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What is required for diplomas?

We have outlined the requirements for earning high school diplomas in detail on our STAA Diploma Program page. There you will find answers to the questions asked most frequently about the requirements that apply to age of the student, enrollment, reporting, courses, credits, and testing.

 

Is your program accredited?

No. We issue report cards, high school credits, transcripts and diplomas as a private, religious, non-parish-affiliated home school program.

 

Has your lack of accreditation been a problem?

No. Our high school graduates are on college campuses across the country (ver-r-ry successfully, we are proud to add). St. Thomas Aquinas Academy graduates have had no difficulty qualifying for colleges of their choice. Keep in mind, though, that it is not unheard of that some state colleges insist homeschoolers do additional standardized testing prior to being accepted. We encourage you to obtain copies of the entrance requirements for homeschoolers from the colleges your student is considering as early as possible so there will be plenty of time to complete any additional paperwork or testing the college may insist upon.

Students that wish to start high school with St. Thomas Aquinas Academy and transfer later to another school must note that some "brick and mortar" high schools may not accept home school credits without standardized testing or subject testing that meets the new school's specific preferences. It is always important to research the admission policies that apply to home school applicants at the institutions your student may wish to attend before and after graduating from high school.

 

“What should we do to prepare our children for college?”

Here are some pointers for the college-bound homeschooler:

  • We strongly recommend that you contact the colleges your student is interested in attending and request a copy of their admissions policy for homeschooled students. Mailing a copy of the policy to your STAA advisor is also recommended so we may outline a course of study that will help you meet the college's academic requirements. (Of course, our standard College Preparatory and Catholic Liberal Arts Diploma programs far exceed the admissions requirements of most universities.)

 

  • Follow the course plans laid out for you by your STAA advisor. Minimize your course substitutions as the Academy has a comprehensive College Preparatory and Catholic Liberal Arts study plan.

 

  • College-bound students will want to focus on taking College Preparatory (CP) and Catholic Liberal Arts (LA) courses through St. Thomas Aquinas Academy.

 

  • Take the SAT and/or ACT. Check to see which your favorite colleges prefer.

 

  • Adopt St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's "strong or mastered before moving on" approach to math. Minimally, students will want to have completed a year of Algebra I and a year of Geometry before taking their SAT and ACT tests. While it is recommended that college-bound students complete Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Pre-Calculus, it is best if they apply themselves to the study methods recommended by St. Thomas Aquinas Academy. The goal is not to quickly get through advanced math texts, but to easily and independently demonstrate mastery of basic math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, and Geometry, and Algebra II no matter where the student encounters the concepts. Math grades tend to "roll downhill" if the student is not taught a quality method for studying and internalizing the concepts and given the time required to master the new material. So, without a good structure in place for approaching math, a "B" in Pre-Algebra can too easily lead to a "C" in Algebra I, a "D" in Geometry, an "F" in Algebra II, and very poor showing on standardized testing such as the ACT and SAT.

 

  • Study Latin! Why Latin? Consider these reasons excerpted from Andrew Campbell's article Why Study Latin and Greek which appeared in Classical Teacher, Spring 2007
    •  

      "#1 Knowledge of classical languages increases English vocabulary. About half of all English vocabulary comes from Latin and another 20 percent from Greek. These words tend to be the difficult, polysyllabic ones—“SAT words.” A thorough knowledge of classical languages will increase the student’s English vocabulary tremendously.

      #2 Classical languages aid in the understanding of English grammar. Studying a highly inflected language—that is, one that marks grammatical changes with a fully developed system of case endings—gives students a better grasp of English grammar. In fact, generations of teachers have observed that Latin teaches English better than English by requiring students to accurately identify each part of speech for every word!

      #3 Latin is the key to modern languages. Knowing Latin makes it much easier to learn the grammar and vocabulary of the modern Romance languages (e.g., Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian), since they take about 80 percent of their vocabulary from Latin. Both classical tongues (Latin & Greek) greatly aid in learning other inflected languages, such as German or Russian.

      #4 Latin students perform exceptionally well on standardized tests and are sought after by competitive colleges. As a result of increased vocabulary and facility with English grammar, students of Latin consistently outperform their peers—including those who have studied modern languages—on the verbal portion of the SAT. Between 1997 and 2006, Latin students outscored the average by 157 points. Higher scores open doors to competitive colleges and scholarships.

      #5 Several careers require knowledge of classical languages. The technical vocabulary of the medical and legal professions and the hard sciences rests on the foundation of Latin and Greek. Latin is still a required subject for some higher degrees, as is Greek for many entering the ministry."

       

 

 

  • Collect words! An avid interest in understanding the words encountered in STAA CP and LA courses will go a long way towards improving English and reading comprehension scores. Energetically develop a scholar’s vocabulary and use the words in your daily life.
      
  • It is important for the student to develop neat, fluid penmanship. The written aspects to tests like the CHSPE, SAT, ACT, and college entrance exams require hand-written essays – and there will be many in-class essays to write in college – so make sure the student is not held back by sloppy or slow penmanship skills.
     
  • Focus on completing the STAA course plans for Essays B, Essays A, Logic, and Critical Reading complemented by strong grammar and punctuation labs such as our Punctuation A-D and Grammar I-III courses. If your student is not ready for these courses, be sure to ask your advisor about the plan to get there.
     
  • Consider a class or two at your local junior college starting at age 16. Classes to consider are advanced math, science labs, foreign languages, art practice, music practice, theater, public speaking, or introductory computer skills.
     
  • Develop relationships with your local priests, professors, coaches, instructors, professionals, or other individuals who interact with your student in academic, athletic, vocational, charitable, or community service activities -- and then ask them to write letters of reference about your student to submit with college applications.
     
  • Stay on track with your semester reporting so your four-year transcript from St. Thomas Aquinas Academy will always be ready for sending off with college and scholarship applications.

 

"Which colleges have accepted St. Thomas Aquinas Academy students?"

Here is a part of the ever-growing list of colleges that have accepted STAA students over the years:

  • Arizona State University
  • Ave Maria University
  • Baker College of Muskegon
  • Bellin College
  • Belmont Abbey College
  • Benedictine College
  • Bethany Lutheran College
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carthage College
  • Christendom College
  • Davenport University
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Franklin Pierce University
  • George Mason University
  • Gonzaga University
  • Hillsdale College
  • Idaho State University
  • Kansas State University
  • Lewis University
  • Louisiana Technical University
  • Magdalen College
  • Marquette University
  • McNeese State University
  • Missouri Southern State University
  • Missouri State University
  • Montana State University-Bozeman
  • Mount Saint Mary's University
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • North Central College
  • Northwestern Michigan College
  • Our Lady Seat of Wisdom
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Providence College
  • Purdue University
  • Redeemer University College
  • Rhode Island College
  • Saint Martin's University
  • Saint Vincent College
  • San Jose State University
  • Seminary of Our Lady of Providence
  • Silver Lake College of the Holy Family
  • South Dakota State University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Southwestern College
  • St. Mary's College
  • Stanford University
  • Tabor College
  • The Catholic University of America
  • The College of Idaho
  • The University of Montana
  • The University of Wyoming
  • Thomas Aquinas College
  • U.S. Naval Academy
  • Univ. of Colorado at Colorado Springs
  • Univ. of Wisconsin - River Falls
  • University of California-Santa Cruz
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Florida
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Mount Union
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Orleans
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of South Florida
  • University of St. Thomas
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of Toronto
  • University of West Florida
  • University of Wisconsin Green Bay
  • Villa Maria College
  • Washburn University
  • Wheaton College
  • Whittier College
  • Wichita State University

 

Where can we find college scholarship information?

The College Board has a great article to help get your scholarship research started: "Where to Find College Scholarships."

 


 

Still have questions?

We'd love to hear from you!

 

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