Independent Study & Internship Program
Fostering the pursuit of knowledge is a big part of what we do at GSA, and since 1969*, our Independent Study and Internship Program (ISIP) has helped us do just that.
This year, more than 130 juniors and seniors will spend two weeks after February break on projects they designed themselves. Most will stay close to home, but others will travel to other states or countries.
Many students explore careers.
After “testing the waters” in a field of interest, some choose to further their educations and embark on careers in those fields. But even for those who say, “maybe architecture isn’t for me,” the project is worthwhile.
Others “go deep” into personal interests.
In recent years, those interests have included automobile restoration, diving, glass blowing, musical instrument construction, building a go-kart, metal fabrication, working at a nonprofit, learning about fitness, and learning to sing.
Most projects draw from our local communities.
About two-thirds of projects take place within an hour’s drive of GSA. That means two-thirds of our student participants are making real and valuable connections to experts who live and work here. Every student who chooses a career in their ISIP field will have contacts in that field even before they leave GSA. What’s more, nearly one in five of those local experts is a GSA alum!
And give back to our communities, too.
GSA’s School Nurse Nikki Jaffray chose medicine as her second ISIP topic in 2004, and that choice led her to her career. Harlie Burke did her internship with Nikki, and now Harlie works at Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital.
*In response to a recent social media post, Bernice (Bartlett) DeBlois ’69 replied that she participated in ISIP her senior year. If you know firsthand that the program started before that year, please send details to Mark Messer at email@example.com.A full description of ISIP is given to students in the fall and is published on our Google GSA Students site, which students can access when logged into their school Google accounts. Participation in ISIP requires parental consent and academic eligibility.