An intensive year of growth in motivation, academic aptitude and discipline study skills
The Postgraduate Program at the St. Thomas More School is designed for high school graduates who would benefit from an extra year of personal and academic development before entering college. These are capable students who recognize the need to improve their academic aptitude, study skills and SAT scores in order to enter the college of their choice and succeed.
The focus of this academic program is an English course and Mathematics course, specifically designed for postgraduates. Both the Math and English classes are double periods and they are supplemented by two upper-level electives that complete the daily class schedule.
World Literature is a literature-based course designed to give postgraduates the challenge of a college level course. Representative pieces of literature are examined as unique reflections of the human experience in order to understand historical and contemporary issues. In the fall term, the course also emphasizes preparation for college entrance examinations. In the spring semester, the focus shifts to preparing students to meet college level writing assignments.
Postgraduate Mathematics is specifically aimed at enhancing higher level Math skills and improving performance on the SAT. It is divided into two sections: Algebra II (first semester) and Pre-Calculus (second semester). The first half of the course examines the structure of Algebra as a reflection of the real and complex number systems. Early in the second semester, concepts taught in the first semester will be reinforced, and then Pre-Calculus will commence with the study of Trigonometry, Analytic Geometry, Probability, Statistics and limits of functions.
The electives are selected from the general curriculum and are junior and senior level college preparatory courses.
Maximizing a postgraduate's SAT score is an important part of the program. The curriculum stresses the content areas critical to success in taking the SAT. Further, an extra-curricular SAT Preparation Course that meets in the evenings during the fall semester is available. Postgraduates learn how to master the test itself: knowing when to make an educated guess, the best use of time and what vocabulary to study. Special techniques for reading comprehension, analogies, sentence completions and antonyms are taught, as well as how to cope with the quantitative comparisons on the Math section. Improvements of 100 points on the SAT are typical for students enrolled in the postgraduate program and increases of 200 to 250 points are common.
The St. Thomas More School philosophy is to find each student a college or university where he will be academically challenged, personally enriched and socially involved. To that end, each postgraduate student receives immediate and continuous counseling on college admissions. The placement office meets weekly with students and makes every effort to help each one get accepted into the school he is most qualified for and interested in attending. Students, parents and the counselor work together to consider all factors and find the best possible colleges.
Postgraduates are fully integrated into St. Thomas More School's residential program. In addition to sharing a dormitory with upperclassmen, these students follow the same daily schedule as the rest of the school, attending extra help in the afternoons, followed by sports and activities, and evening study hall at night. While some focus solely on basketball, others choose to participate in three different sports. All are encouraged to get involved in school activities and serve as leaders to underclassmen to diversify their profiles for college applications.