St. Augustine Prep Blog

4 Ways to Measure the Rigor of High School Curriculum

Posted February 8th, 2019

When parents of middle schoolers begin shopping for a high school for their son, they usually have in mind a checklist of what they’re seeking. One quality that almost every parent looks for is a school that emphasizes academic rigor, but what does that really mean? Rigorous learning can be defined as helping students develop the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and aptitudes to be successful in the increasingly complex world in which they’ll live and work. 

In more basic terms, academic rigor generally means that students are expected to work hard and learn a great deal. What should parents look for in a school’s curriculum to ensure their son will find this kind of challenge?

  1. What Role Does Faculty Play?

Prospective parents should pay careful attention to the real difference-makers at St. Augustine Prep — the faculty and staff who implement the curriculum. Using research-based teaching strategies and with an eye for emergent practices in teaching, these seasoned educators will help your son move forward in every area of life. They’re the embodiment of the school’s mission statement, “Setting hearts on fire with a passionate search for Truth, Unity, and Love.”

Caring, insightful faculty recognize the uniqueness of each student. Keeping standards high while giving attention to individual needs, St. Augustine Prep’s role model teachers are the essential link between the student and the curriculum.

  1. Is There a Cohesive Design?

Here at St. Augustine Preparatory School, you’ll find great intentionality behind the curricular design. Our goal is to prepare young men for success in college and in life, so a relevant and challenging curriculum is essential to fulfilling that aim. It means the course of study is aligned to high accreditation standards and to the requirements of colleges and universities.

With the guidance of their Unitas advisors and college guidance counselors, students follow core requirements and diverse electives in a carefully planned and coherent sequence to help them achieve their long-term goals.

  1. How Will My Son Be Challenged?

You and your son will find high academic standards at St. Augustine Prep. That means the curriculum isn’t simply about teaching content, but about teaching students how to think deeply and creatively, research thoroughly, communicate effectively and work collaboratively.

St. Augustine Prep works hard to provide a curriculum based on skill development through opportunities offered outside of the classroom, that allow their students to experience real-world applications of those skills.

Through innovative experiences like the Third Semester program, your son will have a chance to study in an immersive environment that may include foreign travel, practical or professional study, social work, or intense academic research. He’ll also have opportunities for on-site learning and refinement of career goals through the job shadow program that offers a mini-residency program as well as other career-ready opportunities.

From the Veritas Lecture Series, to Caritas community service, to the Unitas faculty-led small groups, to Honors classes, students discover ample opportunities to grow intellectually, spiritually, and professionally. Young men find high standards of hard work, integrity, and diligence, as well as the support needed to achieve those expectations.

  1. What Results Can I Expect?

Perhaps the best way to assess how the school’s rigorous curriculum has prepared students for success is through examining the track record of its students.

Consider a current student like Evan Doliszny, class of 2020, who was awarded a prestigious scholarship by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to travel to Jordan to study Arabic and immerse himself in the culture. He was one of 18 students selected from more than 3,300 applicants nationwide!

Consider alumni — both recent and those from our earlier decades — many with stories of success chronicled in our Alumni Blog. These are graduates who have found fulfillment in a wide range of professions, all with the common experience of having benefited from St. Augustine Prep’s outstanding curriculum.

Take the Next Step

The choice of a high school has a direct impact on a student’s likelihood for acceptance at his preferred college, and success once he arrives there.  St. Augustine Prep is an all-boys private Catholic high school committed to an academically rigorous curriculum and high standards.

Experience what Hermit life all about: Schedule a Tour of our Richland, NJ campus.