The Delta Program offers not only diversity in education, it gives students and parents a chance to be a fundamental part of part of designing that education. The Delta Program recognizes the importance of student choice in academics. With the input of their advisor and parents, students have freedom to choose from a wide variety of courses.
Advisors are Delta teachers who meet regularly with a group of students known as a “clump” to discuss events and issues within Delta and the greater community. Every Thursday, the whole school comes together at an All School Meeting, where students and teachers discuss subjects pertaining to the Delta community, as well as make presentations on topics beneficial to the whole school.
Advising teams consist of an advisor, the student, and his/her parent(s)/legal guardian(s). Advising teams meet three times a year create the student's schedule for the coming semester and discuss the student’s academic and personal goals. At the end of the year, student performance is discussed and plans for the following year are formulated.
In keeping with Delta’s spirit of freedom of choice, there are a wide variety of academic options offered within and outside of Delta. Students have the option of taking classes at Delta, State College Area High School, and Penn State. Penn State courses do require special approval before appearing on student transcripts. The advising team helps students coordinate their Delta schedule with their other classes. Generally, classes at other institutions are scheduled at the beginning or end of the school day.
All Delta teachers are fully accredited and most have many years of experience. Each class is unique and stimulating. Our courses cover a great variety of topics ranging from Bioethics to Shakespeare, Human Rights to Backpacking. Courses are available to all students at the appropriate academic level, regardless of grade, resulting in mixed-aged classrooms.
Along with regular classes, Delta offers experiential courses and gives students the option to complete independent contracts. Independent contracts allow students to garner credit for educational experiences beyond the classroom. If a student is deeply interested in a subject that Delta doesn’t cover in a class, they may arrange with a Delta teacher or an outside resource person to self-teach this course, receiving credit just as they would from a Delta class. Experiential courses give students an immersive, hands-on experience with course material. Each year, Delta has either an experiential week or experiential days. Experiential weeks are their own class, unrelated to other course work, which gives students experience a new subjects. Experiential week courses offered in the past include Stained Glass, Experiential Law, Hiking, and Bread Baking. Experiential days are attached to courses students are already taking. Courses with attached experiential days are offered in the fall semester. Four times during that semester, all Delta classes are cancelled, and students spend the full day with their experiential class. Classes use these days for immersive study of course material, whether it be a lecture from a guest speaker or a field trip. For example, the Mythology class might use its attached experiential days to visit a planetarium or hold a mock Olympic games, while the Law class might visit the state capital, Harrisburg.
All Delta students have open campus. When not in class, students may leave the Delta building. This allows students to pursue academic opportunities outside of school. Students use open campus to visit Schlow and Pattee libraries, perform community service, and purchase lunch downtown. Delta students are entrusted with great responsibility, but they understand that this is a privilege. Students are required to get to all classes and appointments on time, and lateness is penalized.
Each Delta student is required to complete 30 community service hours per school year. This gives students the chance to give back to the larger State College community and provides a unique variety of learning experiences.