Programs of Study
The Academy’s academic strength comes from the amount of age-appropriate support provided for students at specific grade levels. Three distinct but connected groups comprise its academic programs: the Middle School (grades 7 and 8); the Buff & Blue Experience (grades 9 and 10); and the Pre-College experience (grades 11 and 12). In addition, cadets may elect to complete one post-graduate year at Valley Forge.
Transitions between each of the academic programs are smooth; 8th graders progress easily from Middle School to the Buff & Blue Experience, and sophomores make a clean transition to pre-college preparation. Teachers communicate frequently within and between programs to share knowledge about students, coordinate curricular components, and plan for optimal student life. Support is gradually eased between the earlier and later grades to prepare students for success in college and life beyond. Ultimately, successful young leaders result from the combination of support and independence allotted to them at Valley Forge Military Academy.
Middle School (grades 7 & 8)
The Middle School is a small corps of young men who take core courses in Mathematics, Language Arts, Literature, Civics, Social Studies, General Sciences, Physical Education, and Character Education. Classes are divided separately between grades, but the Middle School interacts frequently as a group. To supplement classroom learning, Middle School cadets take frequent field trips to off-campus learning sites, such as Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, the Brandywine River Museum, and cultural experiences at the opera and museums. Teachers provide regular support in evening study hall and communicate to parents through bi-weekly emails.
Buff & Blue (grades 9 & 10)
The Buff & Blue Experience provides structure and independence for freshman and sophomore cadets. Teachers engage in team-teaching, class events, and interdisciplinary research projects in the ninth and tenth grades. Mathematics courses at all levels are available, and students generally take Literary Genres and American Literature, Ancient and Modern World History, Physical Science and Chemistry, and a variety of electives and World Languages. Study Skills instruction is provided in 9th grade, and 10th graders concentrate on PSAT and SAT preparation. Parent communication is provided frequently, and additional support measures are put in place as needed. Buff & Blue cadets often gain tactical leadership responsibilities, are widely involved in campus activities, and gain increasing personal independence as appropriate.
Pre-College Experience (grades 11 & 12)
In The Pre-College Experience, team-teaching dissolves due to the wide variety of Advanced Placement, elective, and college classes qualified cadets enroll in. Juniors and Seniors take upper level courses in all subjects, with advanced electives available in Art and Music. Seniors in good standing may take courses at Valley Forge Military College as their ability demonstrates, and these credits count toward both high school graduation requirements and college transfer credits. Cadets who show proficiency in college courses greatly distinguish themselves in the college admission process. Guidance counselors work regularly with junior and senior cadets to guide them in college selection, assist them in the application process, and prepare them for the transition to college life. Junior and senior cadets hold the highest positions in tactical leadership and guide many campus clubs and activities. Study hall support and parent communication are strong at this level also. A capstone public speaking presentation is required of all seniors.
A Post-Graduate year is available to students who have completed high school, but wish to perfect their grades and resume for the college admissions process. They may enroll in the academy and take classes in electives and core subjects as they choose. Guidance counselors also assist them in selecting and applying to the colleges of their choice.
The Academy is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. It holds memberships in the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States (AMCSUS), the Council for Religion in Independent Schools, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), and the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).