Preparing students for college has been one of Spring Valley Academy’s objectives since the school was founded in 1968.

Today, however, the school not only prepares students for college it also allows students to take college classes and receive high school and college credit at the same time.

“We’re excited to be involved in the new College Credit Plus program here in Ohio,” says Principal Darren Wilkins. “That’s going to offer a lot more dual-credit opportunities for our students through our relationships with local colleges.”

The beauty of the College Credit Plus program is that it allows Spring Valley Academy to offer dual-credit classes without having to add classroom space or teachers, he says.

“For instance, Sinclair College, they’ve got a couple hundred courses that are available for high school kids to take as dual-credit classes that are available online,” says Wilkins.

That means a school counselor could sit down with a student and determine their strengths and interests and design an individualized curriculum, he says.

“Say you’re a kid who’s good at math and you love doing Lego robotics in middle school,” says Wilkins. “Let’s get you set up for taking a calculus class your junior year for dual credits through Sinclair and an intro to engineering class. It will allow us to really kind of custom design every kid’s high school program.”

The private, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Seventh-day Adventist college-preparatory school has been designing students’ curriculums for more than 45 years.

This year the school is designing a pilot medical magnet program that will allow students to obtain a certificate in a medical field like phlebotomy or medical assisting, says Wilkins.

The medical magnet program, in partnership with Kettering College, would also allow students to earn college credit toward a medical career before they graduate high school, he says.

Another new program this school year will provide every Spring Valley Academy student in grades seven through 12 with an iPad mini-tablet computer pre-loaded with the required books and apps for their classes. “That’s going to lighten their book bag load by 25 pounds,” says Wilkins.

The school will also continue its international trip program, which alternates annually between mission trips and study tours. During spring break in March about 40 students will head to the Amazon River basin in Peru and help with medical, dental and vision clinics, says Wilkins.

“We’ll daily go by boat up little tributaries to isolated villages and [conduct] day clinics in these little villages,” he says. “It’s life-changing things for these people in the middle of a jungle.”

Spring Valley Academy, with about 314 students enrolled this year in its elementary school, middle school and high school, is also on another mission—to build a new, 400-seat chapel and performing arts auditorium with band and choral rehearsal space.

The original plans for the school called for a chapel/auditorium to feature the performing arts program, says Wilkins. “It was kind of the crown jewel of the original vision,” he says. 

The school, located at 1461 Spring Valley Pike in Centerville, is currently conducting a fundraising campaign for the new facility. Officials believe construction will begin within the next two years, says Wilkins.