ACADEMIC CONCENTRATIONS

 

An entrepreneurial spirit drives Tampa Prep to create a dynamic environment where students have access to the most relevant topics and learning approaches. We are a constant work in progress, and there is always room to build, do and create. That nimbleness allows us to respond to the changing times and needs of our students.

This is how our Academic Concentrations came to be. Students with deep passions and accelerated interests in specific subject areas wanted more. So concentrated studies in the academic areas of the Arts, Global Studies, Humanities and STEM were developed to provide the opportunity for in-depth exploration of these fields.

Concentration Requirements

Each program requires students to select classes from a body of relevant coursework that coincides with each interdisciplinary focus. Academic Concentrations rival college-level curricula. For many alumni, the signature experience has a profound impact on their academic and professional careers after Tampa Prep. These are the concentration requirements.

VIEW CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

  • – Completion of the core curriculum.
  • – A minimum of three years of classes in the concentration area, though four years is recommended. AP courses are required where applicable.
  • – Maintaining a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.0.
  • – Leadership by joining concentration-related Honor Societies.
  • – Community service initiatives in the area of concentration.
  • – Attendance at events held on and off campus that are associated with the area of concentration with written reflection after the event.
  • – Attendance at a conference in the area of concentration (MUN Conference, for example, in a Global Studies Concentration).
  • – An audition (for Band and Strings, Theater, Vocal Music).
  • – Production of work and submission to local or national competitions (Film & Video, Fine Arts).
  • – Hosting an international student and participating in at least one study/travel abroad program (Global Studies).
  • – Culminating 15-page research project (Humanities).
  • – Culminating research project and undertaking a STEM-oriented senior internship (STEM).

ARTS CONCENTRATION

The Arts Concentration provides rising 10th grade students with a rigorous arts-focused curriculum that will engage, inspire, and celebrate creativity, emphasizing commitment and discipline, while encouraging a lifelong appreciation of the arts. In support of the School’s Mission Statement, our Arts Concentration presents a unique opportunity for students to earn an Arts Concentration Scholar certificate along with their diploma by completing a prescribed curriculum and additional requirements during their four years in the Upper School.

Arts Concentrations are available in the following areas of emphasis:

  • Band & Strings
  • Film & Video
  • Fine Arts
  • Theater
  • Vocal Music

GLOBAL STUDIES CONCENTRATION

In support of the School’s Mission Statement, Tampa Prep offers an interdisciplinary Global Studies Concentration for rising 10th grade students who are passionate about international issues. The underlying goal of the concentration requirements is to equip graduates with a range of experiences that prepare them for further opportunities in these interdisciplinary fields, while also completing Tampa Prep’s graduation requirements.

GLOBAL STUDIES CONCENTRATION ALUMNUS STORY

RAMMI QUAH, CLASS OF 2017

By the end of his senior year, Quah had completed 12 credits in World Languages, taking every language at every level that Tampa Prep had to offer.

Rammi Quah ‘17, says he has always been interested in global cultures and “people all over the world.” So when Tampa Prep introduced its Global Studies Concentration, Quah applied immediately in grade 10. By the end of his senior year he had completed 12 credits in World Languages, taking every language at every level that Tampa Prep had to offer. Some studies suggest that language is harder to learn later in life, but Quah would argue that. “I just love languages more than anything else in the world,” he says. 

One might think that living in a multicultural household inspired Quah to learn more languages but, he says, “My dad is from Malaysia and speaks Hokkien Chinese, and my mom is from Jordan so she speaks Arabic, but neither of them knows how to speak the other, so we all just spoke English at home. But I definitely want to learn Arabic and Chinese.”

It turns out that travel is, in fact, what inspires Quah to want to learn more about the world. “One of the best experiences in my life was the senior year spring break trip to France,” he says. “We saw a lot of [the country] and learned a lot. I’m obsessed with Bretan culture and language,” he says, speaking of Brittany, France’s northwesternmost region. “The food was the best, and I finally found books on the Brittany language which I brought home to devour.”

Quah graduated Tampa Prep as valedictorian and now attends Emory University as a Linguistics major. ”I’m constantly breaking down languages and sentences in my head. Spanish has helped me because it’s prevalent and I can use it. French not as much because I barely run into anyone who speaks French. Latin helped because I took Portuguese this semester [his freshman year]. Taking all three at Prep has made it easier to learn other languages.” 

After completing his freshman year at Emory, Quah can say unequivocally that Tampa Prep and the Global Studies concentration academically prepared him for college. “I didn’t feel as much of a workload jump [going from high school to college],” he says. “My difficulties have been more about college life and managing time and sorting my life out and growing up.” 

Anyone who has visited a foreign country knows that cultural immersion is a magnificent education and a fast track to self-awareness. With Quah on a mission to conquer the globe one country at a time, no doubt his collegiate adjustment period will soon be behind him. 

He mentions that he is considering double majoring in Linguistics and International Studies as well as attending grad school. “I want to do something in the realm of global culture. Something that lets me experience and do good in the world.”

HUMANITIES CONCENTRATION

In support of the school’s mission statement, Tampa Prep offers an interdisciplinary Humanities Concentration for rising 10th grade students who are passionate about the study of the humanities. Humanities–the branches of learning that investigate human constructs and concerns–are an integral part of a well-rounded education and are part of each Tampa Prep student’s course of study.

The Humanities Concentration goes beyond that threshold and provides select students with a challenging, nurturing and structured program in which they can further their understanding and appreciation of the discipline. Exposure to high-level course work in both the English and the History departments, enrollment in a broad selection of elective courses along with participation in civic, off-campus educational and service activities combine to create a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of this important field of study that those graduating from the program will draw upon as they move forward.

“My time as a Terrapin changed my ability to write and speak. I used to have difficulty with expressing myself clearly. After the countless papers and declamations, translating my thoughts into conversation/paper seems like second nature. I understand the worth of words. Words are incredibly powerful. Not only are they used as a tool for opening doors (in the real world), but also, they are a true measure of the relationships we have in life. Effective communication is what keeps things working and makes it last. For that and many more reasons, I am proud of the education I received at Tampa Prep, because I finally found my voice”

– Maureen V. Moore ‘17, University of Tampa

STEM CONCENTRATION

In support of the School’s Mission Statement, Tampa Prep offers an interdisciplinary STEM Concentration for rising 10th grade students who relish the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The underlying goal is to equip graduating students with a range of experiences that prepare them for further opportunities in these fields, while also completing Tampa Prep’s graduation requirements.

STEM CONCENTRATION ALUMNUS STORY

PEDRO LIMA, CLASS OF 2014

“Two years in the STEM program at Prep changed my life. A lot. I can’t imagine what three years in the program would’ve done for me!”

Pedro Lima was a junior at the inception of Tampa Prep’s STEM Concentration, which means he missed being one of the first graduates with that recognition by just one year. But true to engineering form, he worked with the parts he had, and built something magical with it.

Lima admits that engineering wasn’t even on his radar until his junior year of high school when he learned about robotics. “My first taste of engineering was being on the robotics team,” he says. “Just being on that team with other people . . . that collaboration factor drew me in really quickly.” From there he learned about applied mathematics and applied sciences, “which is now what I really enjoy doing,” he says.

With just two years of STEM-focused studies with instructor KK Quah, Lima was accepted into Carnegie Mellon University’s engineering program. “I entered CMU as a freshman clear on my decision to be an electrical and computer engineering major,” says Lima. “Doing STEM with KK (Quah) helped me decide that before I ever stepped foot on campus.”

Lima chose electrical engineering as a path because of the spread that exists within the major. “There are a lot of things you can do within that degree,” he says. “It’s a lot of hands-on work that is electrical-related, computers, and thinking. A lot of thinking.”

During the summers, Lima has been working–and thinking–at Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale, CA, realizing a lifelong dream.

“It has been a dream of mine to work for Disney since I was a little kid,” he says. “I thought I wanted to be on the creative side, but after being in engineering courses I discovered I wanted to be on more of the technical side.” So Lima has spent the past summer as a software engineer at Imagineering, testing design and implementation of software for ride systems. It’s a job he hopes will become full time when he completes his masters degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, which he begins at Carnegie Mellon in spring of 2019.

Though Lima and his fellow classmates in the Class of 2014 weren’t able to complete the STEM Concentration, they all wish they could have. “Two years in the STEM program at Prep changed my life. A lot. I can’t imagine what three years in the program would’ve done for me!”