Courses

The Academic Challenge Program consists of five Levels, corresponding to grades 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. Each academic year is divided into two 17 week semesters. During the course of Levels 1-3, students will receive middle school/high school credit for their English/math classes. During Levels 4 and 5, students will receive college credit at Delaware Tech or the University of Delaware.

The following chart outlines the five-year program:

MATHEMATICS
Level Fall
Semester
Spring
Semester
Fall
Semester
Spring
Semester
1 Algebra I Algebra II Writing Skills I Writing Skills II
2 Geometry AP Statistics Oral Communications Writing with Word Power
3 Pre-Calculus A      
COLLEGE CREDIT CLASSES (University of Delaware* or Delaware Tech*)
Math Courses

LEVEL 1
Algebra I: 
This course is offered in the fall and covers terminology, properties, polynomial operations, factoring, fractional simplification, exponents, roots, coordinate graphing and solving of linear equations, linear inequalities, and quadratic equations.

Algebra II:  This course is offered in the spring and covers functional notation, basic principles of coordinate geometry, systems of equations and inequalities, complex numbers, sequences and series, solving and graphing of quadratic, polynomial, exponential, and logarithmic equations, and functions.

LEVEL 2
Geometry: 
This course is offered in the fall and covers postulates and definitions, development of deductive reasoning through direct and indirect proofs, geometric inequalities, perpendicularity, parallelism, congruence, similarity, circles, constructions, polygons, and solids.

Probability & Statistics:  This course is offered in the spring and covers data presentation with central tendency and variability analyses, probability and counting rules, sampling, estimation hypothesis testing, Chi-square and analysis of variance, and simple regression and correlation.  [discrepancy between chart and course description as to Level and semester—verify with ACP]

LEVEL 3
Pre-Calculus: 
This course is divided into two semesters, fall and spring, and reviews central concepts of Algebra, unifying them around the notion of a function and its graph (polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic). The course also includes limit and limit techniques, partial fractions, vectors, proof by induction, polar coordinates, and parametric equations.

LEVEL 4
Analytic Geometry & Calculus A: 
This is a University of Delaware course which includes functions, limit theory and continuity, derivatives, and definite integrals.

MAT 281 Calculus I:  This is a Delaware Tech course which includes the study of functions, limits, and continuity; differential calculus of algebraic and trigonometric functions with applications; and an introduction to the development of the definite integral.

Analytic Geometry & Calculus B:  This is a University of Delaware course which is a continuation of Analytic Geometry and Calculus A and includes conics, exponential log, and trigonometric functions; integration techniques; and polar coordinates and vectors.

LEVEL 5
Analytic Geometry & Calculus C:  
This is a University of Delaware course which is a continuation of Analytic Geometry & Calculus B. The course includes partial derivatives, multiple integrals, line integrals, and series.

MAT 263 Principles of Discrete Math:  This is a Delaware Tech course which explores sets, logic, induction, the integers, functions, sequences, counting, and an introduction to graph theory.  Proofs are emphasized throughout the course.

Differential Equations:  This is a University of Delaware course that includes first and second order differential equations, systems of algebraic equations, determinants, vector spaces, Eigenvalues and Eigenvectors of matrices, and systems of differential equations.

MAT 288 Linear Algebra:  This is a Delaware Tech course which studies linear equations,  determinants, vector spaces, linear transformations, Eigenvalues, and Eigenvectors.

LEVEL 6
Fractals & Chaos: 
This is a University of Delaware course covering one-dimensional dynamics, especially the logistic function and maps of the unit circle, and two-dimensional dynamics including linear transformations and Smale’s horseshoe map. The course concludes with a study of the Mandelbrot set and the Julia sets. Constant attention is given to the fractal structure and chaotic dynamics. Permission from the Academic Challenge Program Chairperson is required to take this course.

English Courses

LEVEL 1
Writing Skills I: 
This course is offered in the fall and emphasizes the fundamentals of sentence and paragraph structure and grammar usage. Additional focus is given to organizational skills, vocabulary building with Greek and Latin roots, and study of mythology, with concurrent creative writing and independent reading selections.

Writing Skills II:  This course is offered in the spring and emphasizes multi-paragraph essay writing, including compare/contrast, expository, descriptive, and persuasive essays. Students will organize, develop, and write a research paper. They will explore, interpret, and write poetry. Independent reading selections are assigned.

LEVEL 2
Oral Communications: 
This course is offered in the fall and develops competence and proficiency in communication skills. Students deliver personal experience, demonstration, informative, and persuasive speeches. Selected readings are analyzed, focusing on the role of communication

Writing with Word Power:  This course is offered in the spring and focuses on development of language and academic vocabulary acquisition. Composition skills are demonstrated through analyses of reading, and the course requires a research paper

LEVEL 3
Literary Criticism: 
This course is offered in the fall and focuses on critical reading and writing assignments based on selected literature from different genres. Critical thinking, oral communication, and written composition are demonstrated through appreciation of literature.

Great Readings:  This course is offered in the spring and emphasizes a review and refinement of verbal and writing skills. The course fosters critical and creative thinking through analysis of literary works chronologically presented, which demonstrates the major movements in English and American literature.

LEVEL 4
Critical Reading & Writing: 
This is the standard University of Delaware freshman composition course. It develops expository and argumentative writing skills and fosters skills in analytical reading.

Introduction to Poetry:  This is a University of Delaware course which fosters appreciation and studies the masterworks of English and American verse. The course requires students’ oral and written analyses of poems from the Middle Ages to the present.

LEVEL 5
Introduction to Drama: 
This is a University of Delaware course which examines the masterworks of drama from the classical era to the present. The course requires students’ oral and written analyses of dramatic works.

Short Story:  This is a University of Delaware course that examines both form and content of short stories of various countries in America and Europe. The course requires students’ oral and written analyses of fiction.