At R-MA, the January Term (J-Term) is a beacon of innovative and experiential learning. It gives our middle and upper school students something to look forward to after the winter break. Fun and enriching, J-Term spans the three weeks between semesters. It involves seminar-style courses beyond the traditional classroom setting, allowing students to earn credits while gaining essential career and life skills, ensuring successful college readiness.
This year was no exception! R-MA students enjoyed exploring a wide range of exciting subjects, discovering new interests, honing new skills, and making meaningful connections with one another. Keep reading for some highlights from this year’s J-Term. You’ll undoubtedly want to join us next year.
A Diverse Array of Learning Experiences
This year, the J-Term provided an array of unique opportunities. Middle school students engaged in practical skill-based courses from Monday to Thursday and went on excursions each Friday. Upperclassmen engaged in internships, capstone research projects, and study abroad experiences, each designed to offer a real-world perspective and hands-on experience in various fields.
These opportunities are crucial in preparing our students for the complexities of college life and their future careers. Covering a very diverse range of subjects, this year’s programs included: 21-day film, artificial intelligence, catch these paws, charity knitting, civil war, DIY, game design with Unity, bookmaking, high flight, reimagined pages, school of rock, and service learning. Let’s look at some highlights from the 2023-2024 J-Term.
Skill Building for College Readiness Success
J-Term at R-MA always features engaging course material that ignites each student’s passion for learning, encouraging them to hone various soft and hard skills for college readiness success. Courses and activities are built around skills that will remain in high demand as students progress in their careers.
For example, this year, students explored the fascinating world of drone and robotics technology, gaining insights into this rapidly evolving field. In the artificial intelligence program, students had the unique opportunity to meet Professor Ralph Wojtowicz, the Director of Applied Technology at Shenandoah University.
Our students received an in-depth classroom experience where Professor Wojtowicz explained the origins of AI and Large Language Models. Students also received a first-hand look at Shenandoah University’s AI Minor and the opportunities that await within this exciting field.
Getting Creative During J-Term
Each J-Term mini-course was crafted to be integrated and practical. They encouraged students to recruit a wide range of highly transferable soft skills like creativity. As they learn how to play music, create handmade books, complete various DIY projects, and design games using cutting-edge software, students are trained to put their brilliant ideas to work in tangible ways. Creating yields many benefits for our students, teaching them to think outside the box, problem-solve, and take pride in their work.
J-Term Gives Back to the Community
Giving back to the community plays a crucial part in student life at our college prep school, and J-Term is an extension of that legacy. Several programs from this year’s J–Term were centered on helping community members, both human and four-legged.
Whether volunteering their time for people in need, keeping animals company as they awaited their forever homes, or knitting warm garments for those who don’t have them, this year’s J-Term students certainly learned a lesson in compassion and community service.
The J-Term at Randolph-Macon Academy is a testament to our commitment to providing a holistic education. It’s an opportunity for students to explore new interests, develop essential skills, and gain experiences that will serve them well in college and beyond. As we close another successful J-Term, we look forward to our students’ continued growth and achievements in all their endeavors.
Are you ready to explore other programs at our preparatory school in Virginia?
Contact Randolph-Macon Academy to learn more!