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Grades, College Tests, and Grand Canyon University

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Next year, we will have our first students enter what I call our Senior Academy. Typically thought of as high school students in grades 10, 11 and 12. I will be having one student move up from our Middle Academy (7, 8, 9) and there is a chance we may have one or two more students enter at that tenth grade level.

That means in three years, we will have our first graduates. A lot to look forward to and much to prepare. After eighteen years working as a principal in my other schools to provide the best post graduate beginnings for our graduates, I am using those experiences to provide even more for the future graduates of Maricopa Christian Academy.

Part of that preparation is learning about the options for our students after graduation. Of course, college is an option encouraged. But so is trade school for those who are better with a more active vocation.

Over ninety percent of the graduates of my last school went to college after their senior year of high school. Some chose a path other than college. One graduate chose an elite mechanic school to work on race cars and less than five percent made no decision.

Of those who chose college, all received scholarships to two-year or four-year colleges, mostly four-year. Over half of the college-bound were accepted to honor colleges.

We do not give report card grades for our students in the Primary (1, 2, 3) and Elementary (4, 5, 6) Academies. Frankly, grades show little reflection of a student's achievements.

The Wall Street Journal March 28, 2022 made comment on a survey by the Pew Research Center on what factors should matter for college admissions.

"Ninety-three percent of respondents said high school grades should count toward college admission, with 61% saying they should be a major factor. Nearly four in 10 said standardized test scores should be a major factor, and 85% at least a minor factor."

Test scores are the great equalizer in providing college admissions opportunities to everyone who works hard. Even more so than the usual random vagaries of high school grades, testing using the ACT or SAT tests is the great equalizer in allowing all to have the opportunity to be in college.

Traditionally, my high school graduates fare well in the SAT/ACT world. I will be working just as diligently with the students of Maricopa Christian Academy for them to test well on the college tests, a reflection of their hard work and high academic skills.

Finally, we enjoyed a visit from a college advisor from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix recently. It was a pleasant visit. It reminded me of what an exceptional university they have. My sons both went there in the first years of their new educational model built around a large online school financing an amazing campus in the West Valley.

A large percentage of my previous school’s graduates attended Grand Canyon U. Since then they have only become better in the education of their students.

During our conversation, I did ask about the university’s commitment to a Christian worldview. I was told the commitment is at least as strong as before. Though teachers outside of the theology department do not have to be a professing Christians, they cannot teach against the Christian faith or values or they have to go.

Three years will pass by quickly in moving our first graduating class towards graduation. I can't wait.

May the strength of God sustain us; may the power of God preserve us; may the hands of God protect us; may the way of God direct us; may the love of God go with us this day and forever. Amen. The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make His face shine upon us, and be gracious unto us.

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