A Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (CHCA) education is dynamic. Think of the academy as a giant classroom — here, learning takes place anywhere, anytime.
In classrooms, you’ll see students challenged in Latin, multivariable calculus, organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, economics, arts, computer science, and 23 AP courses. Step beyond the classroom and you’ll find robust facilities on a sprawling campus — you’ll observe students put learning into practice throughout the school, city, and world.
At Eagle Farms, students cultivate agricultural skills by working through aeroponic, hydroponic, and soil-based growing systems. They calculate product costs, develop marketing campaigns, build mobile sales platforms, and project long-term growth potential. CHCA students create student-run clubs that teach struggling students math skills at a local elementary school, manage renovation projects at non-profits, and construct homes for families in need.
At this independent school, students consider, discover, test, fail, and thrive, all while under the counsel of exceptional Christian teachers and through countless hands-on opportunities. As students engage and grow cognitively, spiritually, and socially, they are ultimately prepared to flourish in college and beyond.
“Our changing world needs leaders who are passionate critical thinkers, problem solvers, and innovators …Our Upper School is creating an environment to raise up young women and young men who will engage the world and shape the future. We are excited for what the future holds. We are excited for what our students will do,” says Head of School Dean Nicholas, Ph.D.
The first incubator for entrepreneurs of the future
To be successful, entrepreneurs need the right mindset and the right training from a young age. CHCA’s Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Programme teaches students to think like business leaders.
“At CHCA, we don’t just talk about entrepreneurship,” shares programme director Stephen Carter. “Our students go out and do it — from participating in a start-up and bringing a product to market, to managing a regular business on campus, CHCA students take innovative education and partner it to real-world learning.”
The reason for this approach is practicality. The only way to prepare students for an uncertain future is to give them the skills they need to thrive during disruption and to champion new ideas. In short, to help them think like entrepreneurs. This is how we do education at CHCA,” says Carter.
What sets CHCA’s programme apart is its added focus on sustainability. Each student is drilled in the importance of making decisions based on moral integrity that considers the need to steward the earth. This resonates through the sustainable practices of their student-run businesses.
“Entrepreneurs are more than business owners — they are the visionary problem-solvers, the hard-working innovators, the empowered outside-the-box thinkers,” Carter adds.
The two-year certificate programme includes the opportunity to develop skills in horticulture management, e-commerce platform management, coffee bar operations, print shop production, professional internship, and a self-directed capstone project. “The programme not only awakened my passion for being an entrepreneur, but also empowered me with leadership skills, curiosity, and a love of coffee I’ll carry for the rest of my life,” says alumna Megan Peck.
The joy of sharing
CHCA students realise purpose for their learning though community service. This is why CHCA’s Student Organised Service (SOS) programme emphasises the need to recognise and share one’s gifts and talents with others.
Karen Hordinski, SOS Faculty Coordinator, explains, “Through SOS, students open their eyes to the needs of humanity in our local, national, and international communities. Driven by faith, leadership, and initiative, seventy SOS Student Leaders coordinate community engagement opportunities with over 40 area non-profits. Whether raising funds for cancer research, leading after school programmes for underserved children, cooking dinner at a soup kitchen, or leading local reforestation efforts, our students’ eyes are opened to the needs of the world through hands-on service.”
SOS enables students to practise their unique strengths for the benefit of many, not just themselves. They tutor, visit the elderly, support women in Kenya, build social bridges through community outreach, and address homelessness. Recently, one SOS group served by supporting summer scholars at a local elementary school. Another team led a neighbourhood clean-up and learned how access to transportation impacts communities. Others listened to local leaders about the challenge of getting healthy food to low-income families and senior citizens.
At CHCA, Hordinski adds, “students learn how to use their talents, strengths, and critical thinking skills to solve social problems in their community.”
Exploring the world
CHCA’s hands-on learning takes students beyond Ohio and across the world. Through Intersession, one of CHCA’s most exceptional programmes, students have an intensive opportunity to learn, grow, and share in the real world.
Whether it’s Roman history in the Colosseum, percussion in Kenya, biology in the Florida wetlands, or exploring Alaskan wildlife — the opportunities are literally endless and constantly changing. CHCA faculty members plan and take part in these two-week excursions with students every year.
“We learned about the Parthenon in class,” shares one Upper School student. “But when I travelled to Greece, I saw first-hand how architecture is really all about the country’s people. Their architecture contains their history.”
In nearly 20 years, students have participated in over 350 Intersession courses and trips. Dan Grantham, who has led Intersession experiences for 16 years, has seen CHCA students raise thousands of dollars, boldly overcome fears and redefine their understanding of wealth, among others. “The best learning is not sightseeing,” he says. “It’s experiencing.”