John Hopkins CTY Program

Posted by: angelofdarkside

John Hopkins CTY Program - 01/29/18 07:01 PM

My son who is in 8th grade qualified for CTY Intensive Studies Summer Programs, humanities and writing courses and CTYOnline (distance education) courses in writing, language arts, humanities, foreign languages. My questions is how these courses will help him in future? Do they count as credits for high school or college? Is it worth the money? Does anyone has any personal experience with this program>
Please help as we are very new to this gifted high potential arena. Thanks
Posted by: SFrog

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 01/30/18 11:52 AM

DD17, now a freshman in college, did JHU-CTY Intensive studies for three summers in high school (summers after 9th, 10th, and 11th grades). The three classes she took were Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, and Ethics.

Your mileage may vary, but here are our experiences.

Help in the future:

She feels her Neuro and Psych classes both helped in achieving a 5 on the AP Psychology exam (as a side note, she taught the neurology chapter to her AP Psych class).

The Neuroscience class helped prepare her for our local university's brain bee. She finished second in 11th grade, and won it her senior year - qualifying her for the national brain bee.

The papers she wrote for all of her classes were her first, true research type papers and were critiqued by college level instructors.

Credits: After discussing with them first, her high school did award her credit for each of the three classes. I don't believe any colleges would award credit, but since JHU-CTY is fully accredited, DDs HS had no issue granting it.

Is is worth the money? For us, unquestionably yes.

Our DD gained confidence in her abilities, received high quality instruction, and found a reassurance that neuroscience was a path she wanted to continue exploring.

Probably the biggest shocks were how ecstatic her time there was and how she came back a different, more confident person. I would never have considered her unhappy before, but at the intensive studies camps she finally met and hung out with true peers. For the first time in her academic career, she felt reasonably close to being a "normal" kid. She still keeps up with some of her summer friends via social media.

Initially, DW and I had thought JHU-CTY would be a one and done for DD, but after her first year's experience, we immediately started budgeting for the next year.

Feel free to ask if you have any specific questions.

Best of luck,
Posted by: mithawk

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 02/01/18 09:59 AM

A few years ago, my D did two courses during the summer between freshman and sophomore year: Neuroscience and Genetics. Like SFrog above, my D loved her peer group at CTY.

In addition, the the Neuroscience class really resonated with her. The following three summers she performed neuro research internships at local universities in the Boston area. Her common app essay was about her interest in both art and neuroscience, and I believe this research and how she described it helped her a great deal in terms of college admissions.

She is now at UChicago, and she still feels that her peer group at CTY was a bit stronger than her college peers, despite UChicago students having some of the highest test scores anywhere.
Posted by: igbu

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 02/01/18 05:46 PM

Congratulations! Yes some of the intensive studies classes carry 0.5 or 1.0 HS credit, JHU-CTY posts a list somewhere. Ultimately your local school decides if they will accept those credits or not. JHU-CTY provides letters and info for the schools. Our DS qualified last year for Intensives Studies. Even though we heard wonderful things about the program my wife and I were very nervous about the whole thing. I could write at length about DS sonís experience. Iím sure everyoneís experience varies, but for us it was everything we could have hoped for and more in terms of his academic experience and his being on his own for 3-weeks. DS has a few opportunities this summer including a local college and DE summer program. I wouldnít have thought Iíd say this (a year ago) but heíll be going back to CTY this summer.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 02/02/18 05:12 AM

Our daughter did a couple of the Academic Explorations sessions when too young to do the Intensive Studies. The final year there she met a girl who is now her best friend.

They roomed together last summer for the Intensive Studies completing two sessions back to back. They studied Logic: Principles of Reasoning the first session and Mathematical Logic the second. They enjoyed both classes.

Our daughter has had a blast and has made many other friends with whom she is still in touch with. The program traditions vary depending on the campus and the kids have a lot of fun with them. There are lots of insider jokes, canon songs and a jolly good time is had by most. She will not do 2 session back to back again this year as she missed being able to 'just have a summer'.

The Humanities program has been getting less traditionally academic over the years e.g. Classical Greek and Latin are no longer offered which sucks because the best way to learn a language is with intense immersion - and a lot more fun can be had with fellow geeks in and out of the classroom.

However they still offer some fantastic classes - our daughter is looking forward to doing it again this year and tackling the Fast Paced High School Chemistry.

Gifted kids whose residential areas and B&M schools are less geek intensive will likely find their 'tribe' there. The campus is very secure so for the only time in a given year your kid will be surrounded by peers that want to grok things. This was very clear last year at the campus bookstore buying the course books, we were surrounded by kids whose glee was palpable to be going 'back to school'. This was just after the start of summer recess when most kids experience glee for the opposite reason!

The only downside of the program is its cost but I have heard that they do offer assistance to families in straitened circumstances so that their talented kids can still attend.
Posted by: OCJD

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 02/02/18 03:29 PM

Due much in part to the feedback I received here, DS13 (then DS 12) attended Intensive Studies last summer in between 7th and 8th grade. He did Intro to Biomedical Sciences. Just about everything stated above was true for our DS as well. My DS really found his tribe there. It was also a great experience for him to have to manage himself. He wanted to make sure he got into the bathroom early enough not to encounter the rush to shower, etc. So he figured out how to get himself up early enough to get in his shower, do that stuff, get over to the nurse to take his allergy meds (very regimented there about that), and be at breakfast on time. He also did his own laundry and just had to be a little more grownup. It was very noticeable when he got home that it matured him a bit. Like others, we were planning on that being the only time, given the cost, etc., but he will be going back this summer to do Fast Paced HS Biology. I understand he can apply for credit in high school when he starts his freshman year this fall. I do dearly wish that Neuroscience was offered in southern California because he really wanted to take that.
I especially loved the closing ceremonies in which the different sections held up signs cheering on their particular classes, "Yeah Fast-Paced Chemistry", "Whooo Model UN", "Logic Rocks!" For a kid like mine who is a little off the beaten track, it was great. The RAs were very pleasant as well and kind to all. They planned fantastic outings or events for the kids to join in on. The other nice thing was that the kids in his RA group were the same kids in his class so they could all walk over together
Good luck!!
Posted by: Cranberry

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 02/16/18 09:29 PM

I'll add to the list of great experiences at CTY's summer program. My DD14 went to Carlisle last year and had extraordinary experiences, both academically and socially. While she's in accelerated/honors programs in school, she's still carrying 98-100 grades in every course. So being in a math class, her strong suit (Probability and Game Theory) and running into problems she couldn't solve, and seeing a few other students who could, was eye opening.

She was truly among kids "like her", with similar outlooks, challenges, etc. The instructor was also fantastic - former Williams/Harvard professor with top RateMyProfessor grades. She cried when the session was over and has kept in touch with all of her friends - they're already coordinating plans for this summer.

I consider most of the programs enrichment, not acceleration. Game Theory, Microeconomics, Cryptography, etc., aren't HS courses that she can/needs to place out of or get credit for. She does have the option of Fast-paced Physics after 10th grade to skip Honors and take AP Physics as a Junior. We've already had that conversation at school. But if she prefers something else that summer, that's fine.

Being responsible for herself for 3 weeks, including laundry, planning, time management, etc., made an obvious difference. She also understands there are options other than being the best at what is offered at school. She now looks for challenges to continue to grow. We found a local math club, where she's learning college-level math from grad students, sitting next to a member of last year's US Math Olympics team. Being one of the younger kids, she's probably in the lower third of ability, but looks forward to it every Sunday.

Yes, it's expensive. But I believe the investment in a child with high potential is very worthwhile.
Posted by: Cranberry

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 12/09/18 05:54 PM

I wanted to continue a line of thinking that was in another topic, but under a non-descriptive title.

I'm concerned about CTY and wonder if anyone is closer to the program and has any information.

They have cancelled the Grand Ceremony the last 2 years, and the regional ceremonies at least this year, if not earlier. My "Talent Search" fees for the last 2 years were basically for nothing.

The last issue of the Imagine magazine was the last to be published.

Today, I received an email that the Executive Director of the program was leaving.

As I stated in the other thread, I hate to be pessimistic, but the data points seem to be getting worse and worse. I lost the local CMITES program 4 years ago - I'd hate to see this one go away.

Summer program schedules typically come out in the 2nd half of December - I'll be interested to see if they appear.
Posted by: aeh

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 12/10/18 06:11 AM

I don't have any insider knowledge, but the documents attached to the new executive director search are here, including some financials:
Posted by: Cranberry

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 12/28/18 10:50 AM

Summer schedule and registration process is up, so at least that's going.

I received a reply to an email last week that there was no decision on a 2017-2018 Grand Ceremony, then a newsletter 2 days later that it has formally been cancelled for the 2nd year in a row. (I find it hard to believe they made the decision and put together the newsletter in the intervening 2 days).

DD14 received a Grand Ceremony certificate in the mail today - I guess they aren't even bothering with medals this year. A waste of Talent Search registration fees, 2 years in a row.

Hopefully a new Director will improve the process for future gifted kids.
Posted by: Cranberry

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 03/27/19 02:33 PM

We received an invitation to retroactive Grand Ceremonies for both the 2017 and 2018 CTY program years, to be held in late May. I don't know if we'll go, but it's a positive that they're giving kids who qualified the option to participate.

They're on consecutive days, so we could stay overnight and make a doubleheader out of it wink.

(The "Congratulations, [Student Name]," greeting tells me they're still working out some kinks...)
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 03/28/19 05:17 AM

We got this the other day too. Hopefully the program can be revived - it was certainly dormant for a while. Have never gone before but am considering it this year for the JHU campus tour. Will be too early for good local crabs though on the other hand we havenít visited the aquarium there for a while...
Posted by: JudAU

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 11/19/19 08:27 PM

Thanks all for this thread. My daughter took her first CTY class and really enjoyed it. The Grammar class was great.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 11/21/19 01:46 PM

Hi JudAU, which Grammar course did your daughter take? My daughter is currently doing the FUNdamentals and I have not been that happy with it. I have found the levels between the three courses she's doing very uneven. We signed her up for reading, writing and grammar courses (as part of homeschool). The writing has been perfect, I have been so impressed, but we have had to pause that that to handle the load from the Grammar. The grammar is a huge amount of work, but of questionable effectiveness. The reading course she's doing she's found the books very enjoyable, but the work very easy. The main thing she's learning from reading is how to manage doing an online course (from all three really), I can't see it's doing much for her actual "critical reading".
Posted by: JudAU

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 11/22/19 06:25 PM

Yes, she took the Grammar fundamentals class. It was her first class and so there was a steep learning curve. There was a lot of work, but I think she had strong gains with it. We discovered that it worked best as a team effort. We choose an ungraded course so she would do the work and they she review with her father before she submitted. They would talk about anything she missed and ferret out the problem. It was a positive experience for her. Her school is very week in this area, perhaps all schools are these days. I wish my son had taken it when he was younger.

She is very strong in math and she reads nearly constantly but I feel like her writing is weaker from lack of practice. I do think it is really helpful. Iím signing her up for another course, probably a writing course (not reading comprehension, because she as read almost all the books listed) or above grade math. And my older son will probably take the writing for an audience. Im glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Part of the reason I enrolled her is that she is applying to a highly selective gifted program (that my son attends and I love) and I wanted to burnish her resume. But she definitely had gains from it.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 11/23/19 07:22 PM

Did you do the course individually? We are doing the course as a group, and itís very much ďweĒ are doing the course. I do agree that my daughter will have made significant gains in the grammar terminology. But it feels like the content is not coming together as a cohesive whole.

Our school system hasnít taught grammar like this in decades, so I am learning it all with her and often having to search for other sources as the instructions sometimes seem disjointed from the games etc. some parts of the course are much better than others.

I canít see that it will do much for her writing skills at all, so much as give her a vocabulary to talk about language and grammar. However, she was already a prolific writer of a standard far beyond her age.

The writing course is providing fantastic formalization of skills for approaching the process of writing which will absolutely impact her writing directly.
Posted by: JudAU

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 04/07/20 07:28 PM

It has been a few months and she got into the gifted program and is almost done with another math class. I continue to see the gains in her writing and comprehension. In fact, her older brother who is also a gifted writer, is going to take it next even though he is technically no longer the target age. And the math, wow. I really wished I had sick feed this content earlier. The classes cover so much more content than regular,sr classes.
Posted by: Yanaz

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/18/20 11:47 PM

My DS10 just took a SCAT test and got into this program! We are totally new in here! He is thinking which course to take!
He wants to try ( computer, technology )
And I want him to take Writing
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/19/20 11:15 PM

Hi Yanaz, we have been very impressed with "The Process of Writing" I think it's a well designed course. We haven't done any of math, science or computing courses so I cannot comment. Within the verbal courses there does seem to be quite a variable level of difficulty.
Posted by: Yanaz

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/20/20 02:05 PM

Thank you ! I hope he will like it 🙂
Posted by: trimom

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/24/20 10:42 AM

Has anyone done the CTY AP summer intensives? What did you think? We are considering Bio and US History.
Posted by: JudAU

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 06/05/20 02:23 PM

Just wanted to update the kids have taken a few more classes and mostly enjoyed them. My daughter jumped another math level and completed the very challenging pre-algebra course. I may have made a mistake and signed up for a shorter, and cheaper, time frame than was reasonable. Son just finished Crafting the Essay which we found helpful and well designed. And the Visual Literacy class has been a great process. He was very interested in the LIVE course offerings this summer so weíll try that. He doesnít want to spend all summer staring at the wall.

One interesting side effect is that it has made them pretty sophisticated users of online content. I feel a little sorry for my daughterís disorganized COVID school schedule because she gave her teachers many, many suggestions for improvement.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 06/19/20 05:42 AM

Our DD is 3 weeks into their Physics AP 12 week class.

She could not get this into her school schedule (junior year) next year, so after conferring with her we elected to take the CTY online version. I did not want her getting an extra 15-20 hours of homework during the school year so DD is doing this now so it will be over by the time school resumes.

She enjoys the class and likes the pace which she thinks is about 3 times the pace that she had with AP Bio and AP Chem over the past school year.

Posted by: _Angie_

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 06/20/20 08:47 AM

Greetings! Did anyone do the online from home SCAT test? Would love to hear any experiences, if so...

DS10 just completed the test and had a pretty bad experience. The test was unresponsive and he had to wait a few seconds after selecting an answer before moving between questions. He didn't even guess/put in an answer for 1/4th to 1/5th of the questions on the two sections.

He just did well this year in AoPS Algebra (which is 4-5 years ahead of his school grade) and he got a perfect score in the correct amount of time for the paper and pencil sample SCAT test I had him do...

It seems like an issue with the test itself more than the content. I'm not sure if I want to pay for him to take it again if I don't know why it went so wrong though. DD7 was watching netflix at the same time (oops) but he was running it on a powerful enough computer. His battery was totally drained after an hour and he didn't have it plugged in, my spouse thinks maybe the computer went into power save type behavior.

I dunno. I guess I'll contact them. Finishing the test in time is part of the test though so it's hard to know what to do. He always does well on standardized testing, but his gifted testing showed VERY slow processing speed as well, so time is an actual issue for him sometimes. But this feels like it wasn't just him.
Posted by: slmw

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 06/20/20 08:53 PM

Yes, DD8 did it online on May 29. I was terrified that we would be invalidated, because she stood up to yell that she was done with the sample questions and didn't know what to do next. So I had to yell back to keep going! JHU CTY is so inundated with emails that they took like a week to get back to me, saying it would take 7 business days to process the scores. It took us 8 business days actually, something like 12 days of waiting. Don't expect them to respond to your email at all. I heard there's only one lady Brenda working to respond to emails! I feel sorry for her:(
Posted by: _Angie_

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 06/29/20 04:20 AM

Thanks slmw! They wrote me back and said the test timer pauses while the pages reload, so if the test is sluggish it shouldn't impact you. Knowing that is helpful, maybe my son will be less distracted/frustrated knowing that next time.

He got the scores he needed, actually, to qualify for Advanced CTY for both verbal and math, so I suppose that's all we really needed to do anyway.

He still thinks he didn't do well and wants to retake it. I should have reminded him he has to hurry on the test... we did a sample test months ago in which he handled the time better but I'd really drilled it into his head beforehand.

For him speed based tests are always going to be a challenge, so he needs to do his best in his approach to time management.
Posted by: Vansh

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/02/22 06:11 AM

My DS took an online math course and an online math club w/CTY during the pandemic. He enjoyed the experience greatly, but would have probably preferred in-person. Overall, it is a high quality program but can be on the pricey side.
Posted by: indigo

Re: John Hopkins CTY Program - 05/02/22 08:03 AM

Welcome, Vansh!

Thanks for weighing in on this. Hope you stick around as a member and become a regular contributor on the forums.