Disney Goes to College!

The annual Hillcrest college fair for juniors and seniors just happened to fall at the same time as Homecoming this year, so college and armed services recruiters were bombarded with questions from the likes of Dory, Cinderella, a slew of Star Wars heroes and villains, and many more.

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Maybe Hillcrest is the real “happiest place on earth”!

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Mu Alpha Theta Inducts Members and Associates

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Pictured here are the sponsors and the first members of Hillcrest’s chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, the honor society for mathematics; they were officially inducted into membership during chapel today. High school students in grades 9 through 12 who have completed the equivalent of three years of college-preparatory mathematics are eligible. Then, they must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average overall in mathematics.

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Those who are currently enrolled in a third-year college-preparatory math course are Associates.  They are not members of Mu Alpha Theta but are likely candidates for membership who will be fully inducted once they successfully complete geometry and maintain the required GPA.

Congratulations to these hard-working scholars for their impressive achievement!

Students Apply Skills in Lab

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According to the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), since the nineteenth century “Laboratory instruction was considered essential because it provided training in observation, supplied detailed information, and aroused pupils’ interest.”  Hillcrest Christian School has a distinct advantage over many other schools in the metro Jackson area because our Upper-School science classrooms feature well-equipped labs.

Labs are an essential component of upper-school science classes at Hillcrest.  HCS instructors understand that the ultimate goal of learning is not simply knowing facts, but being able to prove understanding of one’s knowledge through application.  The laboratory setting gives students the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice in a supervised and controlled setting.

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Dual Enrollment Students Earn College Credit

Dual enrollment is a rapidly expanding program which allows high school students to earn credit toward a degree at a Mississippi public university; many private colleges accept dual credit as well.  Even better, these courses simultaneously count as credit toward a high school diploma. Currently, Hillcrest offers English Composition I, English Composition II, and College Algebra through a partnership with Hinds Community College.  Seven students are earning 3 credit hours this semester in College Algebra with Mr. Ryan, and fourteen will receive 3 more credits in English Composition I with Mrs. Massey.  It is possible that seniors may have 9 college credits by the time they graduate from Hillcrest, almost enough to be counted as full-time for one semester!

Anyone who has been to college will likely agree that the most difficult part is learning to be responsible for yourself, and those considering taking dual enrollment courses must be aware that personal responsibility and time management are critical skills for success.  Furthermore, because these are college classes, the work assigned is often more challenging than in typical high-school classes. However, because dual-enrollment students are familiar with their instructors (who are given the title of adjunct professors at Hinds) and with the environment, these early college students are able to transition into the college frame-of-mind more easily than if their first experience was on a campus with thousands of others.

Any current juniors who are considering taking one or more of these courses during their senior year should consult the Dual Enrollment page here on the website, under Academics, or talk to Mr. Ritter for more information.

Students Collaborate in Class

Collaborative learning (also called group work or peer learning) has students working in pairs or small groups to discuss ideas or to find solutions to problems after having been introduced to new material. Similar to the idea that “two heads are better than one,” many instructors find that students teach each other and address misunderstandings or clear up misconceptions in ways that might be easier for their classmates to comprehend.

Research from the Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence shows that some of the benefits of collaborative learning include the following:

  • Development of higher-level thinking, oral communication, self-management, and leadership skills.
  • Increase in student retention, self-esteem, and responsibility.
  • Exposure to and an increase in understanding of diverse perspectives.
  • Preparation for real life social and employment situations.

Encouraging students to work together to find solutions is only one of many methods used at Hillcrest to create tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders.

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Sophomores in Writing Skills work to put mixed-up essays back in logical order.