Welcome to Tennessee Governor's Academy

Program Description

 

The Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science (TGA) closed on May 31, 2011 after serving four years as the state’s first residential specialty school.  Under the direction of the University of Tennessee’s nationally acclaimed College of Education, Health and Human Sciences (CEHHS), the students at TGA were exposed to an integrated curriculum combining the social sciences, language arts, and humanities presented through inquiry-based learning.  Students followed the University of Tennessee’s curriculum in Calculus, Physics, Matrix Algebra, Differential Equations, Biology, and Chemistry, totaling over 27 hours of college credit by the end of the Academy’s two-year program.  To synergize the students’ mathematics and science instruction with research, each student was paired with a scientist mentor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest national laboratory, in areas such as Computational Sciences, Engineering, Biosciences, Environmental, and Chemical Sciences.

In January, 2010, TGA faculty, staff, and students were alerted that the Academy would be closing effective May 2011 due to state budget cuts.  TGA had been founded by former Governor Phil Bredesen, and its partners included the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee School for the Deaf, Tennessee State Board of Education, UT CEHHS, UT College of Arts and Sciences, ORNL, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities.  TGA is the only state-supported, residential specialty mathematics and science school to close in the United States.  The 17 other state-supported residential mathematics and science schools (e.g. North Carolina School for Science and Mathematics; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy) are still in operation.

Tennessee Governor's Academy

Established to educate students who are committed to their own education and have a passion for mathematics and science, the Tennessee Governor’s Academy for Mathematics and Science was the premier residential program in the state. Students at TGA recieved an educational experience that focused on inquiry, investigation, and research.

The mission of TGA was to provide a challenging educational opportunity for students seeking to pursue studies in science and mathematics. Our goal was to increase the number of students in Tennessee pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by providing advanced coursework and research opportunities.

Students at the Academy were selected from across the state and were expected to be prepared to positively contribute to our demanding and dynamic learning community. Governor Phil Bredesen, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, was dedicated to creating the most interesting and challenging learning environment possible in order to create global citizens who will make contributions in STEM fields that will benefit not only the state of Tennessee, but also reach the world.

Admission to TGA

Admission to the Academy was highly selective. Paramount to the recruiting and application process was that admitted TGA students represent the Grand Divisions of Tennessee (East, Middle, and West) as well as its regional, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. The Admissions Committee at TGA used the following four factors during the applicant screening process:  (1) recent standardized test scores (PLAN, ACT, PSAT, or SAT), (2) grade point average of mathematics, science, and English classes in 9th and 10th grades, (3) teacher and administrator recommendations, and (4) student essays.  Students successfully completed two years at TGA in order to graduate.  Every fall semester a new class of incoming juniors joined a class of returning seniors.  The table below shows admissions data for the three graduating classes of 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Cohorts

Number in Cohort

Males/
Females

Minority
Population

Nonmetro Students

PLAN
Composite
Mean at Admission

PLAN
Math
Mean

PLAN
Science
Mean

Class of 2011

29

16/13

44.8%

31.0%

23.8

25.1

24.4

Class of 2010

30

15/15

16.6%

26.7%

23.9

24.9

22.9

Class of 2009

24

12/12

29.2%

29.2%

23.7

25.6

24.9