What is a University-Model® school?
A University-Model® school (UMS) is the solution for many parents seeking an educational alternative for their children. This model of education takes the best attributes of home schooling and combines them with the best attributes of traditional, Christian education. In so doing, the University-Model® school preserves and maintains the God-ordained family relationship, while offering students the opportunity to achieve a high degree of academic excellence.
The immediate goal of the UMS is quality, cost-effective, college-preparatory education accomplished in a way that gives parents more time for imparting the faith and values they hold precious. The ultimate goal is that of producing wholesome, competent men and women of character who make a positive difference for Christ in the next generation.
In most University-Model® schools, elementary students attend school (central classroom) two days a week and are in their home (satellite classroom) three days a week. In some schools, elementary students are in the satellite classroom three days a week. Beginning with middle school or junior high (sixth or seventh grade), students attend school three days a week and are in their home two days a week. While in the satellite classroom, elementary and middle school students follow teacher-designed assignment sheets under the direct supervision of their parents. By the junior and senior years, students should follow a university-style schedule, attending school whenever classes are offered any given day of the week. Following this schedule will provide upper classmen the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities or part-time jobs. This type of schedule will also eliminate the adjustment to college. Secondary students are responsible for accomplishing teacher-designed, out-of-class assignments on their own time, under the counsel and supervision of parents. This methodology provides excellent preparation for college.
History of UMS
In 1997 Heritage Academy was founded as the second school of a group of schools that would become know as the National Association of University Model Schools (NAUMS). The following excerpt from the NAUMS website speaks to the history of the UMS approach.
University-Model Schooling began in 1992 with the implementation of the GPA Project. This project was a private effort designed to test educational theories surrounding the (1) significance of parental involvement and (2) character development in the educational success of students in grades 1-12 and in their preparation for success in college. Although these theories were supported by the US Department of Education studies (and many others), practical, nationwide implementation had been severely limited due to the traditional structure of schools, both public and private. In addition, these theories suggested that academically “average” students could be successfully and consistently prepared to overcome the significant dropout rate prevalent in colleges and universities throughout the country. As a result, project organizers developed a new educational model called University-Model Schooling or UMS.
This new model, with its university-structured schedule, was first implemented in a UMS test school formally established on December 18, 1992. The test school opened for its first year of operation in the fall of 1993.
Positive results were experienced almost immediately and exceeded the project organizers’ original expectations. After only two years of operation, interest was expressed by others to open similar schools in other communities. Project organizers, therefore, formed an outreach program to facilitate this purpose and to serve as the GPA Project’s second phase. As new UM schools opened in many communities and states across the country, the University-Model® school name was registered as a certification trademark, and the outreach program was transformed into the National Association of University-Model® schools (NAUMS, Inc.), a distinctly Christian organization.
Formally established on April 8, 2005, NAUMS, Inc. now serves as the centerpiece of the University-Model® school Christian movement. With the establishment of NAUMS, Inc., the initial test school phase of the GPA Project ended, and ongoing improvements to the UMS model are now coordinated by NAUMS, Inc., through the collective efforts and successful practices of University-Model Schools® across the country.