- Academics >
“Reason is by study, labor, and exercise of logic, philosophy, and other liberal arts corroborate and quickened; and the judgment . . . much ripened.” (St. Thomas More)
The St. Thomas More Academy curriculum of studies reflects our deep commitment to truly excellent Catholic college preparatory education.
In the first year students take courses in Grammar, Latin I, Algebra I, Geometry, or accelerated track Algebra II, Biology, Ancient History and Literature, and Scripture.
In the second year students take courses in Logic, Latin II, Geometry, Algebra II, or accelerated track Precalculus, Chemistry, Classical and Medieval History and Literature, and Catholicism.
Students in the third year take Basic Philosophy, Latin III or Modern Language I (immersion), Algebra II, Precalculus, or accelerated track Calculus, Physics, Modern European Literature, and semester-length courses in Modern European History, Church History, and Moral Theology.
Finally, in the fourth year, students take Advanced Topics courses in humanities or science, followed by the Senior Thesis Tutorial, Latin IV or Modern Language II, a fourth Mathematics course (Precalculus, Calculus, or accelerated track Calculus II), American Literature, and semester-length courses in American History (2), Bioethics, and Catholic Traditions in Politics and Economics.
Semester-length electives are vital parts of the second, third, and fourth years. The range of electives always includes topical studies in humanities and science and engaging opportunities in the arts and agriculture.
Honors options are available in primary subjects through the fourth year.
STMA operates on a streamlined, low homework model. Class time is optimized, and the vast majority of work remains inside the school day. Each grade enjoys dedicated silent study periods throughout the week. Outside tasks are ordinarily limited to well-paced readings and modest preparation in language, science, and mathematics.
The STMA curriculum of studies exceeds UNC system requirements.
Formation for professional success is a key part of the STMA educational experience. Students are optimally situated to maximize future opportunities through the school’s emphasis on the Top 15 Luddy Outcomes and on non-cognitive and technical skills.
These qualities are reinforced in a tier of professionally-ordered courses throughout the four years of study and in the monthly households. This tier includes the St. Thomas More Course in the first year (themed around the 15 Outcomes), a non-cognitive/technical skills course in the sophomore year, the junior SAT prep classes (included in base tuition) and college workshop, and the senior year’s college transitions workshop.
Top 15 Outcomes of a St. Thomas More Academy Student
1. Unfailing Integrity
A person who possesses integrity is one who follows a good moral and ethical code and one who is honest in all situations. While this allows the individual to do the right thing whenever possible, it fosters relationships based on trust as well.
2. Virtuous Leader with Well-Developed Judgment
A strong leader is one who embodies the virtues of generosity, prudence, humility, justice, self-discipline, and courage, and one who is morally directed and avoids situational ethics. This person oversees goals and objectives while compassionately considering the individuals that he interacts with and directs. This leader can begin using his skills today, through student-run initiatives such as student government, sports, clubs, etc., as well as throughout the future in college and future careers.
3. Self-Reliant Individual
Self-reliance allows an individual to depend on his own powers and resources to satisfy all of his needs. This allows him to possess a healthy amount of self-confidence, while recognizing his unique and free nature.
4. Truth Seeker
A truth seeker is one who searches for the correct, right, or accurate explanation of reality, keeping an open mind while avoiding the many misperceptions present. Seeking the truth requires researching, questioning, and observation following the heart of the scientific method.
5. Critical Thinker and Problem Solver
Critical thinking allows one to discern the degree of truth of a statement or observation by questioning and examining arguments and assumptions. Discrimination of truth paired with the recognition that not all traits, products, methods, skills, etc. are equal must be employed, as well as the ability to disregard conventional wisdom when it is incorrect.
6. Continuous Learner
Continuous learning is the ability to learn from all aspects of life and work and to adapt to change. This is the informal learning process, in which one learns outside of the formal classroom environment by developing relationships with knowledgeable mentors, reading books and internet sources, and learning from past mistakes.
7. Competent Technical Skills
Competent technical skills allow individuals to be active contributors to modern technological industries. These skills provide the basic knowledge needed to manage a house or car as well, supporting the self-reliant individual.
8. Ability to Find the Best Solutions and Outcomes
While there are often many solutions to a problem, it is important to discern what the best possible solution may be to achieve maximum success.
9. Cooperative and Contributive Team Member
Participating as an engaged team member is a crucial part of working with people, whether at home, school, or the workplace. One must know how to contribute to achieve successful results that could not be achieved by one person alone.
10. Strong Work Ethic
An individual with a strong work ethic is hardworking and persevering, as well as reliable and honest. This character quality can be applied to all aspects of life, and it is developed through experience and self-discipline.
11. Dreams and Aspirations to Change the World
It is important for one to remember that even seemingly insignificant efforts can lead to huge results, and that with the right amount of determination, directed efforts, and courage, one can accomplish virtually any goal.
12. Traditional American Values and Entrepreneurialism
An entrepreneur is one who starts and runs his own business. These individuals, and those who assist them, are crucial to building and sustaining a successful and thriving economy.
13. Well-Developed People and Communication Skills
Communicating effectively requires a clear and unambiguous message that is delivered with the intended audience in mind. This skill takes resulting consequences into account as well, to ensure that the desired outcome is obtained without offending others.
Gratitude means appreciating and being thankful for the gifts one has been given. Gratitude can help two people to relate to each other, and can reduce stress and feelings of jealousy. Gratitude is expressed through language and actions. This virtue and others can be learned in small ways that will lead to greater habits through practices such as sending thank you notes regularly, expressing gratitude when receiving gifts and generosity, and maintaining humility.
15. Healthy Mind, Spirit, and Body
Having a healthy mind, spirit, and body allows one to operate at optimal conditions and to achieve a higher sense of vitality and fulfillment.