Academics

Academics Overview

Among all human pursuits, the pursuit of wisdom is more perfect, more noble, more useful, and more full of joy. -St. Thomas Aquinas

As a school rooted in the Dominican tradition, study and the pursuit of wisdom are the foundation of academic life at St. Cecilia Academy. Students and teachers are engaged in a shared intellectual inquiry where learning is valued for its own sake. One of the mottos of the Dominican Order is Veritas—truth—and it is pursuit of this truth that animates our entire curriculum. Students are encouraged to grapple with big ideas, ask thoughtful questions, and expect solid answers. St. Cecilia's emphasis on a traditional liberal arts curriculum educates young women in the truth that sets them free. During high school, they cultivate disciplined habits of mind and heart and learn to make connections between science and theology, literature and history, mathematics and the arts. They learn to think clearly and logically and express themselves with confidence and eloquence. Learning at St. Cecilia is not just for college but for life, and when graduates leave us they are ready to apply first principles and essential skills to any future careers and areas of interest. Our dedicated faculty, demanding curriculum, and small class sizes all contribute to an outstanding academic legacy. St. Cecilia annually produces National Merit Finalists and Semifinalists as well as many AP Scholars, and our students go on to attend colleges and universities from coast to coast.
 
Students are required to carry a minimum of seven courses within an eight-course schedule. Classes are taken on a block scheduling system. Average class size is 13; student to teacher ratio is 8:1.
 
All academic classes are considered college-preparatory courses. SCA also offers Advanced Placement and Honors classes, as well as advanced classes through the One Schoolhouse, an international online consortium of 65 schools for young women. 
 
For those students who may need additional resources for success, St. Cecilia Academy offers a full-time learning specialist through the St. Martin Program. Named after St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639), a Dominican lay brother from Lima, Peru who was known for treating all persons with equality and dignity, the St. Martin Program provides individualized academic supports to meet the needs of college-bound students with mild identified specific learning disabilities.

CONTACT THE ACADEMICS OFFICE

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  • Gussie Miller '22

    St. Cecilia Academy is truly an amazing place to go to school. The faculty and staff treat you with respect and educate you with excellence. The activities make it fun and the all girls component creates an atmosphere where you can truly be yourself.

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  • 9 times in a row

    St. Cecilia Academy is the only Catholic high school in Tennessee named to the Cardinal Newman Society’s Catholic Education Honor Roll Schools of Excellence

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  • #1 Catholic High School in Tennessee

    According to a new ranking of the 2019 Top Private High Schools in Tennessee, St. Cecilia Academy has been ranked the #1 Best Catholic High School in Tennessee. The ranking was released by Niche.com, a comprehensive data website founded by Carnegie Mellon University.

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  • Physics First

    Innovative “Physics First” curriculum where students study Physics at the very beginning of the high school sequence because physics is the foundation for understanding all sciences.

In 2019, 97 SCA students took 210 AP examination in 13 different subjects, with an overall pass rate of 80%

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  • Fine Arts

    All St. Cecilia students are introduced to the Fine Arts during a multi-disciplinary survey course freshman year that incorporates dance, drama, speech, music and visual art.

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    Accelerated science students may take an independent study course with one of our faculty members designed especially for their interests.

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    15% of the faculty have earned a doctoral degree