“It is about what works best for you and how to set yourself up for success. I now have firsthand experience and a deeper understanding of what’s to come in college.”
That is how one student, Jack Manning, describes his Habits of a Chapin Scholar class, taught by Amy Tinagero. The course arms students with the tools necessary for college, such as resume writing, successful note taking, engaging discourse about contemporary issues, and discussions with college professionals.
It is one of seven new courses offered this year for students at St. Andrew’s School. The expansion in the post-graduate curriculum includes Tinagero’s course, College Writing, and Introduction to the Art and Science of Leadership. The courses are meant to differentiate the expectations and culture for the postgraduate program.
The upper school now offers Advanced Placement United States History taught by Damara Hawley, Advanced Placement European History taught by Susan McGann, Law and Society taught by Susan McGann, and Theatrical Design and Technology taught by Daniel Mellitz.
Through our growing curriculum, we are enhancing academic opportunities for students. New classes like Tinagero’s honor our commitment to the school’s founder Father William M. Chapin through service, action, and inclusion. The class, which is tailored to each student’s needs, is rooted in these values, as she says, “to investigate those habits of the heart and mind.”
While a lecturer at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, Tinagero taught a similar course for students transitioning to college. The class does not simply cover the essential tools to succeed academically, but “a significant part of the syllabus is dedicated to wellbeing,” Tinagero says. “I drill self-reflective questions into my students heads like, am I getting enough sleep, eating the right foods, and exercising? Or, am I in touch with my emotional state, and do I feel balanced or should I seek some support?”
Additionally the course includes two guest speakers, David Brown and Eric Mack, who are alumni of St. Andrew’s. Students have had the opportunity to discuss the lessons both Brown and Mack learned while at St. Andrew’s that helped them overcome adversities later in their lives. Similarly, in the Champion Symposium section of the course, students initiate civil discussions about adversities and contemporary issues.
“In order to successfully prepare a young person to be independent, you really have to prepare them to be compassionate to others but also to themselves,” she added. Through its individualized approach, Habits of a Chapin Scholar is a transformative course for students and the entire postgraduate curriculum itself.