NSU hosts 29th ADVANCE program for young scholars



ADVANCE Teaching Assistant Unai Neketan of Natchitoches, Morgan Ross of Baton Rouge and Instructor William Hogan of Ruston utilized a computer lab for class projects and to conduct research while studying Contemporary Human Geography at NSU’s ADVANCE program.

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University hosted 150 students from seven states for the 29th summer session of the ADVANCE Program for Young Scholars in July.  ADVANCE is a three-week residential program that offers a demanding and exciting curriculum for gifted or talented students who will enter 8th through 12th grades in the fall. The learning environment at the program is designed to motivate and challenge students and set them on a path toward a lifetime of high academic achievement.

Students, who arrived from California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Louisiana, enrolled in a single course for three weeks of in-depth study. They attended 106 hours of class during the program and covered an entire years’ worth of high school material or a semester of college level material.  The program employed 26 staff members (12 residential assistants and 14 teaching assistants) and 14 instructors.  Fourteen courses were offered in the humanities, computer programming, mathematics and the natural sciences with laboratory components.


Nicholas Ambriz of Houston and Shiva Velingker of Richmond, Texas, participate in “Humans vs Zombies,” an annual tradition at ADVANCE where the social and recreational component helps students form lasting friendships.

While the academic program at ADVANCE is top-notch, the residential program sets ADVANCE apart from other similar summer programs. The residential assistants (RAs) offer a wide variety of social and recreational activities to assist students in forming lasting friendships, strengthen the ADVANCE community and help all students have a great time.

Those who attended the program maintain a deep loyalty toward ADVANCE and want other prospective students to be aware of it. Former ADVANCE student and staff member Vera Herbert made a video that may be viewed at advance.nsula.edu.

“I just wanted to make a video to show everybody that ADVANCE is an awesome place and that three weeks can really be the catalyst that can change your life,” said Herbert, who served as the teaching assistant for the ADVANCE film studies class for four years and is a writer and producer for the hit NBC show This Is Us.

ADVANCE is a collaborative program with Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) and Northwestern State assumes full responsibility for the instruction, administration and outcomes of the program.

For more information visit advance.nsula.edu or call (318) 357-4500.