The Tad Bird Honors College is a cohort-based, 4-year Upper School program of innovative, student-centered Humanities coursework and community engagement that helps students identify and pursue their passions while cultivating an empathetic eye towards others. Each year, students complete coursework that builds core skills, mindsets and values that students can utilize throughout their All Saints' experience and far beyond the classroom during their lives.
Full-Year, 1 credit; required for Honors College cohort members; replaces English I Introduces students to the concept of “Design Thinking” that rests at the heart of the Honors College program. Through this process, students will identify and empathize with others’ cultural lenses and social identities, analyzing the impacts of culture in our local communities and on a wider scale. We will investigate issues through an array of disciplines, including sociology, literature, political science, history, philosophy, and psychology. Students learn how to lead classmates through complex discussions, cultivate formal writing and presentation skills, and employ Design Thinking processes in multiple modes.
Full-Year, 1 credit; required for Honors College cohort members; replaces Modern World History Enables students to look comprehensively at contemporary world issues and help devise solutions facing us currently and in the future. Topics to be considered include nationalism and ethnic conflict, geopolitics and leadership, technology’s impact on society and culture, and urbanization. Students will engage in diplomatic processes aligned with Model United Nations guidelines, continue to work collaboratively on Design Thinking-driven projects, and refine the interview and community engagement skills they will employ extensively in the Junior Honors Thesis and Capstone Design courses.
Full-Year, 1 credit; required for Honors College members open to all All Saints' juniors in good standing via application process Prompts students to pursue scholarly inquiry about a topic or issue of personal interest. Students extensively analyze and synthesize high-level scholarship in their selected field, conduct original research outside our immediate ASES community, and write and defend a comprehensive, polished thesis discussing their methodology and results. This process employs the empathy skills established in 9th and 10th grade HC courses while also helping students continue refining research, writing, and communication skills that prepare them for college and beyond.
Full-Year; required for Honors College members and open to other Seniors who successfully completed Junior Honors Thesis Builds on the Junior Honors Thesis program by providing students an opportunity to conduct extensive empathy work and partner with a local or national service-based organization that aligns with their personal interests. Students will continue honing their ability to collaborate and work with others’ needs in mind, seeing the complexities of ethical service learning and community engagement while constructing a ‘product’ (not necessarily physical) that will assist their chosen organization in meeting community needs for years to come.
The focus of the Tad Bird Honors College is not on content mastery and high grades; the focus is on skill development, cross-cultural competancy, and student-owned learning. The collaborative projects and round table discussions center on actively engaging complex ideas, devising solution and communicating effectively. Many Honors College students take ‘honors’ level classes during their Upper School experience for the added rigor and positive connotations on transcripts, but this has no relationship to the student's standing in the Honors College.
Traditional lectures and tests are replaced by project-based learning, collaborative endeavors, and roundtable discussions on critical issues facing our local and global communities. Students have significant latitude in developing their own unique processes, and their final products often reflect this same uniqueness.
Honors College admissions is a holistic process that takes into account personal reflective essays, group and individual interviews, teacher recommendations, and traditional ‘data’ like grades and test scores to build a cohesive cohort with the abilities, skills, and mindsets necessary to create a dynamic experience for all students involved in the program.
The typical successful applicant exhibits the following qualities:
A willingness to use his or her imagination and envision what could be
A desire to understand the human condition and empathize with others
A growth mindset about his or her own, and others’, abilities
A spirit of collaboration inside and outside the classroom
An ability and desire to tackle complex, long-term projects
A high character that aligns with All Saints' values
Cohort groups typically are composed of 14 to 16 students, and the average number of applications over the past few years has been 30+.
Not technically, but both the Junior Honors Thesis and subsequent Senior Capstone courses are available to all All Saints' students in good standing. Performing well in these two endeavors shows the ability to complete advanced college-level work.
2018 Timeline for Selection
Declaration of Interest Due
Friday, January 12, 2018 Application Due
Friday, February 2, 2018
Individual & Group Interviews
Week of February 5-9, 2018
Class of 2022 Cohort Announced
Friday, March 9, 2018
List of 2 members.
Dr. William Matsuzaki
Dean of Curriculum / Director of Tad Bird Honors College
All Saints’ Episcopal School is a leading college preparatory day school in Fort Worth, Texas. Grounded in the Episcopal school tradition, All Saints’ offers programming of national distinction in the academic, fine art, athletic and spiritual disciplines, which brings to life our philosophy of promoting each student’s individual genius within.