Reflections on Experiences at a Residential Science and Math High School: An Alumni Survey

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Residential Science High Schools (RSHS) for academically talented students that focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) provide opportunities for high school students to accelerate their education. This study examines the results of a retrospective survey from one RSHS, including alumni for more than 20 years after graduation. The results indicate that the alumni have high levels of educational attainment and careers in STEM fields. In addition, the alumni perceive their experiences at the RSHS to have been positive, and that the RSHS prepared them for their educational pursuits, careers, social experiences, and future leadership positions. Finally, although the alumni did report a drop in academic self-concept while they were in the program, this drop did not appear to have an effect on their long-term goals or educational attainment. The implications for this study are to support the use of radical acceleration in the form of residential schools for an educational intervention for academically talented high school students.

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