Pioneer’s cohorts offer international perspectives and enriched learning experiences

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at October 4

Pioneer’s academic placement process assigns Pioneer scholars to cohorts with a specialized research concentration. These cohorts are very small––no more than six students and a faculty mentor––yet they are truly international, welcoming students from all over the globe. In these cohorts, Pioneer scholars have the chance to interact with peers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives, connecting over a shared love of learning.  These international cohorts enhance the Pioneer experience, both personally and academically. 

For many students, university is the first opportunity to have meaningful interactions with peers from different parts of the world. Hannah Travali-Peacock (political science, 2019), was grateful for her international experience in the Pioneer research program before starting university last fall. “I’ve met a bunch of international friends at [university]…but I think I would have been a lot more intimidated to talk to those people if I hadn’t been the only A...more

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When choosing a research topic, passion provides a map to success

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at September 1

Anyone can observe that genuine interest makes learning more stimulating, and there are neurological studies to attest to the fact that people are better at learning and remembering information they are curious about.① Pioneer Academics differs from most high school academic programs because it not only allows but requires young scholars to craft their own research topic based on their individual passions and curiosities. This is particularly important, because the Pioneer research paper involves long hours and deep engagement with an original topic. While it may be tempting to use other criteria to decide on a research topic––such as its perceived ease, or how it would look on a college application––past Pioneer scholars urge current and future Pioneer students to be guided by their interests.

Even before homing in on a topic, Sydney (psychology/education, 2019), a Pioneer scholar from Vietnam, encourages future Pioneer scholars to mark their desired research areas in their applicatio...more

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Rich Educational Opportunities at College

Rana Slosberg Rana Slosberg
Posted at May 26


 
Rich educational opportunities support student learning and development at college according to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) at Indiana University for Postsecondary Research. NSSE suggests that students ask colleges the following questions to learn about the college’s rich educational opportunities:

“How many courses include community-based service-learning projects?
What types of honors courses, learning communities, and other distinctive programs are offered?
How many students get practical, real-world experience through internships or off-campus field experiences?
How many students study in other countries?
What co-curricular activities are most common (performing arts, athletics, fraternities and sororities, guest speakers, etc.)?”

Here are examples of rich educational opportunities at colleges and universities:

  • 91 percent complete internships (American University).
  • All students study abroad (Goucher College).
  • More than seventy courses combine academics with
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Categories: College Selection & List Development  |  Comprehensive College Guidance
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Rethinking traditional sequencing in education enables Pioneer scholars to create new knowledge

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at May 25

Traditionally, students are encouraged to take courses in a sequence moving from the general to the specific. This system of education generally assumes that students must first acquire broad knowledge of a subject before they are capable of undertaking in-depth research into it. For this reason, a majority of undergraduate students do not engage in research, and for many young scholars, it is not until their third year of PhD work that they are able to contribute to academic knowledge. 

Pioneer’s innovative academic system takes the opposite approach, plunging high school students into highly specialized research areas. Pioneer’s approach is meant to complement traditional education based on the belief that while students are acquiring a breadth of knowledge, it is also important to provide opportunities for them to delve deeply into certain topics. When given the opportunity to do specialized research, students gain confidence and real-world expertise. They can deepen their inte...more

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Is publishing a research paper the key to academic success for high school students?

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at April 29

Students and parents may feel like having an article published in an academic journal is the ultimate badge of accomplishment after conducting research. This isn’t surprising; who doesn’t like to see their work in print? However, the truth is more complicated. Publishing in reputable journals is very difficult and not accessible for most high school students. In order to meet the growing number of high school students who believe they must publish their research, a wide range of publishers have emerged, ranging from vanity press to outright predatory. We encourage students and parents to think carefully about publishing.   Here, we address four myths about academic publishing as a high school student. 

Myth #1: Publishing automatically confers credibility. 

Research is credible when it is proven to follow rigorous academic standards and is certified by a reputable organization. Being published in a journal does not automatically make your research more credible. Research...more

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Pioneer’s rigorous academic system raises the bar for honesty, transparency, and academic integrity

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at April 19

Pioneer’s ethics are the heart of its educational philosophy and mission. To become a Pioneer scholar and join the Pioneer community means cultivating a respect for academic integrity.  Honesty, integrity, transparency, a rigorous academic system and joint oversight with Oberlin college ensure that Pioneer and all Pioneer scholars and faculty are held accountable to a high ethical standard. 

Pioneer is an education program only with a commitment of zero of conflict in terms of college admissions. 

Pioneer has a zero conflict of interest policy. One of Pioneer’s key policies to avoid potential conflicts of interest is to have absolutely no financial ties to third parties. Additionally, neither Pioneer nor its employees  shall give official or unofficial advice about college admissions. By avoiding this conflict of interest, Pioneer ensures that its evaluations are as impartial as possible because there is no incentive to inflate students’ grades or otherwise misrepre...more

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Does conducting research with a mentor from Stanford increase your chances of getting into Stanford?

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at March 23

One might assume that doing research with a Stanford professor as a high school student increases your chances of getting into Stanford. However, of the more than 30 Pioneer scholars admitted to Stanford in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 admission cycles, not one worked with a Pioneer faculty mentor from Stanford in the program. How could this be? The truth is that the credibility of research at Pioneer doesn’t come from the professor’s home institution, but from Pioneer’s high academic standards. Research at Pioneer is a unique academic experience that allows students to grow as scholars and demonstrate creativity, dedication, and intellectual curiosity. The rigorous standards that shape the Pioneer experience lead to a rewarding educational experience and a transparent, comprehensive, and respected evaluation that scholars can use in college applications and beyond – regardless of the home institution of their faculty mentor. 

When evaluating research programs for high school stude...more

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Pioneer alumni describe the unique experience of participating in the Pioneer Research Program

The Pioneer Research Program
Posted at March 4

Students wishing to participate in an extracurricular academic program may be overwhelmed by choice. While many programs have excellent reputations, each has a different focus and addresses different academic goals. In order to choose which program is the right fit, students must carefully evaluate their own objectives and compare them against what the program offers. Pioneer Academics is a unique research experience that allows students to accomplish something rather than just learning. Pioneer’s academic system ensures that all Pioneer scholars conduct authentic research, benefit from mentorship by carefully chosen faculty members, build communication skills and experience academic freedom. 

All Pioneer scholars conduct authentic research and write a research paper. 


Adam (engineering, 2019), a Pioneer scholar from Beijing, took a summer course for high school students at an Ivy League university the year before he joined the Pioneer research program. While he doesn’t disco...more

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