Developing talent in
gifted students and those who work with them
Developing talent in
gifted students and those who work with them
2019 STUDENT Handbook
Parent and Student Guide
It is important that you read this handbook in its entirety because it addresses many common questions from Mentor Immersion families.
A WELCOME FROM PTY
At Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth (PTY), we strive to offer academically advanced students experiences that will ignite their passion for knowledge, cultivate new interests, and spur creativity.
All of PTY's on-campus and virtual programs are specifically designed for advanced students who are motivated. We know from research and experience that advanced students receive social, emotional, and intellectual benefits from being in a classroom with other academically advanced peers. Our classes, both in-person and virtual, are designed to support what we know from research.
We are excited for our inaugural Mentor Immersion program. This 6-month immersive and in-depth experience engages students by stimulating critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills while providing a supportive, dynamic environment that encourages students to take intellectual risks as they experience challenging material. Vanderbilt scholars and content experts serve as mentors for this unique program. Our mentors provide opportunities for students to take an in-depth look at a discipline and encourage students to practice scholarly habits and participate in developing an independent project in the field, under the guidance of the mentor. Without the pressure of grades or credits, PTY Mentor Immersion students are free to experience the joy of learning, and explore a field without the fear of failure. Our program is called Mentor Immersion because the experience is specifically designed to immerse students in new content and experiences that strive to ignite their curiosity, expand their knowledge, and spur their passion in a current or newly-found area of interest.
Please know that all of us on the PTY team are dedicated to the success of your Mentor Immersion experience. We are excited that you have chosen to join us on online for this program. There is never a dull moment when academically advanced students and passionate scholars come together to explore a topic of interest.
From all of us on the PTY team, welcome to
Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth's Mentor Immersion!
MEET THE PTY ADMIN TEAM............................................................................#4
CONNECT WITH PTY........................................................................................#5
Preparing for PTY Mentor Immersion......................................................#6
Frequently asked Questions...................................................................#12
accessing Brightspace ............................................................................#15
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Select any heading below to jump directly to that section of the guide.
Join the PTY Mailing List
Meet the PTY Administrative TEAM
SARAH DELISLE, eDd
Director, PTY PROGRAMS and Operations
Sarah is the Director of PTY Programs and Operations for Programs for Talented Youth. In this role, she supports the operations of the department, including K-12 programming implementation and professional development opportunity design. Sarah holds an undergraduate degree in education from Vanderbilt University, with a double-major in education and child studies. Her Master’s degree is in Learning and Instruction from Vanderbilt and her Doctorate is in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change from Lipscomb University. Sarah’s interests include working with educators to support advanced students. She also enjoys connecting with PTY students and parents.
Emilie hall, MEd
Assistant Director, K-6 grade programs
As a full-time member of the PTY team, Emilie oversees the logistics and daily operations of Saturday/Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young and supports PTY Online Academy throughout the year. She came to Vanderbilt to pursue her M.Ed. in child studies after completing her undergraduate studies in biology and psychology at Youngstown State University. She began working with Programs for Talented Youth as a graduate student in 2014. Emilie has worked extensively with both our residential and day programs and is excited to now be able to serve students and families through online opportunities.
ENROLLMENT MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR
Rachel serves as the Enrollment Management Coordinator Prior to working at Vanderbilt, Rachel received her B.A. in Psychology from The University of Tennessee, Martin. She is currently working on her Master’s degree here at Vanderbilt. She also serves on the Executive Board of the local 501c3 non-profit Lace Up With Love, which delivers backpacks filled with necessities for Nashville’s homeless community. When not working or in school, Rachel likes to travel, go to concerts and festivals, and play with her dogs, Wilfred and Juni, and cat, Alice Cooper.
MARK SHIVERS, PHD
Assistant Director, Adolescent/Residential Programs
As a full-time member of the Programs for Talented Youth team and Director of Vanderbilt Summer Academy, Mark manages and oversees the academic, student support, operations, activities and residential life channels that form the unique VSA experience. With an extensive background in non-profit, higher education and tech education summer programs, Mark also helps oversee other adolescent programs including WAVU , PTY Online Academy, and Mentor Immersion. Mark holds a M.Div. and Th.M. from Columbia Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University in which he focused on the intersections of rhetorical invention, communication theory and post-structural homiletics.
TAMRA STAMBAUGH, Phd
PTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR and associate research professor
Tamra Stambaugh, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Programs for Talented Youth and an Associate Research Professor of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. Stambaugh conducts research in gifted education with a focus on students living in rural settings, students of poverty, and curriculum and instructional interventions that promote gifted student learning. She frequently provides keynotes, professional development workshops, and consultation to school districts nationally and internationally and shares her work at research conferences. She is directly involved in overseeing the day-day-operations of all PTY programs and establishes the vision and research connections for programming and services.
FIND US ONLINE!
Communication is a priority at PTY, and we greatly enjoy connecting with families. Due to the ongoing health situation, all members of the PTY staff are working remotely at this time. Therefore, email correspondence is currently the most efficient way to reach our full-time staff. We encourage students to reach out to their mentor/peer guide for mentor-specific questions. General program questions should be directed to PTY staff. We are connected to our on-campus voicemail but responses may be slightly delayed. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
CONNECT WITH PTY
PTY OFFICE PHONE
Programs for Talented Youth
Attn: Mentor Immersion Program PMB #506
230 Appleton Place
Nashville, TN 37203-5721
Mentor Immersion is an online academic mentorship opportunity that offers synchronous and asynchronous experiences for the advanced student interested in exploring an area of interest or new field in depth. Within the Mentor Immersion experience students have the opportunity to interact with their content expert mentor and peer guide, engage with like-minded peers, delve deep in a field of study, and develop a meaningful project in the field. In order to meet the unique interests of students, a variety of course topics and meeting times are offered each session.
When enrolling in Mentor Immersion students apply for one or more opportunities. Students are placed in one mentor experience for the 6 month session. Students participating in a Mentor Immersion cohort are eligible to apply for future Mentor Immersion sessions. Admission into one cohort and placement does not guarantee admission and placement in future Mentor Immersion cohorts.
The Mentor Immersion program begins the week of January 11 and runs through June 30, 2020.
Click Here to View Current Mentor Immersion Experiences
PTY Mentor Immersion experiences consist of both synchronous virtual meeting times (2 hours per week), virtual office hours (optional, meet for 1 hour per week), and asynchronous learning experiences (up to 2-3 hours per week) that students use to further their learning outside of the live sessions. The core technology platforms for online learning experiences include Zoom and BrightSpace. Zoom will serve as the main technology for the synchronous class meetings, while BrightSpace is the secure platform where mentors may post readings, class updates, PowerPoint presentations, discussion board prompts, and information about asynchronous activities for the mentorship. Information about how to access these platforms is included on Page 12 of this document.
Internet speed: Many online video conferencing platforms, which will be utilized for live mentorship experiences, have specific bandwidth requirements. Typically, an internet speed of 1.5 megabits per second (mbps), for both upload and download speeds, is needed on these platforms. If you would like to test your internet speed, you can visit: http://www.speedtest.net/.
Device: It is recommended that students have uninterrupted access during live mentorship session times to a laptop computer, desktop computer, iPad, or tablet for classroom experiences. Students should not use a mobile device. Windows, Mac and Chrome OS Operating Systems are compatible with all courses.
Class Materials: In addition to a computer, most class materials required will be typical classroom supplies (e.g. pencil/pen, notebook, graph paper, ruler, calculator) and are provided by the student. Other specific materials (e.g. book, downloadable documents) may be provided by PTY. Other classes may require a few additional common household items for hands-on experiences. Any additional materials that students need will be sent before the start of the prgram. Some classes may also require free software to be downloaded. This information will be provided before the course begins.
REQUIRED TECHNOLOGY AND MATERIALS
Within mentorship experiences, multiple perspectives (both popular and unpopular) may be examined and discussed for the purpose of building critical thinking skills and understanding or critiquing multiple viewpoints and data (or lack thereof) as well as incorporating and responding to classmates’ views and ideas. The ideas, readings and discussions are not necessarily the expressed views of the mentor/peer guide, PTY, or Vanderbilt University. While we encourage students to engage in the orderly and civil exchange of diverse ideas and opinions, we expect that all students in the program will do so in a respectful way so that all participants feel welcome and safe. Additionally, PTY works hard to make sure the content is developmentally appropriate. Mentors select readings and other course materials that consider educational impact and appropriateness for minors. Mentors are expected to use materials, readings, and videos at a PG-13 level or below. Students, mentors, and peer guides are expected to use professional language and decorum at all times. Please contact the email@example.com if you have questions or concerns.
A NOTE ABOUT MENTORSHIP EXPERIENCES
Each mentorship meets weekly during a specific pre-announced time. The weekly meeting time for each mentorship is consistent throughout the session. Please visit the Mentorship Immersion webpage for the specific time of your weekly mentorship session. All sessions times listed on the website are CST.
This virtual program runs during the spring term, from January to June 2021, and is designed for 10th through 12th grade students. Students will participate in weekly 2 hour online meetings with their mentor or mentor team and approximately 2-7 other students in the same mentorship experience. Each week students will learn more about the content area of their mentor and explore real world topics about how to be successful in the field of study with outside asynchronous experiences assisting in content acquisition. The experiences and conversations early in the mentor experience will lay the foundation for each student to complete an independent research project or a product, under the guidance of their mentor, with all projects completed by June 30, 2021. Participants will present their completed projects to their mentor and other Vanderbilt faculty and staff in Summer 2021.
Students may contact their mentor and peer guide at any time using the email provided through Brighstpace. Parent and general program or PTY questions should be directed to the PTY email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: All Mentor Immersion general program communication will be sent electronically to the user email addresses listed in your SchoolDoc account. Mentor specific emails will be sent to the email associated with the student's Brightspace account. We ask that you or your student check these emails regularly. Please be sure the user email(s) in your SchoolDoc account, as well as the email associated with your Brightspace account, include an email address that is checked on a daily basis.
Send PTY an email
WELCOME EMAIL AND LETTER
Before the start of Mentor Immersion, students and families will receive an email from PTY staff welcoming them to the program. This email will contain information about how to access the Brightspace platform as well as a letter from their mentor that welcomes the student to the mentorship and outlines some of the exciting experiences planned.
The Mentor Immersion program is designed to provide an in depth experience in the field. In order to appropriately prepare students for their capstone projects/independent research, additional assignments outside of the mentorship meeting sessions will be provided. These meaningful assignments may take many forms from activities and small projects to readings or reflection posts. Assignments will be shared with students through the BrightSpace learning platform or email. Access information for BrightSpace is included in your welcome email. We ask that you attempt to sign into Brighspace before the first day of your mentorship in the event you experience any difficulties logging in.
Online, synchronous learning sessions will be live with the mentor, peer guide, and other students enrolled in the specific mentorship. Each mentorship will be capped at approximately 8 students to allow for individualized support. Synchronous meeting times will vary by mentorship but are consistent for the full duration of the program.
All virtual, synchronous meeting times will be hosted on the Zoom platform. A link to access Zoom for your course will be included in the instructor welcome letter and/or welcome letter, which will be emailed to you prior to the start of the session. See page 14 before the first day of the mentorship for directions on setting up Zoom.
In addition to weekly 2-hour mentor sessions. There will be a 1-hour office hour opportunity each week. This hour will be consistent and determined by the availability of the mentor, peer guide, and students. This office hour time will be determined during the first live session.
MENTOR IMMERSION STUDENT COMMUNICATION
Mentors and peer guides will offer a one-hour virtual office hour each week for the students in their mentorship. Office hours will vary by mentorship but will meet at a consistent time each week. While attendance at office hours is not required each week, students are encouraged to take advantage of this time to engage with their mentor and peer guide, seek additional support, or explore resources offered at this time. Students may decide to attend an office hour session for a variety of reasons, such as to ask clarifying questions, discuss ideas for their project, or extend their learning. Attendance at office hours may be required at specific times for project conversations, additional activities, guest speakers and the like. The office hour time will be determined during the first live session or through a survey about availability sent after the first class session. The office hour time throughout the session may change if their is a unanimous agreement by the group.
During each Mentor Immersion program weekly communication from mentors will be sent to the email address associated with the student's BrightSpace account. Mentors and peer guides may email individual students. However, PTY policy asks that both the mentor and peer guide are included on all communication with individual students. Students are asked to always copy both the Mentor and peer guide when emailing and to always use the mentor and peer guide @vanderbilt.edu email address. The mentor and peer guide will share their contact information on the first day of the mentorship. Over the 6 month period, PTY understands that close relationships between the mentor/peer guide and the students will form. Although these mentor-mentee relationships are encouraged, mentors/peer guides are asked to not share their personal phone numbers. Students are asked not to connect with their mentors/peer guides on social media and Mentors are unable to accept friend requests on various platforms.
During Mentor Immersion, we want to stretch your intellectual capacity without fear of failure. Therefore, PTY Mentor Immersion faculty do not give grades. Ongoing feedback is provided throughout the experience. Additionally, at the end of the program your mentor will evaluate your overall progress as well as your independent project and you will receive a copy of feedback in the form of a student rubric. The rubric will detail your progress on a variety of factors and aims to give you a broad picture of your academic performance and growth in the program. This rubric is typically sent to families 2-3 weeks after the conclusion of the program.
An opportunity for students to present their final project will be held at the end of the Mentor Immersion program. More details will be provided in the spring by your mentor concerning the presentation format. Parents will be invited to attend their student's presentation.
Follow the guidelines set forth by your mentor and peer guide.
Have fun! Enjoy learning! Take advantage of this opportunity to interact with and learn from content experts and others in your mentorship who have similar interests and perhaps different backgrounds than you.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS WORKING IN AN ONLINE
Final Projects/Independent Research
The Mentor Immersion program’s culminating project/independent research is determined after collaborating with your mentor. Once the mentorship begins, each mentor will define the parameters around the culminating experience. Mentors will be asking their mentees to participate in a research project or culminating product that relates to the field of the mentorship focus. For example, a creative writing mentorship might include a final project of an anthology while a mentorship in nanoscience might include a paper or research related to the field. Therefore, after placement, it is up to the mentor and mentee to discuss a project that is appropriate for the experience, includes the mentor’s expertise that can be used to support the project, and is exciting to the mentee.
Students are expected to push their intellectual limits and have fun learning! Students are also expected to attend every mentorship session. However, PTY understands that you may need to be absent at some point over the 6-month experience. If you must be absent, please let the mentor and peer guide know by emailing them in advance of the session. It is expected that absences will be rare and are requested for appropriate reasons (e.g. illness, school commitment, family emergency). It is the student's responsibility to make up content or work that has been missed. Ongoing absences will affect the student's experience.
Appropriate behavior is expected of all students who attend PTY Mentor Immersion; distracting behavior is unacceptable and is not conducive to others’ learning experience. The Mentor Immersion staff and faculty endeavor to be student-focused in addressing inappropriate student behavior. Issues may be resolved in one or more of the following ways depending upon the severity of the infraction:
- Instructor confers with student
- PTY Mentor Immersion staff contacts parent(s)/guardian(s)
- PTY Mentor Immersion administration meets with student, parent(s)/guardian(s) and instructor
- Dismissal of the student from the program without refund of tuition
Parent(s)/Guardians are expected to respect and support Mentor Immersion faculty and staff members in their efforts to uphold all student learning and behavioral expectations. PTY reserves the right to dismiss a student who exhibits disruptive or inappropriate behavior without a refund of tuition or other fees and may prohibit future admission.
SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING EXPECTATIONS
Presentations of Work
Be kind and forgiving. This is a new experience for many people. We all make mistakes, misspellings, weird comments, and typos. We are at different levels of experience and understanding. Let go of your mistakes and the mistakes of others. No bullying, rude comments, jesting, unprofessional language, uploading of distasteful content or other inappropriate actions will be tolerated.
Be courteous and professional. Use words like “please” and “thank you” or “nice thought”. If you disagree or don’t understand, use phrases like “help me understand how or why” or “how might you explain….”, or “That is an interesting idea.” “An alternate idea might be…”. “I think about it this way,…” Don’t use name calling whether it is about the person or their ideas. Seek to understand. It is okay to disagree respectfully or state then change your opinion based on further discussion.
Participate. You are a valuable part of the program and your opinion matters. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Speak up and ask if you don’t know something. Take advantage of online office hours to talk with your professor and TA.
Be timely. Gather what you need and settle into your space before logging into the mentorship live session each week or when working offline with other classmates on projects or discussions. Remind your family (if needed )of your live online sessions. Be on time for live mentorship sessios or meetings as well as online response posts. The later you wait to post responses online the harder it will be for thoughtful discussions to emerge. Showing up late to your live mentorship sessions can be distracting. If you do have to be late or you have to leave early on rare occasions, email your mentor and peer guide to let them know.
Respect your privacy and the privacy of others. Don’t post the comments of others, course content, other people’s work, or photographs in public settings such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or the like. Don’t talk about others in your mentorship experience in negative or identifiable ways – especially in public forums. Don’t post personal information about yourself or others in public forums outside of the program. Don’t forward private messages to others who were not on an email or text chain except when needed to keep you or others safe and when adding an adult. Don’t record, video or capture images or voices of others during live sessions or meetings.
Prepare a space that is conducive to learning. Use a desk or a table. Set up your laptop or computer on a stable, flat surface where there is enough room to capture notes in a notebook. Consider having a water bottle nearby along with a pen and paper to write additional ideas. You may also take notes in an online document if you choose.
Enjoy your class and interactions with classmates, the instructor, and the TA.
Be present. Don’t have side conversations, play video games, text others or the like during online learning time, group work, or other designated work times when you should be focusing on the content.
Mute your audio when you are not speaking. This will help eliminate any background noise in your online classroom. Before joining the conversation, when you are ready to make a comment or ask a question, double check to make sure that you are unmuted.
If at any time you need to turn your video off, please let your instructor or Teaching Assistant know so that they understand you are still participating but just want to be off screen for a bit.
Do not eat during your live session. Snacking can be distracting to others in the class. If this is unavoidable, make sure you are on mute and turn off your video. For longer classes, there will be break times during online sessions for you to step away for a few minutes.
Turn your video and audio off if you have to step away for a break.
Wear appropriate clothing that is not revealing or offensive. Consider your normal school dress code and wear something that would be acceptable at your school (i.e., shirts with sleeves or wide shoulder straps, pants or a skirt – even if you will be sitting and may not be seen from your waist down; clothing without distracting slogans).
Breakout rooms will be used regularly during live sessions. Recognize that when moving to breakout spaces during class the groupings may be random or intentional. Random breakout groups allow you to connect with different peers. Intentional breakouts may be based on interest, choice, etc. When working with peers in breakout rooms follow classroom guidelines about what is to be accomplished. Consider having one person be the recorder, the time keeper, and the individual who shares out when groups return to the main room. Participate in breakout sessions and take turns allowing other voices to be heard. Bring others into the conversation. Don’t dominate or allow others to do all of the talking or work. Ask other people who have not participated to share their opinions. Join in the conversations.
Will I receive a grade or credit for my mentorship?
Will attending Mentor Immersion help me get into Vanderbilt? University?
Can I double up and use a high school course project as a project for mentorship too?
No. The program is designed so that you are working together with your mentor to develop a project that you are excited about. Even if you have an idea, we ask that you remain flexible in your thinking. In most instances you will not select a project or research topic until mid-way through the experience, once you have had a larger introduction to the field. This allows you to tmake a more informed choice.
Will I be able to select my own independent research topic?
It is up to each individual mentor to decide whether they are available and willing to write a letter of recommendation. This is beyond the scope of the mentor experience. Please talk directly to your mentor about this and give them as much advanced notice as possible if you think that a request might be forthcoming. We also ask that you respect your mentor's individual decision if they must decline. If they must decline, it is not personal. Mentors are extremely busy researchers, faculty members, or graduate students. Additionally, they are unlikely to have the time to guide you in other required research activities outside of the scope of your mentorship. They are committed to this mentorship and their extra time is dedicated to your current experience. Any additional support for other high school required projects or research interests during or after the mentorship, are left to each individual mentor's discretion and would not be associated with or under the regulations and agreements of PTY or the PTY Mentor Immersion experience.
No. Programs for Talented Youth does not give grades or award credit for any of our programs, including Mentorship Immersion. We want you to stretch your intellectual capacity without fear of failure. In Mentorship Immersion your mentor will evaluate your progress and you will receive an evaluation report from your mentor after the program. Additionally, you will receive a lot of formative feedback from your mentor throughout the program. The end of the program evaluation will detail your progress on a variety of factors and aims to give you a broad picture of your academic growth throughout the experience as well as feedback on your final product/project.
Am I required to attend office hours as well as the 2 hour per week course times?
In most instances, this is not acceptable. Generally speaking, using the same project for two different courses is a violation of an academic honor code. Original work is expected. Additionally, the criteria for your high school course and the mentorship are likely to be different in scope and on different timelines. There are times when expanding upon a topic of interest previously started is appropriate. We suggest that you are up front with your mentor and high school instructor should you want to continue to add to a project or topic that you have been researching in one course and use it in another. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
What if I need to be absent?
Will my mentor guide me in my high school coursework projects, personal decisions, and career and college advice? What is the role of the mentor and peer guide?
No. Admission to PTY’s Mentorship Immersion program is not an indicator of admission to Vanderbilt University. The goal of Mentorship Immersion is to provide an opportunity to learn more about a particular field and complete independent research or a project with support from a content expert.
You will have choice in your culminating project topic or project. Each project will be determined after collaborating with your mentor. Once the mentorship begins, each mentor will define the parameters around the culminating experience and what is required. They will work with you to design a suitable culminating project or product and experience similar to what is common in your mentorship field of study.
Students are also expected to attend every mentorship session. However, PTY does understand that you may need to be absent at some point over the 6-month experience. If you must be absent, please let the mentor and peer guide know by emailing them in advance of the session. It is expected that absences will be rare and are requested for appropriate reasons (e.g. illness, school commitment, family emergency). It is the student's responsibility to make up content or work that has been missed. Missing consecutive sessions requires PTY Administration approval by emailing email@example.com and copying your mentor and peer guide .
How many hours a week should I expect to dedicate for work for this program?
If accepted and enrolled, you are expected to attend the 2 hour weekly meetings as indicated. You may be asked to attend the additional office hour on specific weeks. Your mentor will let you know when office hours are required as this will vary by class. The extra office hour time allotted each week is designed so that you have more time with your academic mentor and peer guide so that they may answer any questions you may have about the content area and so you may practice or extend newly learned skills, or work in small groups. As you continue to work on your project, your mentor may require that you meet individually or in teams outside of the allotted and regularly scheduled class time to discuss your progress and brainstorm ideas. The time and day of the weekly office hour will be determined based on cohort availability during the first course meeting. The mentor will survey the cohort and identify a time when everyone is typically available. The time could change based on unanimous vote.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mentorship Immersion is an academic mentorship. Your mentor is a content expert in a specific discipline. As such, this mentorship is designed to provide you with an immersive experience in a field of potential interest for you. Your mentor and peer guide have been asked to provide content area instruction, share with you what it takes to be successful in their particular field, introduce pathways for engaging in the field, and help you design a quality product or project of interest in a way a professional or college student may approach the topic. In most instances your peer guide is a college student or graduate who is currently moving toward becoming an expert in the field and was likely in your situation just a few years prior. Your mentor and peer guide may talk about their personal career path and career journey or discuss the level of academic preparation required in their field. Mentors and peer guides are not equipped to offer college or career counseling, college application essay advice, high school tutoring, life coaching, or personal counseling. They are more than willing to help you with your final product, discuss the content delivered in the course, or answer any questions you might have about how they personally have engaged in the field, the current status of their field, or what they perceive as the necessary components to be successful in their given area.
Will my mentor assist in my other research interests and/or provide a recommendation letter for me?
Do I have to know my independent research topic or project ideas on the first day of the program?
IF YOU ARE A RETURNING PTY ONLINE ACADEMY STUDENT:
If you or your student have participated in a PTY Online Academy program, Blair Music Academy, or you have an existing Vanderbilt PACE account, please follow the instructions below:
Navigate to vupace.vanderbilt.edu
In the top right-hand corner of the screen, click the Login button and select "Student Login."
Under I have an account already, Enter your existing username and password and click Log In. If you have forgotten your login information, you may click Forgot User Name or Forgot Password. Information will be sent to the preferred email address on your account.
You may then be directed to a profile information page, where you will need to confirm all required fields for the student. Please check this information for accuracy and update any fields necessary.
From the navigation bar on the left side of the screen, select Brightspace. This will direct you to the Brightspace landing page, where the student course landing page(s) will appear.
Students will see their mentor and mentee groups for at least 2 hours each week. An additional office hour may also be required during certain weeks. In addition to the live two hour session each week, students should be prepared for 2-4 hours of work outside of the classroom (including the office hour) to prepare for class, work with other mentees, attend additional mini sessions, or to work independently on their project. Every student is different and depending on their project and course content, more or less work may be required during certain weeks or times throughout the semester. We also fully expect that there will be less out-of-class work the first few months of the program (likely an hour or two) before independent project work begins and perhaps a little more as the project is in full force (potentially up to 4 hours or so). Again, this will vary by class and content domain. Although this program will require a significant time commitment, we are also aware that many of the students participating are also taking advanced courses within their traditional high school curriculum. The program is designed to immersive, but we do not intend for it to be overwhelming. There are no grades in the program.Your final project will vary based on the mentorship you sign up for but all projects will mimic a conference or professional setting that is typical within that subject area. Plan ahead and communicate with your mentor about key times like AP exam week, when you might be extra busy so that you can develop a plan ahead of time to make sure you are keeping up with all of your important commitments.
PTY seeks to develop talent in gifted students and those who support them. Talent development and the development of expertise includes opportunities for students to work in an area of interest, engage in accelerated experiences within a field, and develop important psychosocial skills necessary for career success (i.e., perseverance, motivation, communication, mindset).
NAVIGATING TO YOUR COURSE BRIGHTSPACE PAGE(S)
After you have successfully logged in to the Vanderbilt PACE platform, you can access the Brightspace pages by selecting "Brightspace" in the navigation bar on the left side of the screen. From there, you will be redirected to the Brightspace landing page where you can then select your mentorship.
What is the overarching philosophy for providing this mentorship opportunity?
Am I required to have my camera on during live sessions?
Are their particular days/weeks that my mentorship will not meet?
Mentorships meet on different days and may be impacted differently by certain holidays and events. Early in the session the mentor and peer guide will discuss school schedules and important holidays with their mentees to determine the best week off for "spring break" as well as any additional days the mentorship might not meet due to group scheduling conflicts (AP exams, SAT/ACT testing, holidays). Mentors and peer guides may ask students to meet during office hours or participate in additional asynchronous work during weeks where the mentorship might not be able to meet for a reason other than spring break. No specific work will be assigned over spring break. More information about particular days the mentorahip will not meet will be provided after the first day of the program.
The Mentor Immersion experience differs from an online class in the following ways:
Class sizes are significantly smaller so that there is more interaction, individualized instruction, and access to the mentor and peer guide.
The goal of a course is typically content acquisition with the evaluation and articulation of ideas whereas the mentorship, while focused on evaluation and articulation of content, focuses on creating new content in the field by developing an in-depth culminating research project or product, similar to that of a practicing professional.
Courses are more objective-based and instructor driven; mentor immersion is instructor-led but allows for more student-driven activities through individualized instruction, research, and instructor input.
The duration of the mentorship is intentionally longer than a typical PTY course so that students have time to focus on the processes of creation in addition to the accumulation of content.
Live mentorship sessions and office hours have been designed for you and your fellow mentees. Family members should not be visible or involved in these sessions. If a family member has a specific concern or interest in connecting with the mentor, the family member should reach out to PTY administration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The PTY team will see what questions can be addressed by program staff and arrange a meeting with the mentor/peer guide, if needed. All family members will be invited to the culminating project showcase at the end of the session.
What should I do if a family member wants to meet my mentor?
This is strongly recommended and should be seen as the expectation - especially in such a small group. That said, PTY understands there are times event that student may need to have their camera off. We have found that students are excited to participate in the mentorship and are likely not turning their video off in order to disengage from the mentorship. We understand that students who need to turn their camera off to step away momentarily if there are bandwidth issues, they need to step away to go to the restroom, if they anticipate a distracting event happening in the background, or have other legitimate concerns. Students should continue to stay engaged and communicate with the mentor/peer guide ahead of time if their camera needs to be off.
What is the difference between a mentorship and an online class?
Instructions for gaining access to your course Brightspace page(s) has been included in the welcome email, which students and families have received. Students and families will be instructed to login to the Vanderbilt PACE system, which is the secure platform that supports Brightspace on campus.
Please contact the PTY office at email@example.com if you are having trouble accessing Brightspace.
PTY Online Academy is an online learning opportunity for students in grades 3-11 that offers synchronous and asynchronous experiences for the academically advanced student in your life. Students enroll in one class that meets live and online for approximately one and a half hours twice a week, or once a week for three hours, for approximately four weeks.
Mentor Immersion at PTY a unique virtual experience designed for 10th through 12th grade students offering in-depth exposure in a field and the potential for independent research or a culminating product to be created with expert feedback.
Saturday/Summer Academy at Vanderbilt for the Young (SAVY)* offers weekend and summer accelerated academic courses for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade.
Career Connections at SAVY* allows rising 7th grade students to experience a career exploration week (or more) in a day program format during the month of July.
Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA)* Residential Program – for students entering grades 7-12, VSA offers accelerated courses in 1-3 week summer sessions. Students live on campus and take advanced level courses taught by university faculty and graduate students in a challenging yet supportive environment.
Weekend Academy at Vanderbilt University (WAVU)* Day Program – an intensive Saturday of career-focused courses in a hands-on laboratory environment. Fall and spring options for advanced learners in grades 7-12.
Gifted Education Institute (GEI) provides professional development workshops for educators each fall, spring and summer, including the Tennessee Employment Standard; Curriculum development and instructional strategy support; Research grants.
Parent Support Groups for parents of gifted students are offered on Select Saturdays.
*Please note, on-campus programs are not currently meeting.
We look forward to offering on-campus programs again in the future.
In compliance with federal law, including the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Executive Order 11246, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, as amended, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, Vanderbilt University does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or genetic information in its administration of educational policies, programs, or activities; admissions policies; scholarship and loan programs; athletic or other university-administered programs; or employment. In addition, the university does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression consistent with the university’s nondiscrimination policy. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department, Baker Building, PMB 401809, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN 37240-1809. Telephone (615) 322-4705 (V/TDD); Fax (615) 343-4969.
Your online mentorship will use Zoom as the platform for in-person class time during your scheduled sessions. If you already have Zoom downloaded on your computer you should be able to join your class without any additional steps. If you do not already have Zoom, you can download it (with your parent’s permission) and create a free login and password at https://zoom.us/freesignup/. Your mentor has shared or will share the initial meeting link and password with you in their welcome letter. Note that Zoom security features are set up in a way where you are put into a ‘waiting room’ when you first log in. After entering the waiting room your instructor is notified and then you are moved into the classroom. We encourage you to test your audio and video before your mentor session.
Live sessions via Zoom have many moving parts, which mentors and peer guides will guide you through as certain features are utilized. For example, an instructor may ask you to screen share something you have been working on, join a breakout to collaborate with peers, or respond to a classroom poll to check for understanding or solicit your thoughts. Live sessions are meant to be interactive, with students adding to discussions and sharing ideas. The chat box will be utilized by mentors and peer guides to share directions and drop in links that are used for activities, and also to serve as a way for students to ask questions and respond to/acknowledge comments made by peers.
A note about Zoom backgrounds: please do not use distracting backgrounds or filters during live sessions. Your regular background or Vanderbilt University backgrounds (found at the bottom of this website) can be used. Backgrounds and templates not provided by VU are strongly discouraged.
pty.vanderbilt.edu / (615) 322-8261 / firstname.lastname@example.org