The Gatton Academy's Academic Overview
The academic rigor of The Gatton Academy is meant to challenge students to excel at the highest levels, while drawing connections between the classroom and real-world research options.
Students are engaged in a core of math and science university courses that are supplemented with additional coursework in arts, humanities, and other elective subjects. The Gatton Academy curriculum provides students with ground for future study in a variety of STEM areas. In addition, students are able to explore the academic offerings of WKU through other coursework. Students are required to attend the weekly Gatton Academy seminar, which offer rotating topics each semester and will be led by professors, Academy staff members, as well as distinguished community members and professionals.
Though the majority of learning occurs in traditional classroom spaces, Academy students explore academic subjects through a variety of environments and learning styles. STEM coursework is supplemented with classes in English, social studies, foreign language, and other areas to satisfy pre-college requirements set forth by the state of Kentucky.
The Gatton Academy uses a number of academic success indicators to track the overall academic performances of students during their program of study. Some of these indicators include student GPA, scores on the state accountability testing system, and post-admissions ACT/SAT/PSAT scores.
Gatton Academy students generally outperform their high school peers in all categories. Gatton Academy students received the highest average ACT score on the Kentucky state assessment of public high school juniors with a composite of 32.5–exceeding their peers by over 12 points. They also generally outperform their traditional college peers taking the same coursework. This level of excellence occurs while the students participate in authentic college research as well as service requirements the students are required to perform.
Most students enrolling at the Gatton Academy bring with them very high grade points averages (typically 3.9 on a 4.0 scale) from their traditional high schools. As expected with taking more rigorous coursework at WKU, their average GPA tends to drop by a small measure. Gatton Academy graduates will compete with students from traditional high schools for admission (and scholarships) into four-year colleges and universities. The Gatton Academy calculates an unweighted GPA based on a combination of a student's prior high school grades and those grades earned while studying at the Gatton Academy. A weighted GPA is also calculated, giving Gatton Academy courses in math, science, social studies, language arts, and foreign language an additional quality point.
Points of Interest
All forms needed for Gatton Academy students will be found here.
This will provide a breakdown of the classes one can take as a Gatton Academy Student.
This section of our website shows what is required to graduate and to graduate with honors.
Gatton Academy students may have the opportunity to pursue summer time internships and research experiences.
POP! presentations and activities let students meet professionals one-on-one and through interactive experiences.
The Gatton Academy encourages our students to apply for nationally and internationally prestigious scholarships.
Gatton Academy students have the opportunity to engage in real, undergraduate-level research projects at WKU.
This link provides information on the Summer Time Research Internship grants available each year for Gatton Academy Students.
The outcomes from research worked on by Gatton Academy students is posted here.
This is a form of our curriculum that allows students to add classes in Chinese or Arabic during their 2 years in The Gatton Academy.
Study Abroad opportunities are taken during the summer and winter breaks, and will be posted here.