Diplomas with Distinction

Diplomas with Distinction

North Yarmouth Academy offers seven diplomas with distinction. With each diploma distinction, students learn to take ownership of both their program and their learning.

Distinction in Music: Performance, Entrepreneurship, and Community
Studio Band Last Waltz 2019 NYA
The Distinction in Music: Performance, Entrepreneurship, and Community allows students to develop high levels of musicianship and engage in a significant experiential endeavor connecting music and the community. Students will cultivate a depth of musical aptitude, develop the ability to promote oneself and other musicians, encourage an appreciation for the importance of community and service, and lay the groundwork for lifelong involvement in music. Students create a personal media platform, including a webpage and press kit, and plan and participate in public performances.

Distinction in Global Citizenship
Malawi Trip Summer 2019

The Distinction in Global Citizenship allows students to become highly proficient in a second language, demonstrate cultural competency, and engage in significant experiential learning in a community other than their own. Experiences associated with this distinction are designed to cultivate empathy, encourage perspective taking, and provide an understanding of oneself within a wider community. As part of this distinction, students compare and contrast multiple communities’ geographic, historical, artistic, social, or political features.


Distinction in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

Distinction in STEM 2022The Distinction in STEM allows students to become highly proficient in STEM-related coursework and complete a capstone project addressing a real world problem. Participants cultivate a depth of aptitude in STEM, pursue STEM-related interests, learn how all STEM disciplines are mutually functional, encourage an appreciation for the importance of STEM in the community, and lay the foundation for STEM-related college studies. Students participate in an ongoing STEM activity outside of the classroom and address a real-world problem utilizing design-thinking and inquiry, case studies, research, and collaboration with other organizations, students, or community members as part of a capstone project.

Distinction in Outdoor and Environmental Leadership

NYA AK Trip Glacier Bay 2019The Distinction in Outdoor and Environmental Leadership allows students to become highly proficient in outdoor leadership skills and environmental practices, engage in a significant experiential endeavor, and share those skills and experiences with others. Students cultivate advanced level skills in outdoor adventure settings, integrate outdoor experiences into academics, learn to understand oneself within the natural world, and lay the groundwork for lifelong involvement in outdoor adventure and environmental stewardship. Students may choose to pursue either an outdoor leadership or an environmental leadership track.

Distinction in Social Advocacy

NYA Social Advocacy DistinctionThe Distinction in Social Advocacy allows students to pursue a course of multidisciplinary studies aimed to foster leadership and creative problem solving while encouraging ethical development. Students will learn to identify and address multileveled social problems while developing skills to be a catalyst for change. As part of this distinction, students are immersed in the history and application of social advocacy, leadership, and character building and work to identify and address current, real-world social problems. Students participate in NYA’s Civil Dialogue group as a facilitator, and conduct an experiential endeavor working to affect social change in the community.

Distinction in Visual Arts

The Distinction in Visual Arts allows students to pursue a course of study where they will become highly proficient the visual arts and complete a finished portfolio that expresses their views of the world around them. These programmatic areas are in service of cultivating breadth and depth of aptitude in visual arts, pursuing passions in this area of study, learning how all artistic disciplines are linked, encouraging an appreciation for the history of art, and laying the foundation for visual art related college studies.


Distinction in Creative Writing

Students apply for the program distinction, and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The course of study is tailored to fit diverse student interests, styles, and strengths, but all candidates must address the following components:

1. Demonstrated interest in and dedication to creative writing, both in and out of the classroom.

2. Demonstrated breadth of literary reading in the student’s area of focus. This requirement can be met through independent work or specific course work, pending approval by the faculty creative writing advisor.

3. Ability to produce an accomplished and ample body of written work, as determined by appropriate faculty and faculty creative writing advisor

4. Exceptional achievement* in creative writing courses at NYA, including a seminar and/or independent study in their area of interest.

5. Communication with a writing mentor outside of NYA to help create and edit a body of work, while regularly consulting with their faculty creative writing advisor on campus.

6. Submission of work for publication in print or digital form (e.g. online publications, literary magazine, personal blog, etc.).

7. Participation in a public reading or other event in which the writer shares their work with an audience.