The first session of the Advanced Studies Program (ASP) was held in the summer of 1958. It was made possible, in part, by a grant from the Fund for the Advancement of Education. In a preliminary announcement of the program, the goals were listed as such:
First, to provide gifted high school students with challenging educational opportunities otherwise unavailable to them.
Second, to interest potential teachers in the teaching profession.
Third, to provide present teachers with on-the-job training in the instruction of gifted youth.
Then, as now, ASP was designed for teachers and students of New Hampshire public and private high schools. The program was coordinated with the N.H. Department of Education and received the support of many state colleges and universities. Originally, the opportunity to attend ASP was offered only to boys, but the first girls were invited a few years later to the 1961 session, a full ten years before the official start of coeducation at SPS.
That first year, ASP offered advanced courses in English, Mathematics, Calculus, Chemistry, French, Greek, Latin, Modern European History, and Physics. Today, in its 65th year, ASP offers a diverse range of subjects, from film studies to engineering, as well as a writing workshop and college advisory sessions.
We here at the library have been happy to welcome the latest class of ASP students and are eager to see what they will accomplish while at SPS!