A More Solid Foundation for a Better Future.

At Valley Forge Military Academy, boys are challenged — in and out of the classroom — through an academic program designed to teach the values that lead to success.

Academy Academics

When cadets graduate from Valley Forge Military Academy, they are poised for success.

Valley Forge Military Academy is an all-male college preparatory school with approximately 300 cadets in grades 7-12. Students benefit from small class sizes, one-on-one interaction with their teachers, and a strong academic program. The education is comprehensive– encompassing a challenging curriculum, leadership opportunities, character development, athletic competition, physical fitness, extracurricular activities and social interaction with a diverse group of peers.

Students at Valley Forge Military Academy are immersed in a unique experience centered on academic excellence, personal motivation, character development, and team building that helps them reach their academic and personal goals. As a result of the leadership education training and STEAM curriculum they receive, Academy cadets grow to become confident leaders who can navigate practical challenges, apply critical thinking processes, and embody classic values such as ethics, character, and honor.

Faculty members take an active interest in every student.

A challenging curriculum, dedicated faculty, small classes and individual attention provide cadets an intense individualized learning experience. Academy teachers do more than teach, they are selected not just for their professional credentials but for their tireless dedication. Of our 27 faculty members, more than 80 percent hold advanced degrees. Faculty members take an active interest in every student’s life. They supervise and assist students in their mandatory evening study periods and work overtime as athletic coaches and advisers of extracurricular activities. In short, they care.

Our Approach

Because we realize all cadets learn differently, we offer a three-tiered approach to academic rigor, setting each cadet up for success. We offer Advanced Placement, Honors and College Prep level coursework, and an intensive English Language Institute. We broaden horizons with field trips and opportunities for independent study. Qualified Academy cadets attend college classes at Valley Forge Military College and Cabrini University.
The 2016-17 Course Catalog can be downloaded here (PDF).

Class Schedule

Classes are held five days a week, each school day is divided into eight periods. Cadets average six academic classes per day, a lunch period, and a study hall. An academic support period is also available every day and there is a mandatory two-hour evening study period between 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.

Campus Technology

Technology assists in our educational process. A wireless network connects all classrooms, laboratories, library and dormitory rooms on campus. Cadet Net is the institutional local area network. This network provides access to the library and the Internet, and includes helpful campus information and technical support. All cadets are required to have a laptop computer. All of the classrooms are equipped with interactive projectors or Smartboard, Apple TV, and an instructional iPad. All courses are managed through PowerSchool, a web based system accessible by students and parents.

Core Curriculum & 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 the middle school and high school academic programs: the Middle School (grades 7 – 8); the High School Buff & Blue Experience (grades 9 and 10); and the Pre-College High School experience (grades 11 and 12).

Middle School (Grades 7-8)

The Middle School is a small corps of young men.

Students in Middle School 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 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.

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.

VFMA Offers Our Students Academic Support

Cadet Peer Tutoring

Cadet Peer tutoring at Valley Forge Military Academy is available through teacher or self-referral.  It encourages academic and social growth in both the tutor and the student being tutored. The student who is being tutored is provided with assistance and academic support in an area that he is finding difficult, in an attempt to strengthen his understanding of the topic. The tutor also benefits from the situation because while he might have a strong background in the content, the best way to truly understand a concept is through teaching. It is our hope that both cadets involved see tutoring as a beneficial and rewarding experience. The tutor may also receive privileges and awards based upon tutoring contact hours. The Cadet Peer Tutor will also have the opportunity to include tutoring as part of his college resume for community service.

Club Z Tutoring

Club Z is a professional tutoring provider that serves many of our Cadets in various academic subjects, study skills and organization, and SAT/ACT prep.  Parents are encouraged to contact the Area Director of Club Z to discuss the Cadets academic needs and complete financial arrangements.  The Area Director then meets with the Cadet individually to introduce them to the program and provide details and tutoring schedule.  The schedule is also provided to the Guidance Department to ensure support and provide reminders for Cadets if necessary.  Club Z typically meets with cadets during evening study hall hours.

Delaware County Intermediate Unit

The DCIU provides a Reading and Math Specialists to work closely with Cadets who demonstrate a need for additional support.  The Reading Specialist gives an initial assessment to identify areas of need and if necessary provides one on one or small group support in providing reading and comprehension skills.  The Math Specialist also works one on one or in small groups to improve Math skills from Pre-Algebra to Geometry.

Academic Support Period

There are Academic Support Periods scheduled during every school day to offer an additional opportunity for Cadets to work closely with their teachers.  Cadets are able to get further insight on lessons and/or catch up on assignments if necessary.  ASP is available to all Cadets but is made mandatory if the Cadet is not performing up to standard in a particular class.

Cadet Peer tutoring at Valley Forge Military Academy is available through teacher or self-referral.  It encourages academic and social growth in both the tutor and the student being tutored. The student who is being tutored is provided with assistance and academic support in an area that he is finding difficult, in an attempt to strengthen his understanding of the topic. The tutor also benefits from the situation because while he might have a strong background in the content, the best way to truly understand a concept is through teaching. It is our hope that both cadets involved see tutoring as a beneficial and rewarding experience. The tutor may also receive privileges and awards based upon tutoring contact hours. The Cadet Peer Tutor will also have the opportunity to include tutoring as part of his college resume for community service.

Course Placement, Credit & Registration

Course Placement

Algebra, geometry and world language classes taken before 9th grade count toward graduation requirement only if they were taken in Academy classes.  They may have an effect on placement.  All academic courses may also fill elective requirements once all the graduation requirements are met in that subject area.  All elective courses go toward elective requirements only.

Placement in Honors and AP level courses will be determined without weight to a course and each course may have specific requirements, including but not limited to, prior year average in the content area, PSAT/SAT/ACT scores, or required summer preparation.  Students enrolled in an AP level course are required to take the associated AP exam.

Students typically take 5.75 to 6.75 credits per year. In addition, they may be scheduled for non-credit courses such as Driver Education, Applied Music, TOEFL Preparation and SAT Preparation.

College Courses

Juniors and Seniors who are eligible have the opportunity to take one to two college courses in each semester.  Requirements for taking a college course are as follows:

  • 90% or higher in the subject area of the college course
  • No grade lower than an 85% at the end of the prior year.
  • Cadet meets the course pre-requisites as listed in the catalogue.

One unit of credit reflects approximately 120 clock hours of instruction, or a course that meets one period daily for a full year.  One-half unit of credit reflects approximately 60 clock hours of instruction.  Courses taken for remediation or for acceleration at other schools must meet these standards to be approved.  The Guidance Department provides approval for courses taken for both remediation and acceleration.

Students who fail a course fulfilling a graduation requirement must make up the failure at a summer school, with a private tutor, online, or repeat the course the following year or semester.  Parents/guardians are notified if their son is failing or has failed a course along with proper documentation for summer school enrollment.  Parents must seek the Guidance Department’s approval for these courses.

Seniors are required to pass ALL courses in their senior year, regardless of the number of credits previously earned.  A failure of a semester course in the first semester of the senior year must be repeated either in the second semester, if possible, or during the summer prior to the cadet being permitted to graduate.

Transfer Credits

As students transfer to Valley Forge Military Academy from other high schools, credits transferred from previous courses are applied to the appropriate VFMA subject area.

Course Registration

Cadets will follow a registration process similar to college students, will complete an orientation on policies, and sit through college placement exams.  Cadets are registered in courses that have available seating and no guarantee is provided to any senior interested in taking a college course.  College courses can only be taken Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Academy cadets are not permitted to take any college science courses.  Cadets are required to indicate their intentions for course credit, to include High School Credit Only, College Credit Only or High School and College Credit (Dual Credit).  College courses used for High School Credit Only and Dual Credit will calculate into the Academy GPA, weighted at 1.10, the same as an Advanced Placement course. Cadets who desire to take a college course but do not meet the above requirements, will be reviewed on a case by case basis by the Headmaster for approval.

Graduation Requirements

To qualify for graduation from Valley Forge Military Academy and earn the diploma, cadets must earn a minimum of 24 academic credits and complete the following graduation requirements.

In addition, cadets are required to complete the Information Literacy Series through the Research Ready program for each year in residency.

One credit is given for each year-long course and one-half credit for a semester course.

Cadets must satisfactorily complete courses in:

  • English: 4.0 credits
  • Mathematics: 4.0 credits
  • Social Studies: 4.0 credits ((One year each of Ancient World History, Modern World History, United States History, and an elective)
  • Science: 4.0 credits (One year each of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and an elective)
  • World Language: 2.0 credits (Two consecutive years of one language, three or more are recommended)
  • Leadership: 4.0 credits
  • Electives: 1.5 credits minimum

Guidance Staff

  • Megan Sullivan
    Megan Sullivan
  • Claire Reynolds
    Claire Reynolds
  • Kathryn Ford
    Kathryn Ford
  • Aaron Barkley
    Aaron Barkley

(all telephone numbers are: (610) 989 – XXXX)

Email: guidance@vfmac.edu

Director of Guidance + All Grades (Last Name: N-Z) Mrs. Megan Sullivan
All Grades (Last Name: A-M) Mr. Aaron Barkley
Registrar Ms. Kathryn Ford
Administrative Assistant to the Head of School & Guidance Department Mrs. Claire Reynolds
Other contacts:
Club Z! Tutoring Contact Claire Reynolds for
more information.
Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions Jackie Cuneo 484-385-0112

Valley Forge Military Academy and College

Megan Sullivan

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Director of Guidance

Department: Guidance Department

Contact Information

Email: msullivan@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1384


Started at VFMA&C: January 2013
Guidance Counselor & Director of Guidance at various high schools within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Spent a brief time as an Academic Counselor with the Connelley Foundation before coming to Valley Forge.


Villanova Univeristy: MS Counseling and Human Relations with a Secondary School Concentration
Rosemont College: BA Psychology and Business

Claire Reynolds

Staff Information

Academic Title: Assistant to the Dean & the Guidance Department

Department: Guidance Department

Contact Information

Email: creynolds@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1381


Started at VFMA&C: January 2008

Kathryn Ford

Staff Information

Academic Title: Registrar

Department: Guidance Department

Contact Information

Email: kford@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1380


Started at VFMA&C: August 2013


Ursinus College: BA in Anthropology

Aaron Barkley

Faculty Information

Academic Title: Assistant Dean; JV Basketball coach; Track coach

Contact Information

Email: abarkley@vfmac.edu

Phone: 610-989-1382



Started at VFMA&C: 2011
Other Experience:

Other Information

Personal: Mr. Barkley is from Philadelphia. He and is wife, Denise, have two children, Christopher and Camryn.