What is CHA?

The Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA) is an exciting, challenging three-week academic, social and personal growth program for outstanding high school students who have completed their junior year.
Why CHA

Upon completion of CHA, students will

  • receive six hours of university credit**
  • have the opportunity to take six additional hours of *tuition-free university courses at Murray State University during their senior year**.
  • be awarded a four-year, $2,000-per-year housing scholarship to attend Murray State University

* Online and/or class fees may still be charged
** Excludes Racer and Thoroughbred Academy classes.

CHA is a unique opportunity

The Academy differs from the traditional high school in its approach to learning and in the creation of a living-learning community. CHA offers students a chance to know and make friends with other enthusiastic, energetic students with high intellectual capacities. The interaction of students with different backgrounds is one of the most valuable aspects of the academy.

Cost

There is no cost to students except for personal articles, laundry, snacks, and incidental expenses and a $195 tuition processing fee. Fee waived for students receiving free or reduced student lunch, or ACT Fee Waiver.

Selection Process

All students applying for the Commonwealth Honors Academy should have a 3.5 GPA (on a 4-point scale) and 25 Composite ACT (or the equivalent PSAT, SAT or PLAN score). High school juniors throughout Kentucky as well as the Murray State University out-of-state service region are invited to apply.

Components

Interdisciplinary Humanities & Fine Arts Course

All students enroll in an interdisciplinary humanities fine arts course. This course develops the Academy's theme, drawing material from the traditional humanities (e.g., history, literature, philosophy) and the Fine and Performing Arts (e.g., music, visual arts, theatre).

Elective Course

In addition, each Academy student selects an elective course in one of the following academic areas: Agriculture; Business; Education; Health Sciences/Human Services; Humanities & Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Communications/Media Studies; Science; or Engineering and Technology. Each elective course will address the theme of the Commonwealth Honors Academy from its own perspective.

Seminar

Each student participates in a seminar focused on issues of personal and social development. In small group discussions, students explore topics such as interpersonal communication, family and peer relationships, choosing a university, civic responsibility, and the relationship of the program's theme to their own lives.

Academy Reunion

An Academy reunion will take place in the following September. Students will be asked to return to the MSU campus for a reunion to renew friendships, evaluate the academy, and receive certificates of achievement during a ceremony honoring Academy graduates. Parents are also invited to the reunion and will be given an opportunity to ask questions and receive information about college life.

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