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ATYP Seeking Students for 2018-19
Linda Mah
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ATYP Seeking Students for 2018-19

Testing Is Underway for Entry to ATYP

In middle school Jake Fales set a goal for himself: Be the top of his class in high school.

He started on his goal using the Academically Talented Youth Program at Western Michigan University. There, he participated first in accelerated math classes and then accelerated English classes.

The program is run by Western Michigan University’s Office of Pre-College Programming and is open to students in Kalamazoo County. Students take the SAT in middle school to qualify for the program. Testing is currently open to students and informational meetings are being held around the community.

Fales, a senior at Kalamazoo Central, said he was inspired to try ATYP because his sister had participated.

“She had a great experience with it, so that is what led me there,” he said. “It let me go to an environment where I could feel more challenged. The credits are weighted for high school, so I went into high school with a 5.0 GPA. That is a benefit itself.”

The program offers accelerated classes that allow a student to complete four years of high school work in two years.

He started the math program in eighth grade completing Algebra I and II his first year, and geometry and calculus in his second year. He began the English program as a high school freshman, completing ninth and 10th grade English in his first year, 11th and 12th grade English in his second year, and AP English as a junior.

“ATYP English especially is a lot of work, but you learn to adjust to it,” Fales said. “Once you get through it, you realize what you’re capable of. When you’re writing four essays a week, plus revisions (on previous assignments), it prepares you for the rest of your days in high school and for college.

“You have to keep in mind that ATYP only has one or two classes a week. Most of your learning comes from doing your homework.”

Students can enroll in ATYP math or English after receiving qualifying scores on either the SAT or ACT, either of which can be taken through Northwestern Michigan University’s Academic Talent Search (NUMATS).

ATYP also offers an AP Computer Science class that is available to any student who has completed algebra. No minimum test score is required for this class. AP CS teaches students programming skills and analytical thinking by using multimedia labs in the Java programming language. Any student who wants to learn to program is welcome to participate in this course which meets two afternoons per week.

Students learn about ATYP from informational meetings offered in the fall of each year; testing occurs during the winter months, and students are notified of eligibility in the spring.

Sixth and seventh graders who received a letter from ATYP encouraging them to test for entrance in the 2018- 2019 school year and students who would like to explore the option of testing for the classes are invited to attend an informational meeting to learn more about the program.

The next presentation is at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 29 at Western Michigan University.

Families are also welcome to attend a presentation at any other location. The complete dates, times, and locations of the meetings are listed on the website at precollege/atyp/qualifying.

Tuition is paid for by the public schools, with families paying a per-semester registration fee that is waived if the student qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

Fales said ATYP was one of the most valuable educational experiences of his life, not just because it set him up to take more advanced classes in high school but because it taught him how to think.

By the time he was a sophomore, he was taking AP calculus — as the only nonsenior in the class. As a senior, he’s taking AP statistics.

ATYP English was invaluable for the discussions he had with teachers and other students and for what it taught him about education. “You build appreciation for the work and the learning,” Fales said. “You see that it’s not just about preparing for a test, it’s about your understanding.”

And remember the goal, Fales had? To be top in his class?


For more information, visit atyp, email at atyp-info@, or call (269) 387- 3553.

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