JBA and STAPH: What’s the Difference?
For those who have attended the Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars, the Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health will seem different in some respects. This page is designed to highlight some of those differences. While much of what you will see in the description of STAPH will seem memorable to the JBA alumnus, it is important that students understand that STAPH is not merely an extension of JBA. It is unique.
Q: Do nominations and acceptances work the same way as they did with JBA?
A: Nominations begin in much the same way as they did with JBA. Your counselors or principals will let us know if you have the requisite GPA and academic potential to be included in the program. Unlike JBA, the application you will complete asks for some extra information, and you will be invited to write an essay in response to specific questions. This is done for two reasons. First, STAPH is limited to only 50 participants, and as a result, selection will be highly competitive. Second, you have the option of adding your STAPH application to a file in the Truman Admissions Office, to get a jump on future college opportunities. While submission of a standardized test score is an option when applying to STAPH, most schools already administer the PLAN or PSAT, and you may have already taken the ACT to qualify for JBA. One of the biggest differences will be in how you are selected for enrollment. In JBA, individual professors evaluate your application and assign you to a class. If you don’t get into your first class, you are often admitted into your second or third choice. With STAPH, a review committee will examine your application and determine whether you are admitted to the program, rather than an individual course.
Q: Why is STAPH only one week?
A: Our experience tells us that students in their Junior and Senior year of high school have much more to worry about than just summer programs. Many of them need to begin to hold summer jobs in order to make money for college. Some are busy preparing college applications or studying for college entrance examinations. Many things compete for their time. Consequently, we wanted a program that would appeal to students who still wanted a summer experience, but couldn’t commit three weeks of their summer to it.
Q: Can I expect to do the same kind of activities I did in JBA?
A: Remember that STAPH lasts only one week – as opposed to three for JBA. Activities at STAPH will mostly be “thematically consistent” with class content. What does this mean? It means that activities will be designed in such a way as to reinforce concepts that are being taught in class, while still having fun! So, for example, dodgeball (a perennial JBA favorite) can function as a metaphor for the spread of a virus, folding an aspect of learning into a physical activity. Because health is being emphasized in the program, students can expect activities with a fair amount of physical engagement and field work. Arts and crafts, cooking, and similar activities will not be present. There will, of course, be at least one dance. Even doctors, nurses, and technicians need to groove sometimes.
Q: How does class in STAPH look when compared to JBA?
A: The biggest difference you’ll notice is that you don’t have a single class or a single professor. Instead, all STAPH students will experience the same curriculum and interact with a range of different professors hired by STAPH to provide instruction in their areas of specialty. Our subject-area experts will include biologists, doctors, nurses, and technical experts from both Truman and AT Still University. Guest speakers from the government and private medical clinics and organizations will also be invited. During the discussion of certain topics, students may interact with multiple faculty. The Director of the program – a Truman professor – will interact with students as a common instructor and program leader, and the Assistant Director and preceptors (who are drawn from health sciences disciplines at Truman) will reside in the dorm with students. These individuals will provide continuity across the different subjects being studied.
Q: Are there differences in rules between the two programs?
A: Some. While basic rules of safety will apply, regardless of what age group you are in, some rules you’ve come to know at JBA can be relaxed for more mature and experienced students. We will inform you of the chief differences when you arrive, and some of these differences will be detailed in the Welcome Guide. Some services, like the JBA Bank, won’t exist under STAPH simply because of the short duration of the program and our expectation that you should be able to manage your money at this age.
Q: Will we get to interact with JBA students while attending STAPH?
A: Minimally you will probably encounter students from JBA Session I at meals. JBA and STAPH will not share the same building. The Hall Store, traditionally maintained for JBA, will be serving both sets of students. However, activities and classes are scheduled separately and students in the respective programs will not be permitted to visit each other’s rooms or hallways. Our hope is that you will make new friends among the students attending STAPH rather than using STAPH primarily as a vehicle to hang out with old JBA buddies. If sufficient interest exists by students attending both programs, some joint activities may be organized.
Q: Why does it cost more to attend one week of STAPH then it costs to attend the equivalent week of JBA?
A: Most of the costs associated with JBA are incurred up-front (t-shirt, professor pay, insurance, classroom supplies, etc.). Room and board is the only cost that has a daily rate. As a consequence, much of what it normally costs to get a JBA student started in that program it will also cost to start a STAPH student. Additionally, because the coursework in STAPH involves the use of expensive scientific equipment and medical facilities, there are additional costs associated with the program. Unlike JBA, where students are charged course-based fees for textbooks and activities over and above normal tuition, all of these costs are automatically bundled into the tuition rate. Aside from incidental expenses, there should be no additional costs associated with attending STAPH.
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