The Academic Challenge Program was established in 1987 as a college-school partnership between the nine Sussex County School Districts and the Georgetown Campus of Delaware Tech. The program is open to qualified students in eighth grade, and the five-year program offers them the standard high school curriculum in mathematics and English at an accelerated pace allowing for college course work during the junior and senior years of high school. All college courses are taught at the Georgetown Campus through Delaware Tech and the University of Delaware. It is possible to earn 12 college credits in English and 15 college credits in mathematics.
The Academic Challenge Program is suitable for students who are
- High ability
- Able to benefit from accelerated instruction
Students who are completing their third marking period in the 7th grade are evaluated for
- achievement student performance assessment in the specific subject area
- overall student performance assessment
- SAT results
- Program availability in the school district
Speak to your middle school guidance counselor for further information regarding the selection process.
Students must enter the program in the eighth grade. Only those students who transfer into the county at a later point may enter the program after the eighth grade.
Students may enroll in both English and math or choose just one subject area. They may not add an area after beginning the program.
See the Student Handbook for more information.
Academic Challenge Program Committee Members
"I graduated at the top of my class and a year early from night school. I am deeply appreciative to everyone at the Academic Challenge Program. I know I would not be where I am today without this program. Thank You!"
"Academic Challenge was wonderful! I truly enjoyed my years there and the friends I made.
I am grateful for the gifts AC has presented me."
Annaliza Smith, a 2004 Seaford graduate.
She attended the University of Virginia and majored in Chemistry.
"Thanks to Academic Challenge, after one semester I had enough credits to be a sophomore in college. Also, I double majored without taking more than 16 credits each semester. Academic Challenge has given me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people, many of which I am still very close with."
Carey Atlas, a 2003 graduate, home schooled.
She attended the Malone College and double majored in Psychology and History.
"Academic Challenge prepared me for college level courses and strategy. Above all it gave me confidence when entering college."
Jason Massey, a 2000 Cape Henlopen graduate.
He attended the University of Maryland earned a Civil Engineering degree.
"Whether you get an A, B or C, the classes you take in Academic Challenge will build a strong foundation for when you attend college."
Nelson Bunting, a 2003 Sussex Central High graduate.
He is attending Virginia Tech and majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
"The program gave me early exposure to challenging, college-level work. I was able to enter college with a full year of credits and graduated with a double major in just three years. Take full advantage of this fantastic program!"
Rachael Chamberlin, a 1998 Milford graduate.
She graduated from George Washington University, DC.
She has a master’s degree in Public Policy.
"Academic Challenge helps you learn how to manage time since you are on a weekly schedule and not a daily one. The classes I completed helped fulfill my college requirements and gave me more time to concentrate on my major. My advice to new students, finish the program it's worth it!"
William Paul Albanese III, a 2002 graduate.
He attended the University of Delaware and majored in Political Science and Biology.