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Academic Concentrations Lead to “Life-Ready” Students

Alex Pracher - President, Holy Cross Preparatory Academy

(LinkedIn Profile)


At HCPA, our faculty and administration are always striving to provide our students with experiences that will not only help them prepare for college, but for their lives and careers after college.


That is why I am excited to announce that we will be launching four academic concentrations within our program of studies starting in the 2023–24 school year. The STEM, Medical, Arts, and Business & Entrepreneurship concentrations are intended to provide students with direction that they often don’t find until college or later. We feel that high schools have an obligation to provide that type of direction to their students.


College is an integral part of the journey of life for nearly every one of our graduates. However, at its core, college is still a means to an end, and not the end in and of itself. What parents are really hoping for when they invest in their child’s education is that they are helping to set their child up for success in life. Our academic concentrations will bridge the gaps between high school, college, and career.


Holy Cross Prep students will not be required to declare a concentration, nor will students who declare a concentration be required to complete all coursework within that concentration. Rather, these concentrations are simply designed to provide a direction for students that is sorely missing from the traditional high school educational model. 


This is just one way we are embodying the “life-ready” mentality at HCPA.


Other ways include our dual-credit program, which has allowed countless Holy Cross graduates to shorten their college experience by a semester or even a full year. This provides students with an opportunity to outpace the rest of their cohort or embark on advanced degrees ahead of schedule.


Our VR Initiative has introduced students in our STEM courses and beyond to technology that will become a mainstay of their future careers. We have invested in software that introduces students to college-level and early career concepts and are looking forward to expanding our VR capabilities in the years to come.


Finally, our Job Shadow program is providing students with a “day-in-the-life” of their most desired professions. Such experiential learning opportunities are inflection points in a student’s pathway–either serving as a launching pad for future success in the field or, in some cases, as a signal that they might want to change their mind.


As a direct result of these concentrations, we will be actively pursuing strategic partnerships to enhance our programming. This will include organizations within these industries that can help provide our students with expanded job shadowing opportunities, software companies that can provide our students with additional tools to supplement our curriculum, and guaranteed admissions agreements with universities that can provide our students with enhanced certainty in their path after high school.


While we are proud of the progress we’ve made, we will continue to explore the most innovative ways to provide our students with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

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