BP Students Excel in College & Beyond
Baptist Prep is passionate about preparing students for the future. Nearly 100% of graduating seniors matriculate to post-secondary education with most of them attending 4-year colleges. Nearly 70% of these students have completed college courses and accomplished over 120 of services hours – 250 hours for students who have traveled out of state or country for missions – by the time they graduate from Baptist Prep.
“Our students aren’t just attending college, they are prepared to succeed at college,” shared Randy Goldsmith, Baptist Prep Upper School Principal. “The feedback we get from alumni who are in their freshman and sophomore years of university is that they were prepared academically, emotionally, and mentally for the challenge of college courses. They don’t feel like their first or even second years of college were too overwhelming. Often, our students lead their classes at college.”
So, what’s the Baptist Prep secret to preparing students for post-secondary education? Academic rigor with a holistic approach to prepare students is one aspect.
“Each time we revise curriculum and objectives for classes, we take into consideration what a student needs to know to go on to college,” shared Randy Goldsmith, Baptist Prep Upper School Principal. “We ask, ‘What should a BP graduate look like? What knowledge should they have?’ We then build backwards after asking these imperative questions. As we establish academic objectives and standards, we then find textbooks and materials to support these goals. Then, we hire the best faculty and equip them to prepare students for college.”
In addition to high academic standards, the “all in” and passionate Baptist Prep faculty is a vital part of college readiness.
“Teachers are involved in every aspect of curriculum as we choose textbooks/materials for classes and they collaborate with each other within their respective departments,” continued Mr. Goldsmith. “Our college readiness and academic rigor is only as good as the faculty and staff who can support and carry out the vision.”
Additionally, the classroom environment at Baptist Prep is constructed in a way that looks ahead to students’ futures.
“As our teachers are lecturing, testing, quizzing, and setting classroom expectations – they are preparing students for how to speak to and engage with their professors,” shared Michale Hall, Academic Advisor Upper School. “Homework is due by a specific time, just like in a college classroom. Starting in 7th grade, students get due dates, and this expectation progresses over the following years, so they know that if they don’t meet those deadlines, they won’t get full credit. They are encouraged to share their thoughts and communicate what they’ve learned in class. Also, they are taught how to defend their faith. By the end of their time at Baptist Prep, all students take an online class. This gives them a better understanding of how to be prepared for online classes after high school.”
Beyond academics, students are given a myriad of opportunities to be involved in from school government to clubs to service projects and more.
“Colleges are looking at grades and test scores, but they are also looking for well-rounded students,” shared Mr. Goldsmith. “We aren’t just developing students academically, but we train them to be good citizens, good church members, good spouses, and good parents. It’s all part of a bigger vision. Being part of a group or team is important as to whether students are going to fit into a college. All of these opportunities for leadership, service, ownership, and teamwork help shape a holistic approach for each student.”
Another key aspect of preparing students for college is walking alongside them and their parents in looking ahead to dream and plan for their future.
"I love equipping and launching students in achieving their post high-school aspirations. By helping them find tools and resources to move successfully into their next steps, I hope they will feel confident that they are equipped to search out any additional needed information,” shared Carla Kenyon, Director of College Guidance. “My deepest hope is that through conversations and personal questions, I will help students prayerfully examine where they will most faithfully grow in becoming the men or women God intends them to be."
For 25 years, Carla has been ministering to families and students by guiding them along the path to college. As early as 8th grade, students and parents begin meeting with Carla to look ahead and be informed of next steps for applications, scholarships, and more.
“Admittance standards and expectations for colleges are often changing, so I help parents and students be informed and well prepared,” continued Carla. “From ongoing meetings with parents and students to college visits on campus to staying up to date on best practices and changing requirements, at Baptist Prep we work hard to prepare students practically for college.”
“We are committed to helping each student, each family, prepare for the future,” continued Mr. Goldsmith. “The ‘Prep’ in Baptist Prep refers to college prep but it’s so much more than that. We are prepping students in all grades for life. We are prepping the entire student.”