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The ARP Starts Here…and Never Truly Ends.


Our documentary, “Making School Matter – University Liggett School & The Academic Research Program” aired on Detroit Public Television (DPTV) on January 27th, the same night we hosted a screening event of the film in our auditorium. It was a wonderful night of celebration, as our community gathered to watch the half-hour film that follows four University Liggett School students through their four-year Academic Research program (ARP) journey. More than 8,000 viewers watched the DPTV airing…were you one of them? If not, now’s a great time to get caught up!

A common observation from our students is that their next step outside of University Liggett School – most often, into a college or university – is all the smoother because of their experience exploring, researching, connecting with experts about and publicly presenting their ARP passion projects. We asked the documentary’s subjects – all now deftly navigating their freshman years in college – to share how the ARP continues to serve them well beyond the halls and walls of ULS:

“The ARP…left me with a curiosity to learn. I am able to write at a very high level; I have lots of experience finding credible sources for research papers; and I am able to confidently seek out help and effectively communicate with people in varying academic fields. ARP has shown me how to look at things through a wider lens and understand the many impacts that something can have on society.” – Alec Azar, ’23, The University of Michigan

“ARP has really helped me in my writing class this semester and while I was writing research papers in my other classes. We spent a whole week in class learning how to write an annotated bibliography and other research skills that have basically become second nature to me because of ARP. I also am finding it easy to write the length for papers that my professors ask for because I wrote so much in ARP.” – Alyssa Hamilton, ’23 Grand Valley State University

“ARP has served me very well in nursing school. We submit reflections in APA, which is the same style that I completed my project in. I found myself helping my peers follow the correct format. I am also in a health science learning community in which we are completing a project nearly identical to ARP. While we were provided with instruction on elements such as finding credible sources and the correct way to complete an annotated bibliography, I was ahead of the game and was once again able to be of help to my community. There is a strong emphasis on research at U of M—I have been in library and research presentations more times than I can count! Arriving to university with an understanding of this process–pursuing a topic to the stage of presentation–is invaluable.” – Brooke Hudson ’23, The University of Michigan

From project work in the Lower School, to electives that enable choice and voice in the Middle School, to the ARP in Upper School, our students derive greater meaning from their education because we strive to make school matter.