At EPIC Academy, we know that wanting isn't enough. Before they receive their diplomas, EPIC students must complete four years of a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. They also enjoy a variety of supports, and receive instruction and coaching on how to build a step-by-step plan to achieve their goals.
Executing their plans is up to them---but our students leave EPIC Academy with the tools they need to realize their dreams.
All of our students take part in Crew---their four year EPIC family. Crew teachers stay with their crews for their entire high school experience, and offer adult guidance on navigating the complex world of being a teenager. Even more valuable, Crew offers our students a peer group to support them as they grow into adulthood and face—and overcome—adult challenges.
"EPIC makes you want to go to college and makes you work harder to get there. Even if others doubt me, the staff at EPIC believes in me."
Amonte, Class of 2015
REAL WORLD SKILLS
We believe that a 21st century high school curriculum should prepare students for success in college and in life. That is why every EPIC class focuses on literacy skills—the ability to read, comprehend and critically analyze anything from a scientific text to the latest graphic novel. Every EPIC class sharpens writing and presentation skills—so that our students are able to share their thoughts and persuade others to follow. Every EPIC class works to enhance our students’ capacity for critical thinking and analysis. And because career success is highly correlated with the ability to work in teams, every EPIC class includes projects where students must work in small groups to produce a final product. In the end, our students graduate with confidence that they have been prepared to succeed, a confidence grounded on the skills they have acquired during their four years at our school.
"Epic prepared me for this moment, and I am ready to bring diversity and creativity to Connecticut College's campus."
Shameesha, Class of 2013
At most schools, students are nowhere to be seen on conference day. At EPIC Academy, parent/teacher conferences are different: at the end of each semester, students report to parents on their progress. During our Student-Led Conferences, each student puts into practice communication skills they will find invaluable after graduation, delivering presentations that summarize grades, attendance and discipline. After the presentation, in consultation with parents and teachers, each student sets goals for the next semester. During the 2012-2013 school year, 89 percent of students had at least one parent or guardian in attendance at their Student-Led Conference.
COLLEGE AND CAREER SKILLS
At EPIC, students start planning their futures on day one. Freshmen learn about the different types of colleges and admission requirements, and connect college types and majors to their interests. Juniors identify best-fit colleges and prepare for the ACT. Seniors select and apply to schools, scholarships and other financial aid.
"My favorite program is CSS, because it prepares you for college. In this class we analyze the requirements for different levels of college and we determine if we are on-track for college. In addition, we research our career goals and determine the steps we need to get to our dream job. Without CSS, I wouldn't be the person I am today, and who I aspire to be."
Chezalyn, Class of 2013
COLLEGE APPLICATIONS AND FINANCIAL AID
Applying to college is confusing and difficult for nearly every high school senior. If neither your parents, nor anyone in your family, nor anyone you know has ever successfully navigated the process, it can be especially challenging. At EPIC, we recognize that it takes a village to apply to higher education. Students receive support from a cadre of teachers, volunteers and peers, who guide our juniors and seniors through the many application forms, personal statements and the all-important Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We require our seniors to apply to at least seven schools---ensuring that opportunities for both financial aid and admission are maximized.
We support our students with reading intervention programs (both for high achievers and for students who need extra help), Legends Hour (for students that have a hard time completing their homework), Crew (their four-year family at EPIC) and teachers who know that every one of our students can be successful in school and in life.
"Without reading intervention class, I wouldn't be a good reader today. My teachers showed me how to break down big words so that I could read them. They helped me and encouraged me every day, and I slowly became a better reader."
Brittany, Class of 2015
Pride in our students doesn’t end with commencement. We continue to maintain contact with recent graduates---offering encouragement and advice to ensure our students are receiving the support they need to complete the difficult transition from high school and home to college and living independently. And we ask our graduates to "pay it forward," by meeting with our current seniors and offering advice on school choice and how to make the leap from high school to college.