Hargrave students come from all over the world, representing a diverse range of like-minded and eager learners. Here, students hail from almost every major culture on Earth, including North America, South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The Academy has supported young men in their journey to adulthood since 1909, guiding and inspiring them from its Chatham-based campus in Virginia. In its Independent Military Program, Hargrave provides comprehensive leadership training that drives individual development and academic success. This means students not only work on building academic knowledge and experience, but also develop sought-after character and leadership expertise.
“The changes that have been made in Corey are dramatic,” says David Renaker, father of Cadet Corey Renaker, Class of ’16. “He’s a different person. He’s respectful, prompt, cares about what’s going on, cares about his future, and I can’t say those were character traits he had before coming to Hargrave. It’s made a tremendous difference in his life and ours.”
Academia at Hargrave is divided into three distinctive categories defined by age. There’s the Center for Integrated Studies for Grades 7-9, where students are placed in a ‘core’ or cohort based on their abilities. Students in the same core remain together through classes in language, arts, cultural studies, and science, with an emphasis on developing key character principles from an early age.
Grades 10-12, known as the Upper School, experience an academic program designed to prepare for college entry. Here, students pursue six subjects on a schedule similar to that found within a college campus, attending classes that cover three subjects per day. Hargrave prides itself on its intimate teaching styles. With an average student-teacher ratio of just 11:1, every student receives the relevant one-to-one tuition that allows them to grow.
“Because of Hargrave, his GPA has risen, he got a four-year scholarship to Alabama, plus an engineering scholarship on top of that,” says Calyx Harris, mother of Cadet Hayden Bressoud, Class of ’17. He found fraternity and camaraderie here at Hargrave. It’s just been a fantastic experience.”
The academy also provides a Postgraduate course, otherwise known as Grade 13; a program for students who’ve already earned a high school diploma. This is a popular choice for students working towards a D1 or D2 scholarship – particularly in basketball. Alternatively, this is favorable for those applying to the United States Military Academy (West Point) or the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), as well as (pure) academic postgraduates seeking a period of discipline, structure, and order prior to starting college.
On top of traditional schooling, Hargrave Military Academy offers a four-week Summer Program comprising of the same standards, opportunities, and resources students experience in the normal academic year. One thing that makes the program so popular is the repeat or recovery program. This gives students the chance to catch up on study should they fall behind, also allowing them to challenge themselves and experiment with new things.
Students pursuing a new high school one-credit course (a program that’s not previously been attempted in the regular academic year) fill both blocks of the Hargrave curriculum. This translates as 157.50 teacher contact hours of instruction. A ‘repeat’ one-credit course (a program the student has already attempted) fills a single academic block. A single block offers 78.75 teacher contact hours during a twenty-one-day academic program for repeat and half-credit courses. Summer cadets can take up to two repeat or recovery courses in the summer – whatever suits them best!
Academic courses available at Hargrave’s Summer School and Camp are fully-accredited by both the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) via AdvancED, and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS). Equipped with this accreditation, students can transfer credits earned during the summer term to both public and private academic institutions, setting them up as they enter their next academic year.
Hargrave’s intensive Summer ESL program encourages students to spend a month of their summer learning English and gaining a unique cultural experience. The four weeks are spent attending morning ESL sessions before students put their skills to use in visits to local historical and cultural venues. A further blend of military structure, sports and leadership provides additional opptions for a well-rounded and successful summer school experience.
The Academy works incredibly hard to instil in a sense of responsibility in all, allowing a positive attitude to blossom into a long-held love of learning. This passion for knowledge and enrichment places these young men on the straight path to success, allowing them to excel throughout school, college, and the years beyond. The holistic approach to education turns boys into rounded young men, and since Hargrave boasts a current college placement rate of an exceptional 99 percent, graduates who go on to achieve remarkable things in every field.
“I believe God put me on the right path to be successful,” says Shaq Lawson, former postgraduate Cadet, Class of ’16. “If I hadn’t gone to Hargrave, I’d have had a much harder time adjusting to life at Clemson in my freshman year. Going to Hargrave changed the way I carry myself. It’s made me more accountable, more responsible, more of a man.”