Our Core Academic Distinctives

“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”

—John Dewey

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College + Vocational Prep

Excellence in education means simultaneously preparing students for the rigors of college and career. All UCA students will take the courses necessary for 4-year college applications. Part of this curriculum will focus on building the skills that today's employers value. These skills include effective communication, creative problem solving, leadership, and team collaboration.

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4-Year Internship Process

During the UCA internship process, students will engage their curiosity with caring teachers and mentors in a field of interest, developing abilities, habits, and interests in a low risk environment. “The workplace is clearly the place to ‘try on’ or test out a career choice. It’s also by far the best venue in which to learn the ‘21st-century skills’ so critical to success in today’s economy.” -Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Dual Credit Courses

UCA is proud to have an official partnership with South Suburban College in South Holland. Dual credit courses will be available for students interested in extending or accelerating their learning. Students who have a passion in a particular area can also work with teachers to pursue South Suburban College courses that extend the UCA course catalogue.

Curriculum at UCA is intentionally designed to integrate six key areas: 


The Humanities

When possible, UCA takes an integrated approach with topics such as History, Literature, Philosophy, Theology, and Social Sciences.


Spiritual Formation

At UCA, we seek to be formed by knowledge of the Bible and relationships with God and our neighbor. To this end, we:

  • Emphasize formation over information as we study the Bible

  • Rethink disciplinary procedures so they’re restorative rather than only punitive

  • Build authentic community

  • Worship together in all our activities

  • Strive to develop a Biblical lens for living in this world

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Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

STEM is not a program as much as it is a way of thinking about these content areas. Here are some sample courses available during a student's four years:

  • Science: Physics, Biology, Chemistry, electives based on interest

  • Technology: based upon interest but will likely include courses in coding, web design, etc.

  • Engineering: based upon interest but will likely included courses in robotics, architecture, etc.

  • Mathematics: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and other advanced courses

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UCA takes a different approach to the traditional health and PE curriculum. Students will graduate having learned about fitness, nutrition, emotional health, mental health, as well as many other topics.

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World Cultures

The UCA learning community seeks to understand and celebrate cultural diversity. Students will have the opportunity to study foreign languages and go on cultural learning expeditions.

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Creative Arts

The pursuit and creation of beauty is a necessary part of the UCA experience. All students will be encouraged to find their niche in some of the following areas.

  • Music education, including instrumental and vocal

  • Drama and the performance arts

  • Digital art and production

  • Fine arts like painting and drawing