The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur is a Catholic, independent, college prepatory school for young women in grades 6 through 12.

A Catholic, Independent, College Preparatory School for Young Women, Grades 6 through 12

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur: Inspiring Young Women Since 1956

Scholar Programs

Notre Dame offers students the opportunity to deepen their academic experience by curating a four-year program of study, involving curricular and extracurricular activities, in order to provide intentional focus on one of these areas:

Arts Scholar of Excellence Program - helps students connect the creation and performance of art with its academic study. The program helps students cultivate the habits of creative and imaginative thinking that are crucial in the modern world. It also provides a structure for community engagement.

Global Citizen Scholar Program – provides opportunities for students to develop global competencies by studying global themes and issues through approved elective courses, seeking cross-cultural experiences, partaking in educational and community-engagement, traveling internationally, and participating in globally-focused domestic programs. Seniors will present a global citizen portfolio for assessment by the Director of the Center for Global Leadership and faculty mentors.

STEM Scholar of Excellence Program - provides opportunities for students to demonstrate scholarship in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students are required to take STEM Scholar approved courses, participate in external STEM competition or independent research, attend STEM related academic lectures and Career Exploration events, and complete a senior capstone project approved by the STEM Scholar committee.

These programs will deepen the student’s knowledge in the specified field of study. When a student completes the program she will receive a designation on her official transcript and will receive recognition at graduation. Successful scholar students will graduate exceptionally prepared for continued study at the collegiate level in their particular discipline.

Global Citizen Scholar Program

Who is a Global Citizen Scholar?

A Global Citizen Scholar (GCS) seeks perspectives outside of and in addition to her own in order to approach all aspects of her education with a diverse lens that will enhance her global citizenship. Students who complete the program receive a designation on their official transcript and will receive recognition at graduation. Successful scholar students will graduate exceptionally prepared for continued study at the collegiate level in their particular discipline.

Overview of Program Requirements

Coursework and Language Study: In addition to all Notre Dame graduation requirements:

● Maintain 3.9 GPA while enrolled in the GCS program.
● Completion of at least 12 globally oriented courses. Of these 12 courses, four must be in the same world language.

International and Cross-Cultural Experiences: Completion of at least one international and two cross-cultural experiences OR three cross-cultural experiences.

Program Attendance: Participation in a minimum of four on- or off-campus global-themed activities and events.

School Clubs: Involvement in one school-sponsored club that relates to global issues and/or studies.

Career Exploration and Senior Research Project: Notre Dame’s Career Exploration Program completed at an international organization/company, or a company whose work is of a global nature. Senior Research Project through English classes focused on globally-oriented topic.

Progress Meetings: Scholars must meet with program coordinator once in freshman year, twice in sophomore and junior year, and quarterly in senior year.

Comprehensive Geography Exam: Seniors must pass a world geography exam prior to presenting their portfolios.

Portfolio: Completion and presentation of a global citizen portfolio. Seniors will present portfolio to the Director of the Center for Global Leadership. Faculty, staff, administration, parents and student peers will also be invited. In addition to the “Required Courses,” which all students take, students must choose at least four approved elective courses.

For a detailed review of Program Requirements, please click here.

The Global Scholar Program coordinator is Mrs. Nora Moffat, Director of the Center for Global Leadership.
Contact: nmoffat@ndapa.org, Ext. 172.

STEM Scholar of Excellence Progam

Who is a STEM Scholar of Excellence?

A STEM Scholar utilizes the skills of problem solving, critical thinking and innovation across all disciplines and is equipped to solve complex, real world problems. The STEM Scholar of Excellence Program provides opportunities for students to demonstrate scholarship in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Students who complete the program receive a designation on their official transcript and will receive recognition at graduation. Successful scholar students will graduate exceptionally prepared for continued study at the collegiate level in the STEM discipline.

Overview of Program Requirements

Following the curricular and extracurricular guidelines of the program are mandatory for completion and will be monitored through meetings with program coordinator.

While program curricular requirements are focused and rigorous, meeting them is not meant to eliminate the student’s ability to take courses outside of STEM courses. Therefore, approximately three credits will be available for electives outside of STEM Scholar required courses.

Coursework: In addition to all Notre Dame graduation requirements:

  • Maintain cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher
  • Completion of at least 12 STEM oriented credits.
    • Qualifying Courses (will be identified as such in Curriculum Guide):
      • Minimum requirements for Math: 5 credits
      • Minimum requirements for Science: 4 credits
      • Minimum requirements in Technology courses 1.5 credits
      • Additional 1.5 credits in any STEM Scholar approved course
  • Participation in an external STEM Competition 
  • Attendance at STEM Speaker Series
  • Attendance at one STEM academic lecture or community event each academic year and completion of a written reflection for each lecture.

Career Exploration

  • Career Exploration in a STEM field.

Senior Project

  • Senior Project meets STEM Criteria and approved by STEM Scholar of Excellence committee.   

For a detailed review of Program Requirements, please click here.

Arts Scholar Program

What is an Arts Scholar?

  • is passionate about the arts — visual, literary, and performing
  • values creativity and imagination
  • seeks multiple perspectives gained through the arts of cultures from around the world
  • and is engaged with the broader arts community

Coursework:

  • Freshman Arts (graduation requirement)Coursework: 
    • Introduction to Visual and Performing Arts OR
    • Art Foundations OR
    • Dance Company OR
    • Ensemble OR
    • Women's Chorale
  • 4 credits in English (graduation requirement)
  • Specialization in one artistic discipline — elective credits in 10th, 11th, and 12th grade:
    • 3 credits in Dance OR
    • 2 credits in English OR
    • 3 credits in Instrumental Music OR
    • 3 credits in Visual Arts OR
    • 3 credits in Vocal Music
  • 1 additional elective arts credit outside of area of specialization. [Note: all elective courses in the Department of English and the Arts can be used to fulfill this requirement. Courses from other disciplines will be considered on an individual basis.]
  • Students must take at least one AP course in the Arts. Current offerings are: AP Art History, AP English Language, AP English Literature, and AP Studio Art.
  • Students must maintain 3.9 GPA. 

Scope of the term "Arts":  The Arts Scholar Program is meant to embrace all forms of human creative achievement, and it encompasses a broad variety of artistic disciplines: the visual arts of drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, and other media; the musical arts of vocal and instrumental music, theory, and composition; the art of dance, both performance and choreography; theater arts: performance, dramaturgy, and design (set, costume, lighting, and sound); film; and the literary arts in all genres, including journalism and publishing. This list, of course, is not exhaustive, and students are encouraged to pursue their individual interests through curricular work, co-curricular activities, and experiences beyond the gates of Notre Dame.

Cultural Experiences:  Completion of at least three cultural experiences in the arts. Each experience requires prior approval from Dr. Califf.

  • Arts experiences include:  
    • Attending a live performance: play, musical, concert, recital, etc. 
    • Visiting an art museum. 
    • Leadership and/or active participation in an arts organization. 
    • Volunteering/service with local arts organizations.

Academic Experiences: Participation in a minimum of three academic events in the arts, e.g. lectures, conferences, workshops.

Publication and Performance: Each Arts Scholar is expected to participate in at least one Notre Dame co-curricular activity that involves publication or performance of creative work. This activity should be sustained throughout the student’s high school career. 

  • Suggested activities for literary arts: school newspaper, school literary magazine, ND Theater, Shakespeare competition
  • Suggested activities for visual arts: school newspaper (photography), school literary magazine (which also publishes student art), ND Theater (assistance with set design, costume design, program design) 
  • Suggested activities for performing arts: ND Theater (cast or pit), Liturgical Music

Career Exploration and Senior Research Project: Notre Dame’s senior year Career Exploration Program must be completed at an arts organization. The Senior Research Project assigned in 12th grade English class must focus on an arts-oriented topic. Both must be approved by Dr. Califf.

Progress Meetings: Scholars must meet with program coordinator (Dr. Califf) once in Freshman year, twice in Sophomore and Junior years, and quarterly in Senior year. The student is responsible for scheduling such meetings, which are held to discuss progress made toward completing requirements.

Portfolio: Completion and presentation of an arts portfolio. This portfolio will include examples of the student’s original creative work as well as reflections on all aspects of the scholar program (coursework, experiences, events, etc.). 

  • Prompts for reflections will be provided on program site. Each Senior will present her portfolio to one or more faculty members in her area of specialization. Faculty, staff, administration, parents, and student peers will also be invited.

For a detailed review of Program Requirements, please click here.

The Arts Scholar Program coordinator is Dr. David Califf, English and Arts Department Chair.
Contact: dcaliff@ndapa.org ext. 174