Is The Academy a school?
Yes. The Academy offers a full academic curriculum for high school students (beginning in the fall of 2017), but it’s set up to allow students time and space to pursue other interests and activities. Full-time students attend classes two days per week and (optional) Friday enrichment sessions. Students can also take one or more a la carte classes as part of their homeschool studies. All students must register as homeschoolers with the state of Georgia by submitting an annual Letter of Intent.
Is The Academy accredited?
No. Over the years, we’ve talked to scores of college admissions officers about homeschool admissions, and there is no advantage for homeschoolers applying with an accredited diploma. We believe that the best education is personalized and self-directed, and our many conversations with college admissions officers suggest that a transcript that reflects these qualities is superior to an accredited diploma. Very few schools even require accredited diplomas from applicants. If you have your heart set on one that does, all of our classes meet the criteria for accreditation, and we’re happy to help you through the process of having a student’s individual diploma accredited.
What is the application process like?
FULL-TIME STUDENTS We require an entrance interview for all full-time students. This is your opportunity to let us know about your strengths and challenges, to share your academic history, and to talk about what you’d like your high school experience to look like. Parents are encouraged to attend this interview with their children. At least two faculty members will be present at this meeting to answer your questions about The Academy. We see the interview as a mutual opportunity to determine whether The Academy is the right fit for you. There is a $50 application fee, which will be applied to your first tuition payment if you enroll at The Academy.
A LA CARTE STUDENTS A la carte students can fill out a brief application to enroll in one or more classes. Sometimes, classes have prerequisites or require teacher approval; in those instances, please contact the teacher directly. There is a $25 application fee which will be applied to your first class payment.
What additional costs are there? Do you have room use fees, registration fees, etc.?
The application fee ($25 for a la carte students and $50 for full-time students) is applied to your first class or semester. Your class fee or tuition includes registration, administration, a copy of your transcript of Academy classes each semester, and required textbooks (loaned for the class term) and curriculum materials. We prefer to keep things simple and transparent with one all-inclusive fee.
How does the contract system work?
Students at The Academy create their own map for high school education. With guidance and support from your faculty mentor, you’ll develop academic goals each year. We believe that education is all about learning what you need to learn to go where you want to go, and self-directing your annual academic plan allows you to take ownership of your education in a way that checking off required boxes could never do. Working with your mentor, you’ll develop a plan to demonstrate measurable growth toward your goals over the course of the year as you build a fundamental set of skills and knowledge. Because this kind of education is, by its nature, individualized, students in the same class may have vastly different goals and assignments. Grades and evaluations are based not on abstract academic criteria but on your growth and development along your chosen learning trajectory.
How do you handle college and career counseling?
We believe high school is a wonderful time to explore different possibilities! In addition to helping you plan your academic experience at The Academy, your faculty mentor will help point you toward apprenticeships, internships, programs, and other opportunities that mesh with your educational goals and interests. If you’re interested in college, we’ll help you navigate the process, from preparing for standardized tests to writing application essays and everything in between. College is just one post-high school option, though, so your mentor can also help you plan a meaningful gap year, prepare to start a business, or enter the workforce. Ideally, each student will graduate The Academy with some hands-on experience in your field of interest and a professional resume, as well as an academic transcript.
Why liberal arts?
We believe that a liberal arts education empowers students to think critically, to communicate clearly and eloquently, and to embrace life-long learning. There’s a lot of emphasis on STEM, STEAM, and science-focused education these days, and that can be a great option for some people. But a classic liberal arts education—in which students explore humanities, social sciences, creative arts, mathematics, and the sciences—prepares students for whatever the future holds, giving them skills that transfer to an endless range of disciplines and careers. A liberal arts education prepares you to be a philosopher, but it also prepares you to be a computer engineer, a scientist, an entrepreneur … The list goes on and on.