How does a University-Model school work?

In SUmmary

University-Model Schooling

University-Model (UM) schooling was developed as a means of imparting a high-quality education that helps disciple Christian young people while strengthening the home. Offering an academically sound education in a structure that integrates the home and the school in the common enterprise of educating students both in academics and character accomplishes this goal.

Thoughts on UM…

“Our youngest daughter attended Calvary from 9th -12th grade. She is now at Baylor University, and she is thriving due to the fact that Calvary is a University-Model School which taught her time management and organization.”

Kiz, parent of a DCA alum


What can I expect at a UM school?

The University-Model® (UM) is a unique and exciting approach to Christian education and is ideal for parents seeking to have an invested role in the educational life of their children. Simply put, UM schooling mimics the real world of college, where courses are typically offered on alternate days and therefore students must learn effective study skills and time management to succeed. This not only prepares students very well for college, with a proper blend of professional classroom instruction and parental oversight, families also receive and benefit from a gift of time to grow in relationship to one another and Christ.
What does a typical week look like?

In a UMS setting, students attend classes on campus two or three days each week. When students are not in class, they complete work assigned by the teacher for their home instruction days under the supervision of their parents in the home “satellite classroom.” The combination of on-campus and off-campus days creates a five-day school week for students.


AT SCHOOL…Students:

  • Are taught new concepts by qualified teachers
  • Demonstrate master of subject matter through assessments
  • Present projects and speeches
  • Interact with peers

AT HOME…Students:

  • Complete assignments which include drill and practice for mastery
  • Study for assessments
  • Craft and prepare for projects and speeches
  • Spend time learning from and bonding with family
What is the Parent's Role?
The role of the parents on home days ranges from co-instructor/tutor to monitor of independent study. Over time, the parent role shifts from teacher to tutor to mentor as students grow and mature.

In the elementary years, parents assume a co-teacher role. The classroom instructor plans the lessons and teaches on the days that students are in class while the home parent teaches the planned lessons (with the aid of a teacher guide), grades papers, and encourages students on home days.

However, in secondary years, as students progress toward independence, parents spend less time in direct instruction. Rather, they play a pivotal role in encouraging good study habits and organization with the goal of helping students gradually prepare for college.

What are some of the benefits of the University-Model structure?
  • Parents assume ownership of their child’s educational choices and spiritual upbringing.
  • Students/families have more control over their schedule/time.
  • UM teaches time management skills.
  • UM teaches a strong work ethic.
  • Families enjoy more time together.
  • Parents benefit from time with their children to teach the love of learning.
  • The UM schedule prepares students for college more gradually and effectively than traditional school structures.
What are the core values of the University-Model school?
  • Love and glorify God
  • Help fulfill the Great Commission
  • Pursue Christ-centered community
  • Affirm, encourage & equip families
  • Educate with excellence
  • Integrate home and school
  • Reach out to the world
How does DCA help families succeed?
The staff, teachers and coaches at DCA strive to help you and your child succeed! To that end, the week prior to beginning the school year, DCA offers orientation, training, and support to ensure a successful home-days. Additionally, some teachers also offer follow-up training a few weeks into the year once families are more familiar with the process and know better which questions to ask. All DCA teachers make themselves available on home days to answer questions, assist with problems and offer advice. In light of this, parents can expect frequent communication from teachers via email, phone and face-to-face meetings.
For secondary students, DCA offers free Math and Writing labs on Tuesdays and Thursdays for students needing assistance with higher level concepts.
Finally, parents have access to student assignments, grades, resource files and teacher assignment comments. Additionally, DCA provides online resources for research and supplemental support as well as calendars and tools to communicate with teachers, coaches and other parents.
How much time will be required for studies on a typical home day?
Times will vary, but in general, for every hour spent in the classroom, an additional hour to hour-and-a-half is required in the “satellite classroom” for each core subject. This rule, of course, varies according to need and increases a bit as students progress to higher grades. Naturally, subjects in which a student is academically strong might require less time while a challenging subject, or one in which a student is weak, might require more at times. Certainly, parents are in the best position to assess each of their children’s individual needs and lead them accordingly in the structuring of their time.
How do I know what to teach each week?
Classroom teachers teach the key objectives in class and assign reinforcement or application activities to be completed at home. Accordingly, instructors share weekly lesson plans for both the classroom and the satellite classroom (the home) via our online school management information system (RenWeb). The co-teacher (parent) is expected to print off plans for the week and to prepare for the assignments in advance. Additionally, secondary students can access and print lesson plans on-line for themselves.
What are DCA's "academic standards?"
The academic standards are based upon the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), as well as Denton Calvary objectives. Essentially, our academic standards meet or exceed the requirements for grade levels in the public schools in Texas as published by the Texas Education Agency.
How does the cost of University-Model schools compare with traditional full-time private schools?
Present tracking of existing UM schools indicates that University-Model private schools cost 25 to 50 percent less than the average traditional private school.
How well are students from University-Model schools accepted by colleges and universities?
Our students experience no difficulty in gaining entrance to colleges and universities nationwide. Furthermore, DCA graduates routinely attain scholarships for academic achievement, student leadership, and athletic or artistic ability. Our advising staff works to stay informed on the current and projected entrance requirements of major four-year universities. This enables us to ensure that DCA’s course offerings meet or exceed college standards. In addition, students from UM schools are attractive to colleges because of their strong work ethic, successful study habits, leadership skills, and character as demonstrated through various student activities – academic, athletic, artistic and governmental.
What do DCA graduates say about how the University-Model prepared them for college?
DCA graduates report overwhelmingly that they are well-prepared for their freshman college classes. First, the University-Model system itself prepares them. The schedule, work ethic, and necessary study skills are dynamics to which they were already accustomed. Second, they are prepared academically. DCA’s course content is more than adequate to prepare students for college. In addition, many DCA students begin college with several college hours already on their transcript because they opt to take advantage of dual credit classes while attending DCA or because they place out of certain classes thanks to the preparation they receive at DCA.

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