Student Interview: Finding a Like-Minded Community in Minerva Baccalaureate

Minerva Project
January 7, 2021

Molly Croes is an inaugural class student of the Minerva Baccalaureate at Laurel Springs School.

Laurel Springs School student Molly Croes from Stowe, Vermont

How do your Minerva Baccalaureate classes compare to those in a brick and mortar classroom? What is different? How does this impact you as a learner?

I get to see other kids, and there are live classes which makes remote learning more fun and “normal.” The teaching manner is different, but in a good way. Our professors also push us more, and learning in an active classroom has taught me important life skills that I would not have grasped in a brick and mortar school. In each class, we apply the things we’ve studied in the pre-class work and previous lessons to real-world scenarios, which I think is essential to be successful later in life.

How do the courses interconnect?

Many of the Learning Outcomes (LOs) overlap in my classes. For example, LOs such as #professionalism and #sourcequality are helpful in all classes, even though they may not be listed every time. Also, our courses are not taught in silos but are interconnected. For example, in my World Cultures class, we just learned about the Anthropocene which relates to science because it is the geological period when humans impacted Earth.

What is your take on the flexibility, personalized learning, and relationships you’ve discovered at Laurel Springs School?

Laurel Springs is very flexible and the whole school has great support systems. It’s nice to have some structure and routine with the Minerva live classes within the flexibility of the actual academic work. The personalized learning is really helpful, prompt, and the practically instantaneous teacher feedback is invaluable to continued success. Everyone in my Minerva pod seems to have instantly clicked and become friends. This is mainly because everyone wants to learn, push themselves, and grow.

What is your overall impression of the Minerva Baccalaureate experience at Laurel Springs School?

I was really nervous going into the Minerva program because I had a lot going on in my life. I had reconstructive knee surgery only a few days before the program started, and I knew I would have to do a lot of physical therapy. I was also nervous because I wasn’t sure if it would be too challenging or too much work. The one thing that I kept worrying about was if I would be able to balance school and life. Looking back, I am so grateful that I decided to just “go for it” and I plan to follow the program for the rest of high school. I love Minerva so much not because it is any less challenging or any less work than I thought, but because it provides even more learning than I initially thought.

What is one piece of advice for someone who is thinking of applying to the Minerva Baccalaureate?

The advice I would give to people who are thinking of applying to the Minerva Baccalaureate is that you should just do it. Applying for the program was the best decision I have made for myself academically and I never regret being in the Minerva Baccalaureate. All the teachers and counselors are very supportive, helpful, and understanding. If you are intimidated by the workload, you shouldn’t be. If you stay organized, the workload shouldn’t stress you out. The best part about being in Minerva Baccalaureate is that everyone is interested in learning and they all want to learn which makes a huge difference.


Building upon the best in contemporary high school curricula, the Minerva Baccalaureate is a transformative four-year program that teaches essential skills across disciplines. The program blends self-paced coursework with engaging peer-based class time, offering the advantages of both individualized and fully active learning techniques. Students learn in a fast-paced format that interweaves core subjects to accelerate understanding, capability, and growth.

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