Joseph Baldwin Academy

What is JBA?

Joseph Baldwin Academy for eminent young scholarsPurpose of the Academy

The Joseph Baldwin Academy offers highly talented pre-college students a head-start on their future university careers by allowing them to live like college freshmen for three weeks:

  • they move into a residence hall
  • adapt to living with a roommate
  • eat in the residence hall
  • make new friends
  • attend classes
  • work with Truman State’s faculty

The primary goal of the Academy is for our students to leave with an increased appreciation for the pleasures of education, intellectual engagement, and the college experience. Along the way, we expect that they will grow both academically and socially as they interact with other high-ability students from across the country.

Overview of the Academy

Named after the founder of Truman State University, the Joseph Baldwin Academy was created in 1985 to provide the benefits of a liberal arts education to students beyond its own undergraduates. The Academy provides courses in all areas of the liberal arts including:

  • humanities
  • fine arts
  • natural sciences
  • social sciences

The Academy’s challenging classes are designed to be the approximate equivalent of a semester-long university course offered during the regular academic year. The faculty members of the Academy’s classes structure their courses to suit the interests and abilities of the talented students who make up our student body. The Dean has personally selected the JBA professors, choosing some of the most exceptional teachers and scholars among Truman’s faculty and alumni.


  • Students who are currently enrolled in the 7th, 8th, or 9th grade may be nominated by their school counselor or principal.
  • Students must be identified as a high achiever as indicated by GPA, IQ, enrollment in gifted courses, high standardized test scores, or equivalent measurement (see Admissions on this site for details).

If you are a student who meets these requirements and would like to attend the Academy but have not been nominated by your school, please contact us at

Comments from Recent Academy Graduates and Parents:

  • “You provide a brilliant experience.”
    JBA 2021 Parent
  • “I continued to come back each year because of the incredible staff and sense of community.”
    Victor, age 15
  • “It taught a lot of independence and problem-solving.”
    JBA 2021 Parent
  • “The Truman college campus was a great place to stay. It was spacious and welcoming when I first got there, and after I stayed there for three weeks it was an easy place to understand.”
    Andrew, age 13
  • “We were very pleased with the program and feel it was a very valuable experience.”
    JBA 2021 Parent

Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have at or 660-785-5384.