• Academics
  • Intensives
Intensives Provide Student-led Learning Experiences

January means the return of intensives, a three week term offered during the winter and spring.

Intensive classes allow students to focus on a single course of study

By Mary Beth Lambert, Director of Marketing & Communications

It’s January, Pumas! And that means the return of intensives. UPrep intensives are three-week terms offered during the winter and the spring when students take one class full-time, earning the same credit as a one semester class. Intensive courses are academic and include student-designed projects, internships, and mentorships. During the past two school years, when COVID-19 restrictions were not in place, intensives also included day visits to organizations in town, and overnight travel nearby and far away.

“Learning like this helps our students attain the knowledge, skills, and thinking dispositions needed to successfully navigate our rapidly changing world,” says Richard Kassissieh, assistant head of school for academics and strategic initiatives.

Intensive classes allow students to focus on a single course of study for a period of time, creating a structure for deep, student-led learning experiences. They also promote student leadership, collaboration, and community engagement and de-emphasize homework, solitary study, and isolated subjects.

 “Intensives, launched three years ago and based on a similar model from the Hawken School in Cleveland, emerged as the answer for how we might rearrange school to allow students to dive deeply into one course, often including multiple subjects, uninterrupted by other classes, free to travel off-campus or immerse themselves in an extended project. A pleasant surprise this year is that teachers and students have still found the flexibility of intensives liberating despite the obstacles to travel and on-campus learning brought by COVID,” says Richard.

During the following two weeks, we will share more about the January intensives via this blog and on our UPrep Instagram. You can learn more about UPrep’s intensives by reading this article from the national Independent School Magazine. You can read more about intensives during the previous two years here and here.


More from PrepTalk