Students share ALO experiences

Details on year 3 challenges and opportunities

ALO classes are rigorous and challenging. Students from a variety of classes share their experiences and offer insights for other students considering ALO courses. Courses include AP Computer Science, Molecular Biology, Advanced Chemistry, andAP Calculus.

AP Computer Science (first year taught)

"I thought the class was extremely informative and it was fun to learn programming. Dr. Dostert was extremely helpful in teaching us while we were programming and tried hard to get us to learn. The course itself was extremely challenging and rewarding. My expectations were exceeded as far as what I hoped to learn in the class."

"I found the class very fun, exciting, informational, and interactive. Dr. Dostert's teaching ability helped us be confident in asking for assistance, but didn't let us depend on him too much. He was also very good at helping me fully understand most of the material. However, I think a more selective group of students will help this class a lot. Students can really take a lot of information away from the class, just as long as there aren't many distractions. But in the end, it was challenging and I looked forward to it every day. Our end of the year project also combined everything that we have learned throughout the year so we had to recall and use what we have learned in different, more difficult ways."

Molecular Biology

"I feel better prepared for college as a result of the teaching style, expectations and course work. I felt challenged to always do my best work, pay attention and participate in the class discussion. Dr. Flaherty was prepared to lecture and address any of our questions. He went above and beyond to make sure we were learning each day of class, and established a relationship with each student and encouraged the learning process. This PULSE class was more effective than any other high school class I have taken. 

"[This class] prepares me for a college class. The teacher treated us like adults, [and the course] better prepared me for taking notes in college. [This class] needs to be encouraged more to other students."

"This class has taught me useful information not only about molecular biology but also numerous life and college skills. Students who plan to take this PULSE course should be prepared to be challenged in every way possible. Be prepared to work! The teacher establishes a good relationship to the students and learning is individualized when needed. Questions are highly encouraged to help the students with their understanding of what is being taught. The social (Twitter) aspect of the course was a new and interesting way to acquire more scientific information. Taking good notes, having good listening skills and paying attention to what is taught and said will greatly help the advancement within the class. Posting grades could be a possibility so that the students can know what their grade in the class is, and so that they know what they need to improve on. Overall Molecular Biology is a great course to take especially when pursuing a career in the field of science."

Advanced Chemistry

"The course was much more understandable to me than my first year of chem honors. The teacher was very thorough with his notes and explanations. I enjoyed having a teacher that you could see the enjoyment of teaching the subject. The fact he used only notes for examples but gave us notes from his memory of teaching the subject so long and from having such a true understanding of the subject."

"I absolutely loved being in the PULSE advanced chemistry class. The teacher was fabulous, understanding with the students, and cared for the students and their understanding of the topic. The choice of taking Advanced Chemistry through the PULSE program will forever be a good decision. I will take all of what I did in this class with me to, through, and past college. I loved this course and would recommend it to anyone interested."  

"I thoroughly enjoyed taking AP Chemistry through the PULSE Program. It was a very interesting class. We were actually able to participate in interesting lab assignments and were treated fairly. The material was challenging but we were always prepared for tests and exams. The access to AP text and workbooks was a nice addition to our studying. Being able to take the AP Exam gave incentive to take the class and pay attention. Teaching methods were successful and interactive labs were too. I wouldn't change any teaching practices for next year; especially the College Level Grading Scale."

AP Calculus

"AP Calculus has been an adventure this year. While it has been extremely hard, it has been very useful in that I have learned an abundance of information. This class has made me work hard, and I feel like everything that we have done was very calculated and efficient. There are not many things I could say for improvement, other than not as much homework (no, the amount of homework was really not that much). But really, I truly, genuinely can say that this class was done near to perfect, and I have learned so much. "

"This Calculus class has been extremely beneficial to me this year. I would not change any part of it. Dr. Reyes adequately prepared us for the AP exam and pushed us to learn and to succeed. It was difficult and took a lot of hard work, but it was worth it. I learned so much this year and if I could go back I would not wish for it to have been any different. I am thankful I was given this opportunity and I feel that it has helped me greatly as I prepare to go to college in the fall."

Students share ALO experiences

Dr. Jerome Reyes, ALO coordinator for the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics and ALO calculus teacher, asked some of his students to share their experiences from the program's first year. Here's what two of the students had to say after their first year in college:

"My first semester [at college] was awesome! I made the dean's list and, indeed, aced my math class."

"Clemson's been going well. The people are really nice, and the teachers try to make themselves as available as possible. Calculus last semester was a breeze. It was exactly the same as you taught it and I really almost could've never went to class and still made an A."