Academic Philosophy & Overview
Brethren Christian is dedicated to providing a Christ-centered, high quality educational program consistent with Biblical truth. Its purpose is to minister to the whole person by fostering individual growth and preparing students for responsible interaction in society. To that end, BC's curriculum continues to include core courses aligned with the State of California and University of California A-G requirements as well as additional opportunities for students to engage in courses such as Bible, Advance Placement, and award winning fine arts, athletics, and woodshop.
The curriculum and instructional process begins properly with the Word of God, recognizing the Bible as inspired and the primary source of truth about God, man and the world. The curriculum promotes a Christian worldview, giving the student a sense of God as sovereign and offers biblical principles and answers for life's most compelling questions.
Average BC College Board SAT scores have been steadily rising since 1990 and currently surpass the California and national averages by greater than 100 points. The percentage of BC students taking the SAT exams has steadily increased since 2001 from 53% to % 75% participation. More students are taking the exam and getting higher scores.
BC is one of only a handful of area Christian junior or senior high schools with a program for students with special needs. The depth of the curriculum has enabled students of all learning types and abilities to have access to learning at an appropriate level.
Students admitted to the Options Program receive remedial and developmental assistance in language arts and mathematics courses based on testing and ILPs. Options students are mainstreamed into all other courses with contracts for modification if necessary. The Options Director and an aide provide a tremendous amount of support in tutoring, individualized help, development of organizational skills, and act as liaison between teachers and families. Faculty has welcomed the accommodations and modifications necessary to help these students master material and complete required coursework. Students in this program are taught to be self-advocates in their learning.
A variety of AP (Advanced Placement), advanced level mathematics and fine arts courses have provided gifted and talented students the ability to flourish.
It is our conviction that curriculum is not textbook driven but rather teacher driven. In-services have assisted teachers in becoming curriculum designers by incorporating a number of resources, strategies, and assessments, thus creating a more holistic approach to curriculum. Because the members are experts within their field, each department selects the most appropriate textbooks after a thorough review of available materials by both secular and Christian publishers. Secular textbooks, literature, videos, and other resources can have considerable educational value while framed within a Christian worldview and can also generate Biblical integration opportunities.
Grade reports are issued four times each year: nine weeks, 18 weeks, in semester one and same for semester two. However, teachers are not limited to those reports. Grades are available through a parent portal 24/7 throughout the year. Parents are encouraged to monitor their students grades, but hold their students responsible for their work.
STRENGTHEN YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT AND STUDY SKILLS
It is extremely important to maximize your use of time as a student and later on in the world of work. Here are eight tips to assist you:
- Start each day by spending a least five minutes writing a “to do “ list consisting of the tasks you need to accomplish. If the daily routine does not work for you then do it on the weekend looking forward to the next week.
- Prioritize the tasks by A- the most important things, to B-the next less urgent things, to C- those that can wait.
- Try to have a set place to study every day away from distractions.
- Identify your best time to study—early morning, after school, or after dinner.
- Study your most difficult subjects first when you are mentally fresh and can quickly process information.
- Take breaks during studying. Use a timer to stay focused for 20-30 minute intervals. Then take a break. Much time is WASTED by just sitting there and daydreaming. Some students say, “my homework takes me four hours,” when in fact they sat there for four hours and actually did homework for 60 minutes.
- Stay organized. Brethren Christian works at training students to be organizer/planners because it is a valuable study skill as well as a “life-skill.”
- Have a balanced life while going to school. You need a social life with activities and/or sports.
IMPROVING YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING AND DECISION-MAKING SKILLS
Effective problem-solving and decision-making means that you can “make things happen,” instead of just “letting things happen.” This is very important in choosing your future academic and career choices. There are eight steps involved in making and implementing decisions:
- Recognize the problem – The decision-making process starts by recognizing that a problem exists. Something needs to be changed in the situation and there are possibilities for improvement.
- Analyze the problem – Once the problem is identified, study it carefully to find out what is causing it.
- Consider your goals – What goals do you want to want to reach? The goals you choose are influenced by the values you have. What is important to you?
- Look for alternatives – Think and look for as many practical alternatives as possible. Look at the alternatives in terms of the time, money, skill level, or amount of energy you have to expend. Is it worth it?
- Select the best alternative – After looking at each alternative, select the best one for you. Keep in mind the values that are important to you, the goals you are working toward, and the resources you have to work with.
- Put the decision into action – Do not just sit on it!
- Accept the responsibility – You need to accept the responsibility and consequences for making the decision. In other words, you must live with it!
- Evaluate your results – Regularly evaluate your decisions. Decisions may need to be changed in the future. Decisions are rarely cast in stone.
UC Freshman Admission Policy Change Begins With Fall 2012 Applicants
To give more students an opportunity to present their qualifications to UC campuses while continuing to provide a guarantee of admission to the highest-performing students, the University of California Board of Regents approved changes to the University's requirements for freshman admission. The changes will take effect for the fall 2012 entering class.
The new eligibility requirements, which are based on recommendations made by UC's Academic Senate, will expand the opportunity to be considered for freshman admission to all California students who complete at least 11 of UC's 15 required college-preparatory courses by the end of their junior year in high school, achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 (weighted with additional grade points for up to eight semesters of honors-level courses), and take either the ACT with Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test.
California high school seniors who meet these requirements will be entitled to a full and comprehensive review of their applications at each UC campus to which they apply.
Traditional Measures of Performance Still Apply
Among this group, students who fall in the top nine percent of all high school graduates statewide, based on their ACT or SAT scores and GPA in UC-approved courses, will be guaranteed admission to at least one campus in the system, as will those who rank in the top nine percent of their own high school graduating class. This will ensure that the highest-performing students on traditional academic measures will be guaranteed a spot at one of UC's campuses.
"The new admissions policy will increase opportunity for students by expanding the number of applications our campuses review, while continuing to produce a freshman class that is just as qualified as in years past, including by the traditional measures of high school grades and test scores," said UC President Mark G. Yudof. "It also sends a clear message to California high school students that if they work hard, take challenging courses and do well, they will get to make their case for admission to UC."
Under the new admission policy, prospective students will no longer be required to take the SAT Subject Tests, thus aligning UC's test requirements more closely with those of other public universities. UC is currently the only public higher education system in the nation to require students to take two subject examinations.
The elimination of UC's subject test requirement stems from extensive faculty research that indicates SAT Subject Tests contribute very little to UC's ability to select freshmen who will do well at UC, once their GPA and SAT or ACT scores are considered. Studies from several years ago highlighted the value of the subject tests in this regard, but that value has declined markedly with the addition of the writing test to the main SAT and ACT exams.
Still, under the new eligibility policy, students could choose to submit their SAT Subject Test scores for consideration as part of their application, just as they do now with Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate scores.
Some majors at some campuses may recommend subject tests. Individual UC campuses will determine this at a later date. Students should plan under the assumption that if certain programs currently recommend specific SAT Subject Tests—for example, many engineering programs recommend Math Level Two and a Science Test related to the intended major—they will continue to do so. Not taking a recommended test will not affect an applicant's eligibility.
Fairer Process, Same High Academic Standards The new requirements widen the door of opportunity for many more high-achieving students—from all ethnic and racial groups as well as those from low-performing schools—to be considered for admission to UC. Based on 2007 data from the California Postsecondary Education Commission, it is estimated that 21.7 percent of California high school graduates would be entitled to a full review of their applications compared with 13.4 percent of graduates estimated to be UC-eligible in 2007. The proportion of students from California's most challenged high schools is expected to increase substantially.
"There is no perfect admission system," Yudof said. "But I believe the reforms contained in this new policy will make UC's admission process fairer while preserving our high academic standards. Most importantly, I believe it will produce a class that will be prepared to meet the rigors of a UC education and go on to meet the societal and workforce needs of California."
For more information about the freshman eligibility changes, visit http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/freshman/