Program Overview

About Us

The Shepard Academy, a four-year program, integrates social studies and English curriculum for students who are interested in leadership, law, politics, and social justice. The curriculum focuses on five cornerstone skills: reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and leading. Students spend four periods each day at the Academy and the remainder of the day at their home schools, allowing them to participate in the home schools’ extracurricular activities. Students also have the opportunity to earn college credit through USI’s College Achievement Program and AP courses.

One common misconception is that students must be interested in law professions in order to join the Academy. While it’s true that students take Advanced Law Education and participate in law-centered activities, the Academy regularly graduates students interested in becoming teachers, medical professionals, politicians, and even scientists. Another misconception is that Shepard Academy only accepts the best academic students. Students should certainly have taken rigorous courses in preparation for Academy coursework, but Shepard Academy teachers look for specific skills in prospective students. As you consider who might succeed in Shepard Academy, please look for the following types of students:

Strong Time Managers. Academy students are must be able to stay organized as they work on both long- and short-term projects.

Responsible Self-learners. Academy students are independent workers who are self-starters.

Advanced Readers. Academy students should be willing and able to read and comprehend difficult fiction and non-fiction texts.

Skillful Writers. Academy students should expect to plan, draft, write, and revise often.

Willing Speakers. Academy students are expected to participate in a variety of speech situations such as Socratic Seminars, class discussions, presentations, and debates.

Careful Listeners. Students are adept at listening, reflecting and responding to others.

Serious-mindedness. Students in the Academy are focused on learning and achievement.

Should you have further questions please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator:

Heather Kirkham Coy (email)

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