A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958
Mas Family Program
Our College Recognized, Signature Honors Program
The Mas Family Program serves as one of the most academically challenging and culturally enriching experiences in South Florida. Comparable to the International Baccalaureate Diploma, this unique program is designed for the academically gifted and highly motivated student. A balance of rigorous interdisciplinary coursework, enrichment activities, guest lectures, internships, and independent research projects prepare these students for post-secondary success.
Due to the Mas Family Program’s success and popularity, we are happy to announce that Columbus High School has expanded the program for the next school year. For the 2017-2018 academic year, 20% of the students in the freshmen class have been invited to join the Mas Family Program as part of the class of 2021.
The program now has a two-tier structure. Under the Mas Family Program umbrella are the “Mas Scholars” and the “Mas Honors” students. The purpose of our program’s expansion is to offer a rigid curriculum to a larger group of competitive students. Beyond the classroom we offer a plethora of academic and cultural enrichment experiences to all students in the Mas Family Program.
Based on performance in the ninth grade, some students in the Mas Family Program will be invited to become a “Mas Scholar” and begin the College Board’s AP Capstone curriculum sophomore year. Others may choose to remain in the Mas Family Program as a “Mas Honors” student while continuing to partake in the most stringent courses available to them and follow a more flexible set of requirements. See drop down menus for curriculum requirements, respectively.
This new expansion of the program enables a greater fluidity for students to join the Mas Family Program throughout their career at Columbus. This expansion will allow every student striving for academic rigor the opportunity to always have the option to join this signature honors program.
What's the Difference | Scholars vs. Honors
A frequently asked question our department receives is: “What’s the difference between a “Mas Scholar” and a “Mas Honors” student?” While our aim is to provide the toughest courses to both groups, the Mas Scholars will graduate with a superior distinction - the AP Capstone Diploma. In addition, both groups have different GPA requirements. The Mas Scholars need to maintain a higher minimum GPA (3.33 unweighted) while the Mas Honors are required to maintain a (3.0 unweighted). Although the curriculum requirements also differ, both groups are required to take courses at the honors and AP level. There are other requirements for the Mas Scholars which are optional for the Mas Honors students. For example, completing a two-week internship and initiating a service project are both graduation requirements for the Mas Scholars, but are optional for the Mas Honors students.
Mas Family Program members and parents benefit from frequent meetings to ensure that students are on track with their college and career preparedness. Upperclassmen participate in various college-planning workshops throughout the year. Seniors also partake in a summer College Application Boot Camp, which allows them to get a head start in the college application process. Mrs. Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta, recognized by Stanford University for her contribution to the education of high school students throughout Miami-Dade County, leads the Mas Family Program. As a former International Baccalaureate Coordinator for nearly a decade and the current AP Capstone coordinator, she is well versed in advanced high school academics. As both a member and active participant of NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling) she is very familiar with the current trends in college admissions and often travels throughout the country visiting universities. She is also well known in the Miami area for her success with the Silver Knight Awards Foundation.
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners.
Columbus is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the National Catholic Educational Association.