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About PATH

Program for the Academically Talented at Hope

PATH, the Program for the Academically Talented at Hope, began in 1986 as a cooperative project of Hope College and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District. It was developed to serve academically talented seventh, eighth and ninth graders from greater Ottawa County by offering fast-paced, accelerated instruction in writing and mathematics. Today, we have over 25 public and private school districts participating from Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon Counties. We have up to 175 middle school and advanced elementary students enrolled each year.


Students qualify for PATH by taking the SAT I: Reasoning Test or the ACT assessment. Each year over 20% of the local talent search students qualify for PATH by earning scores at or above average scores of college-bound high school seniors.


PATH students meet on Hope's campus one afternoon a week throughout the school year. For most students PATH takes the place of a regular Math, English or Science course in their home school. Unless otherwise determined by the district, families are responsible for transportation.

The two-year PATH math sequence is equivalent to four years of high school mathematics. During the first year, students complete first and second year algebra. The second year curriculum includes geometry, and advanced math. Students who have completed first year algebra in their home school can take a one year sequence consisting of geometry and second year algebra.

Pre-Algebra is a course for 5th and 6th graders who have completed the 6th-grade math course. This is an enriched course allowing students to explore pre-algebra skills in a hands-on, active environment.

PATH Composition and Literature I and II provide a full language arts curriculum. It approaches the language arts through the process of writing, working from a wide range of possible topics to a final draft. Literature is used to illustrate writing techniques and styles, and emphasis is placed on control of language, including word choice, sentence structure and figures of speech. A workshop format with peer group evaluations is used to help students improve their writing. Oral communication is emphasized with class discussions and formal presentations.

PATH Biology provides seventh and eighth grade students the opportunity to take a high-school level science course. PATH Biology students attend class in Hope’s A. Paul Schaap Science Center once a week to engage in exploration, laboratory instruction and technology opportunities.

For more information about PATH, contact: Lisa Frissora, Hope College Education Department, P.O. Box 9000, Holland, MI 49422-9000 or email: frissora@hope.edu