Day, applicants take algebra diagnostic tests.[10]

Admission Policy Critique[edit]

TAMS only admits high school juniors, thereby failing to fulfill its mission as mandated by Texas Education Code, Section 105.301. TAMS is required "to identify exceptionally gifted and intelligent high school students at the junior and senior levels and offer them a challenging education to maximize their development". [11]

The courses offered are not entirely college level. One example is the Pre-Calculus course. Although it is a college level course, it is offered in every high school in Texas. It may be needed for some majors, such as sociology or business. But any math and science majors should take Pre-Calculus in high school. Not requiring it as a pre-requisite artificially inflates the credit hour statistics and limits the opportunities for the truly advanced math and science students.

Recently, TAMS changed its website to state it would give priority to incoming juniors, but would consider exceptions. According to the Director of Admissions, the exceptions are for younger students, not seniors. [12]


Academics[edit]

Core subjects required for graduation include biology, chemistry, physics (mechanics and electromagnetism), mathematics (precalculus and calculus), English literature, US history, and political science.[13] Students are also required to attend a biweekly seminar, which includes presentations covering academic topics like research opportunities and nonacademic topics.

All core courses must be taken at TAMS/UNT during the fall and spring semesters. The minimum cumulative GPA required for graduation is 3.0. Students whose GPA drops below this threshold are put on academic probation, and may be dismissed.[14]

Tuition and fees[edit]

TAMS students are responsible for paying for room and board in McConnell Hall and $1300 program charge.[15][16] Thirty percent of students receive financial aid to defray costs.[17] UNT tuition, books, and all other fees are paid for by the TAMS program. Funding for TAMS is provided through a special appropriations bill and with support from the Foundation School Fund.[18]


Research, scholarships, and awards[edit]

Students at TAMS are encouraged to take the opportunity of conducting research under the guidance of a professor either on or off-campus during the school year as well as the summer.[19] The TAMS Summer Research Scholarship is offered to about 60 students per year to fund these research pursuits.[20] Students' research may be recognized by professors listing a student as co-author of a papers or by awards at competitions such as Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Science and Technology and the Intel Science Talent Search. A number of students also compete for the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Student life[edit]

Clubs and events[edit]

TAMS students participate in the UNT community through activities such as community service projects and tutoring. TAMS has a number of student activities and events, ranging from academic clubs like Computer Science Organization and Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) to performance groups like Academy Players (theater) and Dull Roar (music), to cultural groups such as FACES (Fellowship for the Advancement of Cultural Education for Students).[21] A complete list of clubs is available here. In addition to clubs, the McConnell Hall Association functions as a part of the UNT Residential Hall Association.

Students may also participate in yearly or more frequent events such as proms, school dances, coffee houses, and an annual talent show.

McConnell Hall[edit]

All TAMS students live in McConnell Hall. The hall consists of three floors, segregated by gender. The hall is furnished with a kitchenette, multiple meeting rooms, and two common rooms. One of the common rooms, the Smitty Study, serves as a public recreation room when it is not functioning as a study area during quiet hours. The other common room, Mac Café, aptly named because it once was home to a university cafeteria, hosts various student activities and serves as a gathering place for both academic and social interaction.

References[edit]

External links[edit]