Odyssey Scholars Program - Sandia Prep

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Sandia Prep's Odyssey Scholars challenge themselves academically, intellectually, and creatively by designing a two-year course of study that culminates in a major public presentation. This program combines the elements of Independent Study, Senior Experience, and research (capstone) projects. Students may apply for the program at the end of their sophomore year.





Intellectual Quest

Ever since Homer’s character Odysseus took his

epic journey, we have come to know the word

“odyssey” to mean “an intellectual or spiritual

wandering or quest.” We, at Sandia Prep,

perceive education in much the same way. It

truly can be a quest when a student finds and

follows a passion for a particular area of study.

The Odyssey Scholars Program allows students

to do just that.

Combining elements of Independent Study,

Senior Experience, and on-going research,

a student who desires in-depth study in a

particular area, can apply to be a part of the

Odyssey Scholars Program.

Why Odyssey


Through the program, students:

• integrate into wide landscape of like-minded

experts and establish connections in the field

• are recognized in college admissions as

extraordinary learners

• begin college with deeper knowledge of

career / life direction


• Creates awareness of Prep throughout city as

outstanding students network with professionals

• Involvement of alumni as mentors and guides


• Two full years of study during junior and senior years

• Students apply at end of sophomore year

Program limited to 12 students per year

• All Odyssey Scholars required to take 5 traditional courses a year

• Work done in 4 semesters will culminate in final thesis defense


After submitting proposal to Review Board of faculty members,

selection of student participation based on:

• Quality of project and passion for the work

• Student’s previously observed work ethic

• Student dependability

• Student integrity

• Faculty recommendation

Required Elements




Complete readings on research in their chosen field

Study various documentaries by professionals in field of study

Document ideas, conversations, insights, practice sessions,

observations, questions, etc., in an on-going journal






End of Each


Research Paper


Develop an arsenal of professional contacts

Interview three experts in their field of study per semester

Public speaking, research methods, communication, etc.

Become involved in practical learning, i.e. rehearsals,

project-based classes, building/modeling, shadowing

Write a 5-10 page evaluative paper

Prepare a final project on research done over two years

Prepare a public presentation in the form of a “thesis

conversation” at end of two-year period

For more information about the Odyssey Scholars Program contact:

Debi Kierst, Director of Special Academic Programs

505.338.3033 • dkierst@sandiaprep.org

Dr. Cheryl McMillan, Head of Upper School

505.338.3028 • cmcmillan@sandiaprep.org

532 Osuna Road NE, Albuquerque NM 87113

505.338.3000 • sandiaprep.org

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