How one student sought to challenge her academic boundaries at BASIS Prescott
Caroline Dixon grew somewhat bored at her middle school, and she knew she wanted a different kind of experience for high school. Caroline was looking for a challenge, something that would push the boundaries of her intellectual ability to help her grow as a scholar, and as a person. That’s why Caroline chose BASIS Prescott.
It didn’t take long for Caroline to become fully immersed in the BASIS Curriculum, taking difficult but interesting courses, and pushing her intellectual boundaries. She was embarking on a journey to reach the highest international standards of academic achievement.
“Learning how to get stuff done and balance so many high-level classes was a challenge, but I liked the challenge,” Caroline said.
Now a senior at BASIS Prescott, Caroline sees how the challenges that have defined her academic journey have paid off.
Caroline says that her experience at BASIS Prescott means she won’t arrive at college to find herself behind and struggling to catch-up. Now, as she gets ready to enroll at a college or university, she rests easy, knowing that the coursework she completed as a BASIS Curriculum student has prepared her for what’s next.
One project in particular, the BASIS Diploma Senior Project, introduced Caroline to the concept of independent self-guided research. The Senior Project has students conduct their own off-campus research project on a topic of their choosing. Caroline decided to intern with a physical therapy practice in Prescott, to study how the intensity and repetition of different therapy exercises affect the recovery time for lower-back injuries. Caroline is a Gymnast, so it was an easy fit.
“One of the best ways to learn how to do something is to learn through experience. So, If I have experience outlining my own self-guided research and taking initiative, then that will really prepare me for college level research,” Caroline said.
Caroline’s off-campus research, which lasts 12 weeks, gives her a chance to get out into the real world and get into a place where she can learn through real experience with real people. The Senior Project introduces her to the hands-on style research that goes beyond the lecture, notes, homework, and test format. Completing the Senior Project gives students a baseline of what to expect from college coursework, and the framework for how to complete it.
“For some parents [college readiness] is hard to think about when their kid is five years old. But I think often times people don’t realize the competitive nature of the world outside of Prescott or Arizona,” Caroline said. “There are millions of kids working super hard to get into these schools and career fields… and I know that I’m on a competitive level with those other kids.”
Caroline is currently applying to schools. Her first choice is Stanford University, but she has applied to other excellent schools too. She plans to spend her freshman year at college studying medicine and engineering, deciding which field she wants to major in later on.