I will never forget slowly walking through the halls of the high school in March 2020 with my senior daughter. Thank you to COVID; her senior year ended abruptly. We emptied her locker and quietly exited the building in disbelief. I was in shock and grieved all the lasts we would never experience. It wasn't supposed to be this way. My daughter handled the pivot in plans much better than I did and then successfully navigated college in our new COVID world, earning her degree in three years. Because of her educational experience at Covenant Christian Academy, my daughter knew how to tackle challenging academics and persevere through disappointment. She was not afraid to step out of her comfort zone to try new things.
High school is a transformative time and also serves as a training ground for college. Preparing teens for college during high school includes personal and life skills development, academic preparation, and college exploration and planning.
Personal and Life Skills Development
The reality is that struggle is required in order for children to grow into "sturdy adults" – adults who can face life's challenges with maturity, resilience and perseverance. If we want our children to be able to do hard things, we must allow them to struggle. Dr. Keith McCurdy
It is good for students to do hard things and to stretch themselves academically, physically, and spiritually. Just like parents, children get stronger in the struggles of life. There is a reason God allows our lives to be full of struggle. He is more concerned about our character than our comfort (Romans 5:3-4).
One of the ways CCA equips students is by encouraging them to become involved in multiple activities across campus. At some schools, it is not possible for students to participate in sports, the arts, and leadership; they must choose. At CCA, the star quarterback on the football team might perform on the stage in the spring musical and serve on the student leadership team through House Council. Students are motivated to try new things because participating in a wide range of activities is part of the CCA culture. Students might struggle and even fail when they try new things. In this struggle, they will grow in character and self-awareness.
Failure is not a tragedy. It is a stepping stone to future success.
Amy Pryor, High School Principal
CCA students also learn critical thinking, a sought-after soft skill in the workplace. CCA's entire curriculum encourages students to evaluate truth, develop arguments, and speak winsomely and eloquently to persuade others. Senior-year students work on a capstone project called the senior thesis. This project is the culmination of all their years of training to think critically and communicate effectively. Check out this CCA graduate who went on to put her communication skills into practice in college.
Additionally, time management and organization skills are critical to success at CCA. Teachers give assignments at the beginning of each week, and it is up to the student to plan how they will accomplish each task according to their personal schedule. Critical thinking, communication, and time management are vital skills for success in college and life beyond.
Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them. Ann Landers
CCA's high school curriculum prepares students for college. Alumni regularly, gratefully report to us that they were ready for college-level work while many of their college peers were not. They learn how to read challenging material, write efficiently and effectively, and understand how the world works through a comprehensive understanding of math and science. CCA students are surrounded by like-minded, motivated peers who enroll in AP/Dual Credit courses. Small class sizes allow teachers to really know each student and connect with them individually. When students launch from CCA senior year, they are ready for college-level academics.
In April 2018, teachers across Oklahoma walked out of the classroom, striking against low pay and crowded classrooms. As my college daughter watched the news coverage, she felt appreciation for her education at CCA. She sent me this text:
I've been right here in the middle of the teacher walkouts. It's so sad how poor the education system is here. I just wanted to say thank you for making sure I had a good education. Some of the kids here are struggling to get any at all. A CCA Alumni
Want more info about Christian education in the Colleyville area?
Download a Parent Information Packet from Covenant Christian Academy.
College Exploration and Planning
Choice is a function of awareness. Dr. Michael Beckwith
College preparation begins with our Study Skills program in Middle School. Students begin to develop scholarly habits, including self-reflection. When students enter the ninth grade, they begin working with the college guidance counselor to build their college resume. They are provided with more tools for self-discovery, such as a personality profile, career exploration tools, and personalized college advising. A portfolio of interests and preferences is developed through group and private sessions, which aids in selecting a college.
The college guidance counselor meets with students and parents individually to explore different college options taking into consideration academic programs, campus culture, location, and cost. Throughout high school, students will visit multiple private and public university campuses on field trips with their peers. Teachers provide ACT/SAT prep. We offer the school day ACT and SAT as well as the PreACT and PSAT in preparation for the actual tests. We invite colleges to visit our campus so students are exposed to an assortment of schools. In addition, these visits allow face-to-face meetings with admissions professionals from schools across the country.
Choosing where to go to college is the first significant life decision many high schoolers will make. Encourage your teen to think about how God has uniquely made them, to ask questions, and to take ownership of their college preparation journey. CCA is committed to providing guidance and support to parents and students through the process.
Preparing teens for college is not only about academics. Partner with a school that will equip your student with personal and life skills development, academic preparation, and college exploration and planning. Remember, the ultimate goal of parenting is for children to reach independence. Choosing a school committed to preparing students for college and beyond lays a solid foundation for their future.