The Sophomore Program is designed to build confidence, ambition, and motivation for students early in their high school years. The academic programming portion of the curriculum consists of Writing & Critical Thinking and Math Matters. The Test Prep Program, Math Matters, provides sophomore students with free access to trained teachers, study materials, a structured weekly curriculum, and the individual attention required to increase their scores. The Sophomore Program encourages students to strengthen writing and critical thinking skills such as structuring arguments, logical reasoning, and communicating ideas as they are encouraged to develop a Three-Year Course & Activity Plan for high school. Weekly discussions on global current events and debate topics provide a forum for developing these skills. Mentors guide students through the summer program application process and ensure that each student is accepted into a valuable educational program. At the end of the academic year, students are off to summer programs at prep schools, colleges, and universities around the country.
The Minds Matter Junior Program is dedicated to preparing high school students for college through SAT test preparation and Writing and Critical Thinking education. For juniors, the Test Prep Program takes the form of a full year program leading up to the Spring SAT or ACT. The curriculum familiarizes students with the SAT and ACT exams, provides test-taking strategies, refreshes basic skills, and provides several diagnostic exams to identify student strengths and weaknesses while reinforcing test strategies. In the 2009 – 2010 academic year, the average improvement was more than 230 points for students taking the SAT exam. In addition to Test Prep, juniors have the opportunity to polish their Writing and Critical Thinking skills. Building on the work done in the Sophomore Year, juniors continue to craft and refine their personal statements. A debate series in the spring allows students to further hone their critical thinking and public speaking skills.
The core focus of the Senior program is to prepare mentees for the college application process, which includes considerations for government and institutional financial aid, as well as third-party scholarships. The Senior Program begins with a refresher Test Prep curriculum for mentees taking SAT or ACT exams in the fall of their senior year. A targeted Writing and Critical Thinking curriculum focus on improving college essays. The mentoring sessions focus on the college selection process, preparing applications, financial aid and scholarships, and general college preparation skills. In the spring, seniors complete a Capstone Project, which is a service learning project that teaches the importance of giving back to their communities.