CASA – we’ve all heard of it, o. Or at least you should have by now. The Center for Advanced Studies and Arts is a top contender in the many pros of Oakland schools; CASA’s one-story building currently sits in Oak Park, soaking in its last years before being demolished and relocated to Pleasant Ridge. This big move isn’t the only thing going for CASA, though, its diversity of programs offers students a broader variety of specialized classes. At CASA, students from Clawson, Pontiac, Madison, Lamphere, Oak Park, Ferndale, and Berkley school districts come together to learn in a shared environment. Not only does CASA allow students to connect with peers outside of their immediate circle, but it also provides an opportunity for students to gather a broader, more communal perspective. It’s also important to note that CASA classes are self-selected; therefore, should you choose to take classes there, they are more likely to be filled with students who share interests.
To get an inside perspective of CASA, I asked two of my CASA peers a few questions about their experiences at CASA thus far.
I first spoke to Mia Montgomery. Mia is a junior at Ferndale High School, and one of my closest friends these days. They are currently taking AP 2D Art and Heroes and Legends at CASA. Here’s what they had to say about their time so far:

Question (Q): What is your favorite thing about CASA?
Mia (M): My favorite thing about CASA is probably the diversity of classes you can take. There are a lot of different options for whatever a student is interested in.

Q: What classes would you recommend to other students, and why?
M: I definitely recommend – even though I haven’t taken them, just what I heard from other people– biology of food. It seems like a really cool class to take, plus you get a science credit. I think language – any language class here; there’s Latin and Japanese, obviously, it looks really good to colleges, and is a new language to learn that isn’t just Spanish.

Q: What do you wish you had known, if anything, prior to enrolling at CASA?
M: There’s not a lot, but I would probably ask myself to be more considerate about the classes I take. I think you have to decide whether or not you want your experience to be to fulfill credits, or you just want to take whatever you want to take.

I proceeded to run through the same questions to my longtime friend and fellow Berkley senior who has been attending CASA for the past two years now, Bryn Hazen. Currently, Bryn is taking both AP 2D and 3D Studio Art.

Q: What is your favorite thing about CASA?
B (Bryn): My favorite part about CASA is probably the environment that the teachers create for us. It’s very laid back and it’s a lot more collaborative than, I would say, a normal classroom. And you get to meet kids from different schools, which is nice.

Q: What classes would you recommend to other students, and why?
B: If I were to recommend a class to an incoming CASA student, I would definitely recommend sculpture, because there’s a lot of creative freedom, and it’s just an overall very fun and exciting class.

Q: What do you wish you had known, if anything, prior to enrolling at CASA?
B: The only thing I wish I had known prior is that you can access CASA earlier on, like sophomore year. I just wish I would’ve been able to take [classes at CASA] earlier on because it’s a good program.

Any concluding thoughts?