• Academies of Loudoun Admissions - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1.  Are the Admissions Information Nights open to anyone?

    Fall Admissions

    The information nights are intended for current 8th grade students and their parents (who reside in Loudoun County) so that they can find out more about the fall admission cycle for 9th grade entry into AET and AOS programs. See website for schedule. 

    Winter Admissions

    The information nights are intended for current 9th, 10th and 11th grade students and their parents (who reside in Loudoun County) so that they can find out more about the winter admission cycle for 10th, 11th, or 12th grade entry into Advanced AET and MATA programs. See website for schedule.  

    2.  Are the programs 2 years or 4 years? 

    Please review the “When to apply” document for program commitment and admissions criteria information 

    3.  What is the testing schedule for admissions?

    Please review the Fall Admissions Timelines and Winter Admissions Timelines found on our website.   

    4.  Are Accommodations offered for testing?

    Students who are requesting testing accommodations for the CCTDI or STEM Thinking Skills Assessment must request the accommodations in writing to AcademiesAdmissions@lcps.org, no later than 12pm (noon) on October 18, 2019 and for the CCTST-N and Writing Assessment no later than 12pm (noon) January 6, 2020.  

    Important: Only accommodations for standardized assessments that are part of an IEP (Individualized Education Program), Section 504 Plan, or an EL-APP (English Learner Assessment Participation Plan) can be considered.

    TEAS (Practical Nursing)-No accommodations are offered 

    5.  Do students applying to both AET and AOS take the same assessments? 

    Yes, all students who have applied to the AET and/or the AOS Academy will take the CCTDI and the STEM Thinking Skills Assessment during Phase I of the application cycle. Students will need to schedule only one testing session for both Phase I assessments. See website for assessment schedule 

    6.  What does the CCTDI measure?

    The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) measures test takers' motivation to apply critical thinking skills in decision making and problem solving. There are seven scales on the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory CCTDI: Truthseeking, Open-mindedness, Analyticity, Systematicity, Confidence in Reasoning, Inquisitiveness and Maturity of Judgment. Each scale score describes an aspect of the overall disposition toward using one's critical thinking to form judgments about what to believe or what to do. People may be positively, ambivalently, or negatively disposed on each of seven aspects of the overall disposition toward critical thinking  

    7.  Where can I find information about the CCTDI, STEM Thinking Skills Assessment, and the CCTST-N? 

    More information about the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI), the STEM Thinking Skills Assessment, and California Critical Thinking Skills Test – Numeracy (CCTST-N) can be found at Insight Assessment, https://www.insightassessment.com/Products

    8.  Are calculators allowed on the CCTST-N?

    No calculators allowed

      9.  Are Academies of Loudoun courses honors courses?

    All AET and AOS courses are honors level courses and are “weighted” by adding 0.5 to the point value for the grade. Academies of Loudoun AP and dual enrollment courses are weighted at 1.0.  Please see the LCPS High School Program of Studies, http://www.lcps.org/Page/164077  for more information about course weighting, high school courses and GPA.

    10.  My student has completed Geometry and is currently enrolled in Algebra II/Trig. Will they be required to take the mathematics course again if they attend the AET or AOS as a 9th grader? 

    The entry level of mathematics at the AOS is Analytic Geometry, Functions, and Trigonometry with Transformations. The AET mathematics course for the 9th& 10th grade cohort is Integrated Mathematics 1 & 2 and includes algebraic, trigonometric and pre-calculus concepts. All students entering the Academies of Loudoun programs will be enrolled in cohort programs with the same level of mathematics. The sequencing of the AET mathematics courses is determined by the content in the three AET pathways and is very different than the sequencing in other LCPS mathematics  courses.

    11.  My student is currently in Algebra I. Will he/she be eligible to apply for the AET programs? 

    Students who are applying for admission to the AET must complete Geometry by the end of their 8th grade school year. Students who are currently in Algebra I and who plan to take geometry during the summer after 8thgrade or through Virtual Loudoun (Term 2 or 3) will not be able meet the requirement for the admissions process.

    12.  Can students submit other information as part of the admissions process? 

    No, students cannot submit anything other than the criteria listed for the Academeis of Loudoun admissions process.

    13.  Can students attend two Academies programs at the same time? 

    No, students can only participate in one of the STEM magnet programs. All AET, AOS and MATA students must work toward the completion of their high school diploma and complete courses at their home school in addition to the courses for the AET, AOS and MATA programs.

    14.  The AET Information Technology course progression includes AP Computer Science. This course is listed as a science credit in the AET pathway. How is it possible to receive a science credit for this course? 

    In order to credit AP Computer Science as a science credit, the curriculum must include a significant experimental component. Experimental, research and engineering design experiences are all important elements in the AET curriculum and the students will be engaged in these experiences frequently as they move through the program. Please see the Virginia Department of Education Superintendent’s Memo #022-15 for more information about the Use of Computer Science Courses to Satisfy Graduation Requirements


    15.  Biology is not listed as one of the courses in any of the AET pathways. When will students take Biology?

    Biology is not offered as one of the courses at the AET at this time. Students can choose to take it at their home school, through Virtual Loudoun or as a summer school offering. Admitted students will need to work closely with their home school counseling office to create a 4-year high school plan for graduation. The AET counselor will assist with the process.

    16.  Is Introduction to Health and Medical Science a pre-requisite requirement for the MATA Health Science programs (Medical Laboratory Tech, Pharmacy, Practical Nursing, Radiology)?

    No, the Introduction to Health and Medical Science is not a pre-requisite requirement. This is a change from previous years. Please see the LCPS Program of Studies and the Academies of Loudoun web pages for more detailed information about courses and pre-requisites.

    17.  How do you define each of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, in the STEM programs? 

    We are using the National Research Council (2009) descriptions of STEM disciplines to describe what constitutes STEM and each of the disciplines in the AET pathways. (https://www.nap.edu/read/18612/chapter/3)

    Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, or conventions associated with these disciplines. Science is both a body of knowledge that has been accumulated over time and a process—scientific inquiry—that generates new knowledge. Knowledge from science informs the engineering design process.

    Technology, while not a discipline in the strictest sense, comprises the entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Throughout history, humans have created technology to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of modern technology is a product of science and engineering, and technological tools are used in both fields.

    Engineering is both a body of knowledge—about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. This process is design under constraint. One constraint in engineering design is the laws of nature, or science. Other constraints include time, money, available materials, ergonomics, environmental regulations, manufacturability, and reparability. Engineering utilizes concepts in science and mathematics as well as technological tools.

    Mathematics is the study of patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and space. Unlike in science, where empirical evidence is sought to warrant or overthrow claims, claims in mathematics are warranted through logical arguments based on foundational assumptions. The logical arguments themselves are part of mathematics along with the claims. As in science, knowledge in mathematics continues to grow, but unlike in science, knowledge in mathematics is not overturned, unless the foundational assumptions are transformed. Specific conceptual categories of K–12 mathematics include numbers and arithmetic, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. Mathematics is used in science, engineering, and technology.

    For more information about STEM integration in k-12 programs visit the National Academies Press, STEM Integration in K-12 Education: Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research (2014) http://www.nap.edu/read/18612/chapter/1


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