October 2014

Students Accomplishing Immeasurably More at HHCA


For the second year running, Hilton Head Christian Academy students have earned the highest SAT scores in all of Beaufort County. Combined with the school’s new Diploma With Distinction program, Life on Life Leadership program and technology innovations, HHCA is well on its way toward meeting its goal of being the premier Christian school in South Carolina and ultimately, being recognized for its programmatic distinction on a national level.

While the results above indicate that HHCA is well on its way to achieving its goals, Dr. Daniel Wesche, HHCA headmaster, points out that there is much more to measuring the success of an educational program than just SAT scores. A big consideration should be the effectiveness of the educational program. While many parents may find that determining this measurement is challenging, Wesche recommends augmenting traditional standardized tests with cognitive ability testing to find out not just how students are performing, but how they should be performing.

“Let’s take, for example, hypothetical school A: The average SAT score for school A places it in the 75th percentile. On the surface, that’s pretty good. However, what if cognitive ability testing places its students in the 80th percentile. All of a sudden, that 75th percentile SAT score, far from being an indication of a strong academic program, is an indication that the students aren’t performing at a level that matches their potential,” Wesche explained.

“Conversely, let’s take school B: The average SAT score for school B also places it in the 75th percentile. However, the cognitive ability testing places this population of students in the 70th percentile. In this case, the 75th percentile SAT score is an indication that the students were performing at a level well above what would be predicted by their cognitive ability.

“These schools might have the same standardized test scores, but there is a huge difference in what that tells us about the effectiveness of the educational program in question.”

HHCA measures the effectiveness of its programs using both traditional standardized testing and cognitive ability tests. The results affirm that HHCA students are exceeding expectations.
“We are proud that our programs add value and that our students perform above predicted levels as a result,” Wesche said.

Given that students are outperforming cognitive ability expectations in addition to performing well on the SAT, HHCA’s theme for the year, Immeasurably More, takes on a whole new meaning.

“At HHCA the term ‘immeasurably more’ is lived out as each student is challenged, encouraged and loved so that they can become all that God has called them to be,” Wesche said. “We are committed to help each student discover the purpose God has for them so that they can confidently step into the life He is calling them to live, exceptionally prepared to boldly engage the world for His glory.”

In addition to standardized testing accolades, HHCA also boasts an extensive array of honors level, AP and accelerated programs as well as numerous extracurricular activities. Recently pioneered programs, including Life on Life Leadership, Diploma with Distinction, and the Writing Center, are adding a new depth to the educational experience. With a strong history of Christ-centered academics, Hilton Head Christian Academy, established in 1979, is a K-12, college preparatory school with 350 students. HHCA works in partnership with the Christian family to empower minds, engage hearts, and equip hands to impact the world for Jesus Christ.

To schedule a personal tour of the HHCA campus, please call Jen Denton, admissions director, at (843) 681-2878, visit HHCA’s website at hhca.org, or attend the Fall Semester Showcase and Family Night at the HHCA Campus on October 24 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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