Dear AMSE Parents and Students,

This email is in follow up to last month’s announcement of an exciting change being made to our AMSE program structure. Starting in the 2019-20 school year, AMSE will be launching a new model of involvement and distinction for high school AMSE students. 
AMSE will be implementing a three-tiered program, replacing the current Major/Minor model. This change will allow AMSE to create more distinct pathways for recognizing the top high achieving students in their respective fields, while broadening the scope of student involvement. This change comes after much consideration, feedback, and in-house collaboration with our academic staff, and has been made primarily for the following reasons:

  • The Major/Minor terminology was confusing to college admissions professionals, external counselors, and potential applicant families.

  • Access to AMSE programs was restricted by course requirements that were difficult for students to achieve within their required academic schedules.

  • The current model emphasized recognition at the time of graduation, while the new model allows for honors recognition in both a student’s junior and senior years so that this distinction can be included on college applications.
In response to the concerns outlined above, we have created a new three-tiered model.
New AMSE Program Model
Tier 1: Membership :
AMSE Membership is open to all VCHS students. Students may apply at any time of the year up to the second semester of their senior year. Membership is designed to expose students to the many offerings and areas of interest that AMSE has to offer. Students with an AMSE Membership will be eligible to apply for and participate in AMSE programs, and will also receive invitations to AMSE special events and the AMSE newsletter. AMSE Members may apply for AMSE Honors distinction up to the end of the first semester of their junior year and work towards completing the requirements outlined below.
Tier 2: AMSE Honors:  
AMSE Honors participants are automatically given AMSE membership.

Junior students who are meeting the Honors requirements and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher at the end of their junior year will be awarded the status of AMSE Honor student. In addition, junior students who are on track to meet these requirements are eligible to apply for the elite AMSE Honors Fellow Program. 
Senior students who have met the Honors requirements and achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher by the end of the first semester of their senior year will be awarded the status of AMSE Honors Student and honored with a cord of distinction to wear on graduation day and receive a seal on their diploma. 

Tier 3: Honors Fellow:  
AMSE students in their junior year who are on track to meet all of the AMSE Honors requirements are eligible to apply for the prestigious AMSE Honors Fellow Program. Students who are accepted into this program will be placed in an internship program where they will receive specialized training and mentoring experiences with industry professionals during their senior year. Each student will be working on research and development projects specifically designed to capture their individual passions and develop their unique skill set. The Honors Fellow will be honored with a cord of distinction to wear on graduation day and receive a seal on their diploma. To apply to be an Honors Fellow, current VCHS junior students must submit an application, cover letter, resume, references, and complete an in-person interview. The Honors Fellow application opens April 1st and will be due by May 1, 2019.
AMSE Institute Requirements
(Students must complete the following by the end of their senior year.)
For current AMSE students, the transition to the new model will be a “passive enrollment.” This means that all current freshman, sophomore and junior students will be automatically transitioned into the new model as an AMSE Honors participant beginning in the 2019-20 school year. Students who do not fulfill the Honors requirements by their senior year will automatically be moved to the Membership level. Current senior students who meet the requirements will continue in and graduate under the current Major/Minor structure and are not required to do anything at this time.

Any current AMSE freshman, sophomore or junior students who would like to stay under the Major/Minor model through graduation must contact the AMSE office at   by March 1, 2019. Unless we receive written communication requesting otherwise, all current freshman, sophomore and junior students will be transitioned to the new model.

New AMSE Artist Honors Model
The Conservatory and AMSE Institute are excited to announce a new AMSE Artist Honors Distinction for VCHS students.This distinction was created in order to recognize students who have a deep passion for both the STEM and artistic fields and give them the opportunity to participate in both programs without overloading their schedules.

  • As an AMSE Artist Honors participant, AMSE and Conservatory membership are automatically included.
  • Students interested in pursuing AMSE Artist Honors status must complete a separate application. The requirements and application for AMSE Artist Honors can be found here.
We understand that you may have questions concerning this new model. For more information, please click below to view the requirements page on our website and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)s.
Please feel free to email Ashley Brock (AMSE Assistant Program Manager) at if you need assistance.
Mr. Danny Kim
Vice President & Senior Director,
K-12 AMSE Institute
Click below for additional information.