Choose From One of Four Upper School Diplomas at PCA
God has given each of our students a unique and wonderful set of gifts and talents. One of the most amazing parts of our work as educators is seeing these young men and women discover and grow into a sense of who their Creator has made them to be. What happens after graduation, though?
All of those unique gifts and passions translate into many different vocations and callings. That is why we believe it is critically important to offer a differentiated program of study at the high school level. It helps students thrive in their studies or career long after we hand them their diploma and bless them as they press on.
As a Portsmouth Christian Academy high school student, your child will have four different options for a program of study to choose from and each comes with a related, specialized diploma. Which one is right for them? Read about the different options below.
Which Path Seems Best to You?
Beakers, trains, equations, and robots — if any of that is your world, then the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Diploma could be for you! In the customized program of study for this diploma, you will cover all of the core curriculum subjects like English, History, Bible, Math, and more. But you will also have a special opportunity to focus more heavily on STEM subjects. You will be expected to demonstrate some above-average abilities in those areas by taking at least one AP course in both Math and Science. Don’t let the standards for achievement here worry you, though — with the STEM Diploma you will shine in the areas where you’re most engaged, interested, and gifted.
Diploma of Distinction
This is the most rigorous and comprehensive degree plan and diploma we award to our outstanding PCA graduates. To earn a Diploma of Distinction with us you will need to complete at least an additional credit more than any of the other programs while demonstrating academic excellence across the array of disciplines you will study. A cumulative 3.5 GPA is one of the requirements but for students who already know they are driven and love the extra challenge at this stage in their academic career, this diploma will open up many opportunities in the future.
Fine Arts Diploma
Were you the standout role in your kindergarten play? Did you start singing in the church choir before any of the other kids? It’s often obvious (and sometimes hilarious!) who the artists are very early on in life. Our Fine Arts diploma is ideal whether you know you want to pursue your artistic passion for a career or simply build an enriched foundation for other pursuits. We need your voice and creativity and unique way of seeing God’s creation! With the Fine Arts Diploma, your program of study shifts the focus slightly away from the hard sciences to give you more space to cultivate your passion in music, theatre, or the visual arts.
College Preparatory Diploma
Not sure if any of the other diplomas and specialized plans of study feel just right for you? No problem! You are not alone. As a matter of fact, our inclusive PCA diploma is still our most popular option for students and families. One of the huge advantages it holds for you is that you will get a strong, evenly balanced chance to explore all the major areas of study. As you graduate and move on to college, no matter what you eventually decide to major in and pursue for a career, you can be sure that the foundation you’ll have from PCA will serve you well. By the time you graduate, you will have sharpened reading and writing skills that apply in every discipline and you will have a much stronger sense of what subjects you enjoy and have some aptitude for.
Relax — You Don’t Need to Decide Right Now!
According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost a third of college students wind up changing their major. Around 10 percent wind up changing more than once! We only bring up to underscore something we hope every parent and high school student will believe — you are only just beginning to chart a course for your future. There is no pressure to get it perfect or even close, right now.
Time and time again, we have seen how God calls students in different ways, and at different times. The best thing you can do in high school is to explore all the academic disciplines as you are able, pay attention to where your gifts come to the surface, pray, and commit your best efforts to what seems clear today. The rest will only ever become clear later on, believe us!
At Portsmouth Christian Academy, we are here for every student through each year of high school. We will help you discern some of your true academic strengths and interests — and plan for a future you are thrilled to pursue. Read more about how we help students plan for their high school studies and college.
There is So Much More to Learn
Mom, Dad, we love helping parents like you understand all the things God has given us to help students on their way as they become confident, college-ready men and women. If you’d like to read a little more about all that we offer here and get some of our counsel about navigating the high school decision process, download the resource below designed just for you: our Guide for High School Parents. Inside your College Prep Guide you will discover:
- A step-by-step to-do list for each grade of high school
- Tips for academic preparation, finding the right college, and the admissions process
- How to understand Honors, AP, and Dual-Enrollment course options
Learn More About the College Preparation Process
Download our free viewbook to learn all about Honors vs. AP courses, SAT prep, and the important things you’ll help your student walk through when prepping for college.