High School Course FAQs

How many students and what ages will be in my session?

Up to thirty students are accepted into the program. Students attending are typically 15-17 years old.

From what states do participates come?

Students from all over the United States attend this program. Students hometowns include Alabama, California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

How many students know other participants prior to the session?

Very few. Rarely do we get more than one student from the same school.

How many faculty are involved in teaching the course?

A team of three faculty teach the course, with other visiting professors making contributions of expertise on occasion.

How much of the course work is spent in the field?

Approximately one-third of the course is spent in the field investigating the various local habitats, one-third involves classroom lectures giving detailed information, and about one-third is spent in the laboratory doing dissections, experiments, identification of species, and so on. 

How difficult is the course?

While most find it challenging, the objectives can be easily accomplished by the average student who gives it their best. Participants should keep in mind, however, that this is an academic course with assignments, projects, written tests, and practical lab exams.

What kind of credit is awarded for my successful completion of this course?

Although the Discovery Hall Programs recommend one full year's credit toward either a Standard or Advanced High School Diploma, the actual credit awarded is determined by each individual student's school. Most public schools in  Alabama will grant the credit. Some private and out-of-state schools may be hesitant and request course information before awards. Most students have, however, some acknowledgement added to their transcript - if not a credit, at least a listing of participation. No college credit is recommended by the DHP. 

Will I have a roommate?

Yes. All students are assigned a roommate except in events of odd numbers of students - resulting in a single student without a roommate. This rarely happens.

What is dorm life like?

Students share a room with one other student of the same sex. Five adult chaperones live on the same hall in private rooms. Community baths, one for the males and one for the females, are at opposite ends of the hallway.

Will I have chaperones?

In addition to the faculty that teach, five adult chaperones will be responsible for overseeing your health and safety, and monitoring the rules in the dormitories. 

How much free time can I expect during the four weeks?

The days and evenings during the week will be devoted to the course. Remember, over 150 hours of supervised instruction is given in the four weeks. We will have one or two field trips on weekends; one to Panama City, Florida and possibly one other to be determined later. Other weekend time will be free with some class project time.

May I have visitors?

Your friends and family are welcome. We recommend that guests visit during the weekend, unless exceptional circumstances prevail. Overnight guests and leaving the campus without a chaperone will not be allowed. Students may leave campus only with visitors at least 21 years of age and with parental permission. 

May I have a car on campus?

While students may bring cars, keys are requested and held during the session by chaperones. Students are not allowed to drive their own vehicles during the four weeks unless it is for specific purposes of weekend trips home or other special appointments with parental permission and the approval of the DHP. Transportation is provided for students. In addition to class activities, trips to local stores, snow cone shops and so on are made nightly.

May I commute to this program?

This course is designed to be implemented in a residential setting. Although some students may live close enough to commute, it is the policy of the DHP that students live in the dormitory - except for weekend and/or approved visits home, because we teach in the evenings and on some weekends as well as during the day.

If I live close enough, may I go home on weekends?

Most students do not live close enough for weekend visits and all are encouraged to spend their free time with classmates. Friendships and memories are made that last a lifetime. Students may go home on weekends during times not reserved for the course. 

If I decide to go home other than for reasons beyond my control (i.e. illness or family death), what kind of refund may I receive?

Due to the financial planning and investments necessary for the Summer High School Course, refunds of any kind are limited to those students who leave for unexpected reasons beyond their control and are given at the discretion of the DHP. 

What happens in the event of a hurricane?

The Sea Lab is well prepared for such an event with an evacuation plan that includes transporting of students to the University of South Alabama in Mobile. Should the occasion arise, parents would be informed with specific  information. 

Will I be expected to attend all classes?

Yes. This is an academic program and all students will attend all classes. 

How will I receive mail during my stay?

A mailbox will be set up for the Summer School students and Counselors will come by to check, then distribute all mail. The Sea Lab does not have stamps, so you might want to bring some with you. The mailing address is as follows:

Summer High School Program
Dauphin Island Sea Lab
101 Bienville Blvd.
Dauphin Island, AL 36528