Our Academy of Science was founded to provide an exemplary science learning experience in two ways.
Selected students are placed in an advanced math and science curriculum in their freshman year. These freshmen are introduced to field scientists and their work through visits and partnerships with institutions that include The University of California San Diego’s Physical Sciences Department, The Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, The Kyoto Prize lectures and the Scripps Research Institute. These partnerships include visits to their laboratories, providing mentors for our students from among the doctoral and post-doctoral scientists, and summer internship opportunities in the laboratories and research facilities they represent.
Mater Dei has always admitted students with special learning needs to the school on a case-by-case basis, but this year will be the first time they have a dedicated resource for support.
The new Learning Center will be in the Aquinas Center; the same building that houses the library. This program will help students enhance their strategies for independence, and learning. Students who have an IEP or 504 plan, or any documented learning disability, that interferes with his or her ability to learn in a general education classroom, will qualify for the extra support.
The first thing students will notice about the new Learning Center teacher, Jacquelyn Ackman, is her kind and patient spirit. Born and raised in San Diego, and a former Catholic school student herself, Ackman graduated from San Diego State with a Bachelor’s degree in English, and from Point Loma Nazarene with a Master’s degree in Education. She holds a California Special Education credential for grades K-12, with an autism specialization, as well as a Secondary English credential.
Ackman makes the goal of the program clear. “Just as God has designed each student uniquely and individually, we hope this program will cater to the unique qualities of each student.”