Upper School

Overview of the COE Program

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
~Albert Schweitzer~

The Certificate of Emphasis program is designed to allow students to pursue their individual passions through a combination of online courses, a mentor, a capstone project at the end of their program. It is designed to take three years to complete. Each student selects a "strand" or "area of emphasis".

The strands include:
  • 21st Century Communications
  • Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Sustainability
  • Globalization, Social Justice and International Politics
  • Mind, Body & Health
  • Pursue Your Passion/Build Your Own

COE Program Structure

Who is eligible?
This program is designed for Upper School students who have completed the COE enrollment agreement.  Students may join the program during their Freshman or Sophomore years.  

What courses fulfill program requirements?
All elective courses are eligible. Three of four required program courses must be taken online.

What areas of emphasis can students pursue?
The COE program consists of five strands:
  • 21st Century Communications
  • Engineering, Architecture and Environmental Sustainability
  • Globalization, Social Justice and International Politics
  • Mind, Body & Health
  • Pursue your Passion — individual strands can be developed with the program coordinator and academic advisor
What is the cost of the program?
The cost of the three to four year program is $1250. This includes mentorship and advising, support for project completion, administrative fees and the initial COE Seminar. It does not include other HLC courses taken as part of the program. The fee can be distributed over the years that the student is enrolled in the program.

Online Classes

As a member of the Hybrid Learning Consortium (HLC), students have the opportunity to take a variety of online courses as they explore their area of interest. The HLC creates a globalized learning community, immersing students and faculty in the 21st century digital world through online courses which offer freedom of content, collaboration and scheduling. The HLC brings together schools, teachers and students from around the world with the shared vision to provide best practices of diverse, in-depth learning. Courses create opportunities for students to develop solutions to problems facing our local and global communities. For more information go to: http://www.hybridlearningconsortium.org.


Tell me and I forget,
teach me and I may remember,
involve me and I learn.
~Benjamin Frankin~

Each student in the Certificate of Emphasis program works directly with a mentor in their chosen field. This mentor allows them a first-hand perspective of working in the field.  The mentor also advises the students as they select and complete their capstone project.

Mentors who are selected for this program must pass a background check and agree to make contact with their student a minimum of twice a month. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please email: christopher.mullis@barstowschool.org.

Capstone Project

Students will identify a capstone project as they journey through the Certificate of Emphasis program. This project allows students to identify an issue in the field they have selected and work towards creating a viable plan to solve the issue. The capstone projects vary significantly based upon a student’s selected strand and individual interests.

Contact Us

Christopher Mullis
Certificate of Emphasis Coordinator

Application Forms to Complete

Certificate of Emphasis Program Application
Click here to submit your COE program application.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227