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NMH Advanced Programs

Education for the Head, Heart, and Hand

The Advanced Program at NMH is designed to offer an immersive learning experience that challenges, captivates, and empowers independent learners. 

NMH made the decision to replace AP courses so our curriculum – at all levels – serves our mission to engage our student’s intellect, compassion, and talents, empowering them to act with humanity and purpose. The intentional curriculum we developed equips students with advanced knowledge to achieve excellence while igniting their curiosity and passion for learning, broadening their view of the world, and refining their image of themselves. With updated prerequisite requirements, we are also providing the important benefit of ensuring that a greater number of our students have access to advanced offerings. 

Advances Knowledge to Achieve Excellence  
Like AP courses, the NMH Advanced Program gives students the opportunity to develop skills needed to tackle and complete college-level work, and stand out to colleges as they compete for placement and scholarships.

Our Advanced Program courses are taught at or beyond the AP level and emphasize the values of interdisciplinary studies, equity and inclusion, and student-centered learning. Designated by a course number of 500 or 600, these courses allow students to complete rigorous, college-level coursework with an inquiry- and project-based approach, in addition to preparing them for the AP exam.  

Engages Curiosity and Ignites the Passion for Learning with Meaning
The NMH Advanced Program takes an advanced curriculum beyond a test-prep model and centers learning around the student and their development as insightful researchers and informed problem solvers. 


Program Benefits

Reformulates Rigor and Emphasizes the Acquisition of Skills
The Advanced Program prioritizes mastery of relevant skills, understanding of subject-specific content, and examination of issues from multiple perspectives, which students then apply to real-world situations. This divergence from the AP program expectations for content coverage and focus on the ability to test well allows for review or reflections on learning. The long-block academic model allows for deeper and more focused learning each day. The pace is more humane for students, and as a result fosters richer understanding and long-term retention. 

Requires Students to Apply their Learning 
Courses focus on more flexible and relevant modes of instruction that ask students to apply their learning using relevant, real-world skills and project-based assessments. Unlike AP courses that require teachers to teach toward a test, emphasizing a “right/wrong” test model, there is more flexibility to allow for open-ended responses and divergent thinking. 

Incorporates more Diverse Voices and Perspectives into the Curriculum
NMH faculty are scholars who have the flexibility to update their curriculum or tailor their instruction in response to current events or advances in their respective field. Teachers are not confined to a prescribed and often static AP curriculum. They can be more creative both in the content they teach and the ways they assess – making the curriculum more responsive to challenges students encounter each semester. The ability to be dynamic also increases the relevance of the content for students and gives them the opportunity to incorporate their own perspectives and ideas.  

Offers Unique Advanced-Level Courses
By leaving the AP program, NMH has been able to develop unique, advanced-level courses, such as Biotechnology, Environmental Applications of Advanced Chemistry, or Advanced Latin Literature: Republic to Empire, which are taught at or beyond the AP level. The program also extends beyond traditional disciplines to include more tailored learning experiences including the Rhodes Fellowship Course in Social Entrepreneurship and Capstone programs. Now students have greater flexibility to select courses which align with their long-term academic goals, rather than feeling pressure to take only those courses labeled “AP.”

Nhu Hoang

My philosophy is: Fail early, so you can eventually succeed.

Gretel Schatz, Director of the Dance program, instructs a dance student.

I want dance students to engage their own memory and intellect.

Mary Hefner

I love teaching AP Bio. The kids are highly motivated.


“The best thing about NMH is the connections you make.” 


“NMH challenges students to innovate and persevere while keeping in mind the effects of our actions on the community."


“This community gives me the resources to grow as a student and discover passions I never knew I had.” 


“I am confident in myself and my abilities to succeed, thanks to NMH.”


"I love the freedom I have to explore what I am passionate about."


"NMH gives us space to experiment and gradually to grow into ourselves."


"I noticed how welcoming everyone was when I first came to campus.”


“The first step to excelling at NMH is embracing your own individuality.” 


“I appreciate the bond faculty and students have at NMH.”


"The community at NMH is unlike any I’ve ever known, and for that I am grateful.”


"NMH allows me to be myself in the classroom and ensures I am an articulate, curious, and courageous student.”


“I was initially surprised by how relaxed, yet academic, the environment is."


"The curriculum here is hard, but it’s the right amount of hard."