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Apex AOIT program

Christine Lennon from Haddon Hall · 1d ago

Hi, does anyone have any experience with the AOIT program at Apex High? What is the benefit of this program vs taking desired computer/programming classes separately?
Any input is appreciated!!

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Jodi Schuh from Haddon Hall · 2d ago

I have a senior and a sophomore in the program and the soft skills that they learn in the program is more valuable than anything. They learn interviewing skills, presentation skills, how to work in a group, plus the Microsoft certification and how to make a great power point. Whether you think your child is going to be in a technical field or not I think it is a great program. They also do an internship beteeen their junior and senior years that is required. The one thing that you might want to take into consideration is that they do not have as much flexibility in their schedule because there are required AOIT classes that fills up a lot of their schedule.


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Stacy Boxell from Haddon Hall · 2d ago

I have a freshman in the program, and it’s awesome. Jodi is exactly right with what she said. My daughter, at this point, doesn’t plan to have a computer or technical career. She wants to be a lawyer or actor, so the presentation skills learned here are fabulous. It’s different than taking the classes separately, because in AOIT, they assign projects across the classes. One project might have a component they work on in each of their classes…math, english, science, history, technology…so they receive a grade in each of the classes they are in that semester for the portion of the project that relates to that particular class. It’s all very integrated. Plus the program incorporates field trips for more hands-on application that your student also wouldn’t be part of just taking the classes separately. There are pluses and minuses to what Jodi mentioned about schedule flexibility. It’s true that AOIT students can’t take chorus (and band maybe?), but I think overall they have less trouble getting their schedules set as AOIT students are scheduled first. From what I hear, my daughter was lucky to get drama (and her other first choice elective) this year, as that’s another class that normally conflicts with AOIT schedules. We’re keeping our fingers crossed she can get more drama classes in the future. Either way, she has LOVED the AOIT program, and chose to do it even with the chance she couldn’t get any drama electives.


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James Devlin from Beckett Crossing · 1d ago

My son and daughter both were in AOIT. This was back in 2007. They both got a lot out of it and has been great on their job resumes. He is now a Nuclear Engineer working at a Nuclear power plant. The skills they learned will benefit them for the rest of there life’s. Go for it.


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Darian Poliachik from Shepherds Vineyard · 1d ago

My third AOIT kid is just about to graduate. Great experience for all three. They learned how to get their resume together, how to interview (for a real paid internship they were required — and helped — to get over the summer after Junior year), and how to make presentations. They enjoyed the comraderie of having a smaller group within the big high school, and got to know the other AOIT kids well. Highly recommend.


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Chuck Mihaliak from Haddon Hall · 1d ago

My son is a senior in the AOIT program. I can echo the above comments that it has been a great experience. The level of preparation, both academically and professionally, is fantastic. I’m also a member of the AOIT Advisory board which is mostly parents who are highly involved in supporting the Academy – all highly dedicated.
Regarding internships, the call is out now for companies who might be interested in hiring a student for the summer. If you know anyone who could use a well trained student with strong IT skills, let me know.


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Thom Haynes from Mandavilla Way · 22h ago

My son was in Apex’ AOIT pgm, finished around 2009, it was great, a unique and lucky opportunity for Apex students. He went on to a Comp Sci degree at UNC Charlotte and is a software engineer in Cincinnati now, with a huge Indian consulting firm, doing very well.


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I-Ting Huang from Holt Rd · 12h ago

My son was graduated from Apex High’s AOIT program last year. I have asked him to give you some input. Here is what he wrote: The Academy of Information Technology aka AOIT has one of the most misleading names I have ever encountered in my life. Although we did work a lot with technology e.g. coding, website design, etc., the Academy really tries to focus on preparing students for their best possible futures in many aspects other than technology. We focused a lot on developing soft skills, like presentation skills and ways to work effectively in teams. These are also the exact things the Academy fails to advertise/showcase time and time again. I came into the program thinking I was going to do hardcore programming stuff and that thought process quickly disappeared within the first year.

AOIT contains a cohort of 90 students chosen through a lottery system of all who had applied. Chosen students are then placed in special AOIT-only classes where the only students in the class are in AOIT in addition to their regular classes. These classes can include anything from biology class to english class, classes that have absolutely nothing to do with technology; however, AOIT incorporates multiple projects and required presentations into those classes that are largely nonexistent in “regular” non-AOIT classes. Because you are taking many classes with the same people i.e. the people in AOIT that are in your grade, friendships are easily formed. I must say that AOIT helped me a lot in transitioning into high school in this regard. Making friends was easy through projects and conversations and adjusted me to the high school environment quickly. Many of my close friends today are/were from the AOIT program.

We also go on many AOIT-only field trips as a cohort; some are fun like going to the zoo or a high ropes course, but others are serious preparations for the future, such as the visit to NC State’s campus for practice job interviews. You most definitely do not get these opportunities outside of AOIT and the aspect of building relationships with your fellow AOIT classmates is again emphasized. As you progress through high school, the amount of AOIT-only classes decreases (I had only one AOIT-only class and seven regular classes my senior year) and field trips become less common, but the bonds you forged with your AOIT friends remain solidly intact.

The biggest thing that I thank AOIT for is their internship program. Graduation from the program requires each student to have an internship the summer after his/her junior year. In the process of getting an internship, we had to write resumes and interview with real company recruiters; this was the real deal. Although students are ultimately responsible for getting an internship, AOIT board members and staff immensely aid students in the process. This opportunity is absolutely invaluable. It is ludicrous for someone to already have internship experience before even coming to college, and it makes finding internships in college a whole lot easier. Not only do you get paid more than your average fast food summer job would (AOIT requires that the internship selected provides compensation), you get to see what life is like in an actual real-life work environment and learn hands on how to communicate with your coworkers and manager, manage projects, and countless other practical scenarios; it’s downright incredible.

The only downside to AOIT would be that some AOIT-only classes may conflict with the regular classes that a student may want to take in regards to time scheduling. For instance, I was unable to enroll in a band class my freshman year because I had so many AOIT-only classes that were the same time as the band class.


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