About The Academy at Houston Baptist University
At Houston Baptist University, we have a vision for education that starts well before a student graduates high school. Too often, students come to college unprepared, immature, and about to incur great debt. Some get lost on the way and do not get to university at all.
Through The Academy at Houston Baptist University, we seek to solve these problems.
At its heart, The Academy is a center for a new kind of educational model.
The Academy approach is straightforward, yet challenging. Our students are trained to learn directly from the text at hand, using class time to engage with their professor and classmates towards increased understanding of the subject. The Academy curriculum is written entirely by Academy faculty and consists of five essential teaching elements:
1.Reading: We read a robust selection of great books chronologically, in their entirety, and from a diverse set of cultures and disciplines. This approach is echoed throughout the subjects our students take, from foreign languages to hard sciences.
2.Discussion: We devote the entirety of our class time in The Academy to discussing what we have read and taking seriously the ideas that we have encountered. It is particularly through discussion that our students become active, contributing members of their classrooms, earning their education and refining their beliefs. This is opposed to the passive approach to education wherein students are meant merely to receive information and try their best to remember it.
3.Writing: Students turn in weekly reading reflections and prepare a single essay for each course each semester. Their work must argue for a strong position on a book or topic they have read or discussed. Whenever possible, professors return unsatisfactory work to students as incomplete, expecting the students to rework or rewrite the assignments until both professors and students are satisfied. Students receive extensive feedback on all written work.
4.Presentation and Defense: In each course, students create presentations, defend papers, conduct experiments, demonstrate proofs, and/or develop and display creative work in order to show their academic progress to the broader university community.
5.Evaluation and Feedback: Written tests are given only in the subjects wherein they have proven most efficacious and helpful, such as foreign language and mathematics. Humanities courses culminate in semester oral examinations with an Academy faculty panel.
Students at The Academy earn simultaneous college credit, and so, can graduate from our program earning three to thirty units of college credit. We hope to expand the upper limit to sixty units in the near future, thus allowing our students to cut down a full two years of university cost.