Academy FAQs | Programs | Institute for Educational Advancement

Academy FAQs

Q: What is Academy?
A: Academy provides year-round after-school and Saturday enrichment courses for gifted students in grades K through 8. Students have an opportunity to take advanced and hands-on courses that are unlike those you would find in a traditional classroom setting, like Quantum Physics, Microbial Ecology, Programming with Python, Paleozoology, Self-Paced Math, and more!


Q: What age children do you serve?

A: Our students range from 4.5 to 14 years old.


Q: Where are you located?

A. Our learning center is located at 540 South Marengo Avenue in Pasadena. There is ample 2-hour street parking.


Q: What are your class hours?

A: Classes are offered in 60 to 90 minute intervals Monday through Friday from 4:00pm-5:30pm and on Saturdays from 10:00am-3:30pm. We also offer some classes during the day for the home-schooled community.


Q: When does each session begin and end?

A: Dates are subject to change for each session. However, families are notified within a reasonable amount of time regarding the start and end date of the subsequent session.


Q: What are your maximum class sizes?

A: We accept 3 to 8 students per class. The small class sizes allow teachers to personalize the content of their classes to the skill, knowledge and comfort levels of their students. Students are also able to develop deeper connections with their teacher and their peers.


Q: Can anyone enroll in Academy classes?

A: Students do not have to be identified as gifted to take Academy classes. Students who are interested in taking Academy classes must complete a portfolio-based application. We try to provide the most optimal match between each student and the specific classes they are interested in taking. Not all students who apply for a class will be accepted.


Q: What types of classes can my child take?

A: Academy offers advanced classes in math, science and the humanities. For a complete list of our current offerings click here. You can also view descriptions for each class by clicking here.


Q: My child is academically advanced for his/her age. How do I determine what grade level classes are appropriate for him/her?

A:  Parents are welcome to sign up for more advanced courses. Through out portfolio-based application process, we are able to gauge whether or not a student is ready to take a course. We ask that parents specifically indicate the reason for enrolling in a higher level course in the parent letter and include any sample student work that may help us with our decision.


Q: Why do some classes have wide age ranges than others?

A: At IEA, we strongly believe in the power of community and peers across ages. We encourage the grouping of students with similar interests and abilities regardless of age. Because of this, most Academy classes are for students working at the 2nd through 8th grade levels. However, there are some classes that are better suited for a narrow age range.


Q: What if my child is interested in a class but there are no more seats available?

A: Seat reservations are first come, first serve. However, we do maintain a waitlist for classes in case a student drops a class. We will contact families on the waitlist via email or phone if any spaces become available.


Q: If my child is accepted in an Academy class, what are the expectations?

A: Students are expected to follow the Student Code of Conduct and attend weekly classes on time. While homework assignments are optional, teachers may ask students to complete some work outside of class to enhance their learning experience.


Q: Who teaches the classes?

A: Classes are taught by skilled educators and content area professionals who embrace the continual pursuit of knowledge and ideas. For a list of the Academy instructors for this session, click here.


Q: Are students assessed or graded?

A: All teachers are expected to submit a summative assessment on each student at the end of each session. Teachers will conduct diagnostic and formative assessments of students’ knowledge throughout the term through various hands-on activities, written work or presentations.


Q: How much does it cost?

A: Tuition depends on the length of the class and can range from $400 to $650. Additional lab fees of $10 to $25 may apply and will be included in the tuition for the course. Academy also hosts optional events such as Genius Day and Mini Lectures, which have a separate fee.


Q: Do you offer any financial aid?

A: Financial aid and payment plans are available for families in need. All requests must be submitted by the deadline indicated on the financial aid form. To inquire about financial assistance, please contact us at


Q: Do you offer any additional tuition discounts?

A: We will honor the following discounts:

Referral Discount: Receive a one-time $25 discount when you refer a friend. Both students must be enrolled in the same session in order for the referring family to receive the discount.

Sibling Discount: Receive a 10% discount for each sibling enrolled in the same session.


Q: If my child is absent, do I still have to pay?

A: Tuition is due at the start of the session and includes the full session. There are no refunds for missed classes. Make-up classes are not available, but teachers can send make-up work if requested.


Q: Can parents sit in during classes?

A: Parents are welcome to sit in for a few minutes during the first class to get acquainted with their child’s learning environment and instructor.


Q: Is transportation provided by Academy?

A: Parents and/or legal guardians are responsible to drop-off and pick-up their child each class.


Q: How do I apply?

A: New and returning students must complete an application each session. Applications can be found on IEA’s website at, or by clicking here.


Q: I’m not quite ready to sign my child up for classes, but would like to receive information from IEA more regularly. How can I receive email updates?

A: To join our mailing list, please click here.

APPLICATION and schedule

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