Immaculate Heart Academy

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Academics » Scholae@theheart



Immaculate Heart Academy announced its inaugural Scholae@theheart Program in the 2022-23 academic year. This novel program enhances IHA’s superlative college preparatory curriculum by providing increased opportunities for specialization and recognition in areas that capitalize on students’ strengths and interests. Scholae@theheart allows students to investigate areas for postsecondary education and receive additional extracurricular experiences to support their discernment and learning.

All of the scholae share a common liberal arts core curriculum that provides the foundation and skills that universities expect from top tier applicants. Scholars enrolled in one of the six initial scholae offered at IHA will benefit from guided course selection, exposure to community professionals within the chosen emphasis field, afterschool enrichment opportunities, and the experience of developing a capstone synthesis presentation in their senior year. All successful scholars receive a designation on their transcripts. The initial scholae introduced, all named after female saints, include:

- The St. Hildegard Arts Schola
- The St. Clare of Assisi Communications Schola
- The St. Barbara Engineering Schola
- The St. Catherine of Siena Humanities Schola
- The St. Gianna Molla Life Sciences Schola
- The St. Zelie Martin Business Schola

Female saints were carefully selected to encourage students to recognize themselves, and their academic passions, in the stories of the saints. “As students face academic challenges and discover new interests, their signature saint stands as an example of another faithful young woman who pursued her dreams, often against great odds, and found a deep relationship with God and with her community as the fruit of that pursuit,” said Miss Kerry Carroll ’04, principal. “We hope our saints will inspire our students to grow and give of the talents with which God has blessed them.”

Scholae@theheart does not require a prescriptive curriculum nor is it tied to an academic scholarship. The program serves all students with emphasis classes available at every academic level and provides in-depth study opportunities for all core disciplines. It also allows the flexibility of students to join a schola as early as March of their ninth grade year or as late as March of their eleventh grade year, enabling them to truly explore all of IHA’s offerings and pursue new interests.
A full list of schola course offerings can be found here.
At Immaculate Heart, we are committed to offering exemplary courses in a wide variety of disciplines, as we believe that high school is the time for students to begin exploring their passions and to take advantage of diverse opportunities for growth. Scholae@theheart allows students to discover an area of passion in-depth while also allowing enough freedom in their schedule to undertake other coursework outside their area of emphasis. Looking into the future, IHA plans to augment the Scholae program by adding the disciplines of Global Citizenship and Performing Arts. Additionally, the new program emphasizes community cultivation and growth.

“IHA’s sisterhood is very special and empowers students to recognize that they are children of God,” Miss Carroll said. “The Scholae program provides students an additional community of like-minded classmates, promotes inter-grade level friendships, and connects students with an expert faculty advisor.”

Miss Carroll said she is thrilled with the opportunities that Scholae@theheart provides Immaculate Heart Academy students. “It is a truly unique program that further enhances our students’ academic and community experience. I believe it provides an unparalleled balance of in-depth study, academic flexibility, community support, and leadership experiences. I am looking forward to working with our director of studies, assistant principal of academics, and our amazing faculty academic coordinators to help introduce this program to our students and families.”

Student Benefits
  • Quarterly after school enrichment opportunities including alumnae panels, documentary viewings, field trips, collaborative service projects, and more
  • The opportunity to design and implement a senior capstone project
  • A designation of schola participation on college transcripts
  • Participation in an academic distinction program while still meeting the increasingly demanding college admissions course requirements

Scholae@theheart FAQs
Do students need to apply?
A: Students submit a statement of intent.

Q: Is a certain GPA required?
A: Students of all academic levels can participate in any of the scholae.

Q: Are students “locked in”?
A: No, students can withdraw at any point prior to course selection for 12th grade.

Q: Are students required to join a schola?
A: No, they are completely optional.

IHA will enroll the first full classes of Scholae@theheart in 2024. 

Any questions should be directed to Dr. Lisa Castelluber '04, assistant principal of academics, at [email protected].