Information for Alumni of JBA/STAPH


JBA or STAPH vs. Zombie Scholars Academy:  What’s the Difference?

For those who have attended the Joseph Baldwin Academy for Eminent Young Scholars or the Summer Talent Academy for Professions in Health, Zombie Scholars Academy will seem different. This page is designed to highlight some of those differences. While much of what you will see in the description of the program will seem memorable to the alumnus of one of these programs, it is important that students understand that Zombie Scholars Academy is not merely an extension of JBA or STAPH. It is unique.

Q: Do nominations and acceptances work the same way as they did with JBA or STAPH?

A: The process is similar.  Nomination requests will be sent to high school counselors who will then make nominations.  However, students may initiate a “self nomination” by contacting ZSA directly.  Students will still be required to complete all other application materials and obtain a letter of recommendation. Our preference, however, is for students to go through the nomination process, if at all possible.

Q: Why is Zombie Scholars Academy only one week long?

A: Our experience tells us that students in high school have much more to worry about than just summer programs. Many of them need to begin to hold summer jobs in order to make money for college. Some are busy preparing college applications or studying for college entrance examinations. Many things compete for their time. Consequently, we wanted a program that would appeal to students who still wanted a summer experience, but couldn’t commit three weeks of their summer to it.

Q: Can I expect to do the same kind of activities I did in JBA or STAPH?

A: Remember that Zombie Scholars Academy lasts only one week – as opposed to three for JBA. Like activities in the STAPH program, activities at ZSA will mostly be “thematically consistent” with class content. What does this mean? It means that activities will be designed in such a way as to reinforce concepts that are being taught in class, while still having fun! So, for example, dodgeball (a perennial JBA favorite) can function as a metaphor for the spread of a virus, folding an aspect of learning into a physical activity. Because health and survival is being emphasized in the program, students can expect activities with a fair amount of physical engagement and field work. There will, of course, be at least one dance. Even zombies and survivalists need to get their groove on.

Q: How does class at ZSA look like when compared to JBA or STAPH?

A: The biggest difference you’ll notice is that you don’t have a single class or a single professor. Instead, all ZSA students will experience the same curriculum and interact with a range of different professors hired by ZSA to provide instruction in their areas of specialty. Our subject-area experts will include biologists, psychologists, writers, wilderness safety experts, broadcasters, theater instructors, mathematicians, and science fiction enthusiasts. Guest speakers from the government and private organizations will also be invited. During the discussion of certain topics, students may interact with multiple faculty. The Director of the program – a Truman professor – will interact with students as a common instructor and program leader, and the Assistant Director and preceptors (who are drawn from appropriate disciplines at Truman) will reside in the dorm with students. These individuals will provide continuity across the different subjects being studied.

Q: Are there differences in rules between the three programs?

A: Some. While basic rules of safety will apply, regardless of what age group you are in, some rules you’ve come to know at JBA (a middle school-oriented program) can be relaxed for more mature and experienced students. We will inform you of the chief differences when you arrive, and some of these differences will be detailed in the Welcome Guide. Some services, like the JBA Bank, don’t exist under STAPH or ZSA simply because of the short duration of the program and our expectation that you should be able to manage your money at this age.

Q: Will we get to interact with JBA and STAPH students while attending ZSA?

A: Minimally you will probably encounter students from JBA Session I at meals. JBA will likely not share the same building with ZSA, and STAPH arrives a few weeks after ZSA. The Hall Store, traditionally maintained for JBA, will be serving both sets of students. However, activities and classes are scheduled separately and students in the respective programs will not be permitted to visit each other’s rooms or hallways. Our hope is that you will make new friends among the students attending ZSA rather than using ZSA primarily as a vehicle to hang out with old JBA buddies. If sufficient interest exists by students attending both programs, some joint activities may be organized.

Q: Why does it cost more to attend one week of ZSA than it costs to attend the equivalent week of JBA?

A: Most of the costs associated with JBA are incurred up-front (t-shirt, professor pay, insurance, classroom supplies, etc.). Room and board is the only cost that has a daily rate. As a consequence, much of what it normally costs to get a JBA student started in that program it will also cost to start a ZSA student. Additionally, because the coursework in ZSA involves the use of more costly resources, there are additional costs associated with the program. Additionally, ZSA will be bringing-in some notable speakers from the zombie genre for students’ enjoyment.  Unlike JBA, where students are charged course-based fees for textbooks and activities over and above normal tuition, all of these costs are automatically bundled into the tuition rate. Aside from incidental expenses, there should be no additional costs associated with attending ZSA.  If you look around the country at similar one-week programs you’ll find the cost is still very competitive.

For answers to additional questions contact us at (660) 785-5406

Check back here for answers to additional questions as we receive them.