Upper School » Academics


At Hilton Head Christian Academy, our academic model is built upon authentic learning challenges, formulated by invested, knowledgeable mentors, and embedded with an identifiable Christian worldview.
We construct thought pioneers, creative and critical thinkers, and culturally attuned, lifelong learners and risk takers who are equipped to impact the world for His glory. This academic journey traversed by our students may be the most important path - other than their relationship with Christ - they will pursue.
In order to best prepare them for success, HHCA focuses on the learning experience to reinforce that how and why students learn is just as important as what they learn.
Our experiential learning method is recognized by the following tenets:

Student-Driven Learning
Our project-and inquiry-based curriculum centers on driving questions, created from real-world situations, which creates ownership in the authentic learning process. Students engage learning through multiple pathways based on their own passions and skills. Mentors facilitate this learning by working collaboratively with students to continuously reflect on artifact creation, supplying supplemental, standards-based materials, and coordinating meaningful resources for students.

Community Involvement and Professional Exposure
At all levels, community relationships assist in the effectiveness of student learning. From professionals sharing experiences to mock interviews and internships, exposure to the professional world serves to hone interests and create relationships that shape the futures of our students.

Flexible Learning Spaces Promote Collaboration and Communication
In preparation for the evolving world into which they will enter, students are exposed to flexible learning spaces that mimic the interactions they will have to navigate to maintain success. Spatial designs that promote communication and collaboration will differentiate HHCA students from other individuals in the community and future workplaces. Learning suites also promote collaboration between mentors, which improves instruction efficiency and breadth of coverage.

Intentional Development of Mentor Relationships
To properly assess interests and provide the best experience, knowing students on a deeper level is vital. Through HHCA's Bible curriculum, daily E-10 meetings, and consistent communication with mentors and our Guidance Team, all students are known and served in a unique way. Weekly personal conversations with mentors help coordinate academic, emotional, and spiritual needs for all students.

Christ-Centered, Service-Oriented Opportunities
Life for our students is so much more than how they participate in academics. Our Christ-centered approach encourages discussions and provides meaning to the processes undertaken during the school day. Pointing individuals to a relationship with Christ through the examples set by adults and peers, along with life questions addressed with Biblical truths and mission opportunities, manifest a servant spirit that results in a knowledge of Christ and the ability to make Him known.

Excellence in all of these areas helps fulfill our mission to effectively partner with families, deepen our relationship with Christ, and passionately pursue excellence in all aspects of our lives.
We invite you to experience learning with us!
HHCA Director of Guidance and Student Services Parker Collins
Parker Collins
Director of Guidance and Student Services
Diploma with Distinction is a capstone program that gives participating students the opportunity to engage in a long-term project of real-world significance within their chosen field. During the course of the project, students work with a faculty mentor and a team of advisors who provide direction on the student’s path of investigation.
Successful completion of the capstone project entails both written and visual elements as well as a formal defense of the project before a panel of faculty and administrative reviewers. Upon successful defense of the capstone project, students will be awarded distinguished status, which will be reflected on their high school transcript and diploma. This program is open to all juniors and requires a commitment that carries through the junior and senior years of study.
In addition to the academic benefits students gain from honing the executive and critical thinking skills necessary to complete a long-term project, students also have the opportunity to work directly with a faculty mentor on a project with real-world significance. Throughout the process, students learn how to conduct and present research and/or manage a project at a deeper level than anything they have previously experienced.
It is precisely this sort of real-world learning that universities and colleges seek. The Diploma with Distinction program gives the student a ready-made topic of conversation for interviews and essays during the admissions and scholarship process, demonstrating depth of study as well as showcasing an area of passion embraced by the student.

  • A study of war-related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as presented in nonfiction, fiction, and elements of popular culture.

  • Exploring, understanding, and creating a successful and viable business plan in order to manage a small computer company.

  • An examination of the psychological and sociological implications of losing a parent, accompanied by an artistic depiction of one’s healing process.

  • An investigation into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the Unhappy Triad knee injury in basketball players.

  • A postmodern creative narrative of shifting perspectives that reveal progressive mental instability and illness.

  • A cinematic interpretation of an adolescent’s handling of personal tragedy.

  • An analysis of fashion as high art, culminating in an exposition of wearable art.

  • An insight into financial trends and social media marketing strategies of local small businesses.

  • Tracing the visual history of South Carolina docks using mixed media and aesthetic representation.

  • An exploration into the history and adaptations of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker accompanied by a contemporary reimagining of his ballet.
Each Capstone Project consists of five modules. Each module must be completed in sequence, with the module completed by the final dates listed below. However, it is possible for students to move at a quicker pace if a module is completed prior to the date given.

  • Module 1: Formation of Project and Committee (September to February of Junior Year)

  • Module 2: Background Research and Literature Review (February of Junior Year to August of Senior Year)

  • Module 3: Drafting of Project (August to December of Senior Year)

  • Module 4: Revision of Project (December to March of Senior Year)

  • Module 5: Defense, Presentation, and Recognition of Project (March to May of Senior Year)