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Career Connections at SAVY (Rising Grades 7 and 8)

Jump to: Eligibility | Choosing a Course | Program Dates, Rates, and Timelines | FAQ 

What is Career Connections?

Career Connections is a summer program within SAVY that is specifically designed for students who have completed 6th and 7th grade (rising 7th and rising 8th-grade students). Classes within this program have been developed to immerse students in a topic of study where they experience the application of advanced content within a unique field.

Career Connections allows students to experience how expert knowledge and skills are applied in different fields, industries, and/or research. The courses are designed and taught by college professors, graduate students, and/or content experts.

When is Career Connections?

Classes typically meet at the same time as SAVY classes during select sessions in July. Students may register to attend one, two, or three weeks of courses. Each Career Connections session offers various course options. Students will take one class for the week.

View Summer 2024 Career Connections Courses now!

While we continue to accept applications through Spring, courses are filling quickly!

Summer Career Connections at SAVY 2024
Sessions 1-3: Rising 1st-6th grade only
Session 4: July 8-12
Session 5: July 15-19
Session 6: July 22-26
Arrival: 8:30 - 8:45 AM
Dismissal: 3:45 - 4:00 PM
Tuition: $625 per 5-day session
*Career Connections at SAVY for rising 7th and 8th graders takes place during the last 3 weeks of July.

How is Career Connections at SAVY different from SAVY?

Career Connections is a program within SAVY. Similar to SAVY classes, Career Connections courses offer accelerated opportunities where students explore a topic in depth with peers that have similar ability levels.

Different from SAVY classes, these courses have a particular focus on how content knowledge is applied in various ways in various fields or industries. Students will gain a better understanding of the importance of knowledge application as they begin to envision possible careers related to content areas that most interest them.

Where can I see the course descriptions for Career Connections at SAVY?

Career Connections courses are listed with the SAVY course descriptions for the corresponding sessions. Click here to view the course offerings. Summer SAVY and Career Connections courses are typically announced the first week of December.

Are the eligibility requirements for Career Connections different from those for SAVY?

The eligibility requirements for Career Connections are slightly different from SAVY. The eligibility options for Career Connections are the same as those for VSA (PTY’s rising 7th -12th grade residential program).

In order to determine if the program’s accelerated courses are a good fit, all students are required to submit qualifying documentation as part of their application.

There are two eligibility documentation options. Below is a description of each option.

Both options are considered equally when determining admission placements. Therefore, selecting one option over the other will not help or hurt a student’s chances of placement. All complete applications will be reviewed based on PTY’s admissions process and placement for Career Connections. Please carefully review the eligibility information below along with information about the admissions process and placement for Career Connections.

Please note, staff for Career Connections does not compare one student to another in the admissions process. We review a student’s application in its entirety to ensure that the program will be a good academic fit for the student. Incomplete applications will not be considered in first-round reviews.

Eligibility Documentation Options

Option 1: Submission of Test Scores

Students applying to Career Connections at SAVY who select this option should submit qualifying documentation at the time of application. Please note that test scores in the 90th percentile and above for age group in one or more sections on an achievement assessment that is nationally normed (such as state testing, MAP/NWEA testing, ITBS, or ERB) suggests that Career Connections would be a good academic fit for a student. We also accept cognitive measures (i.e., WISC-V, CogAT, Otis Lennon, Stanford-Binet) and out-of-level test scores (i.e., ACT in 7th grade). Individual ability and/or achievement assessments from psychologists are also accepted. All pages of the individual evaluation and assessment need to be included. Test scores should be less than three years old.

When reviewing scores, we look specifically at strengths and accelerated achievement in the content area(s) for selected course(s) of interest. For example, if a student is applying to a humanities course, the PTY team is looking at reading/writing/ELA test scores. PTY does not have cutoffs for standardized test scores in order to apply to the program. Also, please note that scores above the 90th percentile do not automatically guarantee admission into the program based on a randomized admissions processs.

**We ask that all students submit a transcript in addition to their test scores. This additional information can be useful when determining fit for the program when test scores are below the 90th percentile. We also ask that all students who apply for classes with prerequisites make sure that the transcript reflects the prerequisite qualifications. Transcripts can be submitted as a picture or screenshot of a student’s unofficial record but must include the student’s name and show grades for the 2022-2023 school year and the fall 2023 school year.**

If a student’s test scores fall significantly below the 90th percentile in the area of course interest, students should select the portfolio option as this option provides additional information for staff to use when determining if placement in the program would be a good academic fit.

Students may submit a screenshot or picture of an assessment as long as the student’s name is visible on the test results. Please contact us at if you have questions concerning your test scores.

Option 2: Portfolio

At this time, Career Connections at SAVY is allowing for an option that does not require test score submission to determine program eligibility.

Please note, although selecting the portfolio option does not hurt a student’s chances of admission, Career Connections strongly encourages students to submit test scores (option 1).

Required Portfolio Components (3 Components):

1. Transcript: Grades of As and Bs in the most academically advanced courses offered at the student’s school typically suggest that the Career Connections at SAVY program would be a good academic fit. Through the transcript review process, we are looking for students who are highly motivated. PTY also understands that extenuating circumstances might impact a student’s grades. Please make sure to provide annotation if the student’s grades do not accurately demonstrate their ability and motivation to participate in an accelerated academic environment.

Transcripts can be submitted as a picture or screenshot of a student’s unofficial record but must include the student’s name and show grades for the 2021-2022 school year and the fall 2022 school year.

2. Two Educator Recommendations: Students should request recommendations from two educators (teachers, administrators, or counselors) by sharing the link below. When your recommenders complete the form, the completed form will be emailed to PTY. Please do not request that your recommenders write a letter or submit a recommendation in any method other than the following form. The form takes 10-15 minutes to complete. 

An application will not be considered complete, even though it may be marked as 100% in our application portal, until PTY receives two educator recommendations.

3. Resume: Submit a one-page resume as part of your application, so the Career Connections admissions team has a better understanding of your interests and extracurricular activities. Knowing more about you helps program staff determine if this program is a good fit. The resume should include extracurricular activities, work/volunteer experience, awards, and honors, etc.

The three portfolio components are reviewed together to determine whether Career Connections would be a good fit for a student. PTY will employ a holistic, context-aware review process to determine a student’s likely academic fit at Career Connections. Therefore, PTY recommends that students are thoughtful with their resume submission. Additionally, please be aware, all components of the portfolio, including educator recommendations, must be submitted for an application to be considered complete.

How do I apply to participate in Career Connections at SAVY?

Please visit the SAVY How to Apply page for more information about applying for upcoming sessions.

Does my 7th or 8th grade student have additional summer options at PTY other than Career Connections?

Yes! In addition to Career Connections at SAVY, rising 7th grade and 8th-grade students may also choose to apply for Vanderbilt Summer Academy (VSA). VSA is the middle and high school residential program offered through Programs for Talented Youth. VSA hosts rising 7th and 8th grade students for a one-week experience in June. The application process and eligibility requirements for VSA are similar for Career Connections. Also, the priority application window dates for VSA and Career Connections are the same.

Rising 7th and 8th-grade students may choose to attend Career Connections, VSA, or both programs. Students interested in attending both VSA and Career Connections at SAVY will need to complete two separate applications. PTY encourages students to apply during each program’s priority window to increase the likelihood of being admitted to a top choice course. For more information about VSA, visit the VSA website.