Academically Talented Youth Program

  • Students and teacher in a math classroom creating a poster.

    “The most nourishing thing for young intellect to have is a connection to what Matthew Arnold once called 'the best which has been thought and said.'" —Spencer Lenfield, Mattawan High School, Harvard University, Rhodes Scholar

  • A young smiling girl in a student desk.

    "The powers of ATYP reach beyond the classroom." —Joelle Renstrom, Kalamazoo Central High School, University of Michigan, University of British Columbia

  • Students writing on a dry erase board.

    "I learned to challenge myself, and that I could get through any challenge I faced if I worked hard enough." —Emerson Talanda-Fisher, Otsego High School, Kalamazoo College

  • Students painting an art project on the floor.

    "ATYP challenges both with physical homework load and expansion of the mind, as well as an accepting, open, and imaginative environment." —Cassandra Thompson, Portage Northern High School

  • Students posing in two rows wearing ties.

    "I love ATYP because of the diversity of the students! Everyone is free to share their opinion without fear of judgment." —Abigail Knuckles, Allegan High School

The Academically Talented Youth Program in Western Michigan University’s Office of Precollege Programming is an advanced and accelerated educational opportunity for academically talented middle and high school students. The program is designed to provide a challenging, fast-paced and above-grade-level curriculum for motivated learners.

Through personalized and intense instruction and rigorous coursework, students are prepared for Advanced Placement content after two years of ATYP classes. The program strives to teach students based upon their intellectual capacity, not their year in school.

The program

  • Focuses on students who are highly gifted in math and/or language arts.
  • Begins to identify appropriate students during their sixth grade year.
  • Enrolls students in their seventh or eighth grade year.
  • Provides middle school students with high school curriculum at a rate and depth that meets their unique talents.
  • Allows school districts to give their most advanced students the curriculum they need, when they are ready for it, with the acceleration and intensity they require.


  • Advanced and accelerated instruction
  • High school credit
  • Intellectual challenge
  • Like-ability peers
  • Open discourse and debate
  • Study skills
  • Self-confidence

Fundraising opportunities

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