WHAT IS THE BRIDGTON ACADEMY DIFFERENCE?
While the characteristics of many boarding schools are the same, Bridgton Academy wants to offer more: challenging academics, a diverse student body, highly qualified faculty, small classes, and individual attention. But most of all, we offer an opportunity to make you more; to help you achieve your goal. So what makes Bridgton Academy the preeminent transitional experience between high school and college?
The United States Department of Education reports that more than half of all male students who begin college never complete it; most withdrawals occur during the freshman year. Of those who do complete a bachelor’s degree, only 34 percent do so within four years; the average amount of time in which students are earning these degrees is 6 years.
Bridgton Academy alumni report a college retention rate of 70 percent, with the average completion rate of a bachelor’s degree in 4.5 years.
At Bridgton Academy, our goal is to help our students develop the academic skills, study skills, self-discipline, maturity and self-confidence necessary to succeed in college, rather than just to survive it.
Bridgton Academy is the only college preparatory school in the country whose student body is comprised of primarily postgraduate students; we are not a high school which enrolls a small number of PGs (postgraduates) into a senior class for a repeat of their senior year. However, we do also welcome high school seniors looking to complete their high school diploma – a Bridgton Academy education is The Year That Makes The Difference for a number of true seniors.
Because our students are mainly postgraduates, we are able to emulate the college environment and experience, yet to provide some structure and support which colleges do not. Consequently, we offer a true transition year, not a repeat senior year of high school, unlike many other prep schools.
Because so many of our 180 students are postgraduates entering in September, they share the PG year together, and progress from Orientation to Commencement as a unit. No one is a newcomer entering a senior class in which friendships have been established and experiences have been shared during the past few years. Everyone must make new friends, learn to navigate the campus, and familiarize himself with the faculty and culture of the Academy. United by a clear, similar purpose, and a shared commitment to our program necessary to achieve it, our students develop a strong camaraderie among themselves, and life long friendships are made. Positive peer pressure to achieve success in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and citizenship is widespread, and students help each other in all aspects of the program.
Combination of Structure, Support, and Independence
Because all of our students are college age, usually 17 years old or older, Bridgton Academy emulates the college environment and experience, yet provides some structure and support which colleges do not provide. As a result, our year is a true transition year, not a repeat of a senior year in high school. Our rules and regulations are different from those at traditional boarding schools, with BA offering more independence than students may have at a high school. This requires our students to take responsibility for themselves, just as they will have to do in college. Unlike college, however, we hold our students accountable for their actions and decisions. Consequently, our students leave Bridgton Academy with a maturity that they did not have upon arrival in the fall.
Fifteen College Courses for Transferable Credit
Bridgton Academy has a partnership with St. Joseph’s College of Maine and Plymouth State College, whereby qualified Bridgton Academy students may take actual college courses for transferable credit upon matriculation to their college or university. This program is called the College Articulation Program (CAP). The benefits of taking CAP courses for our students are (1) the ability to demonstrate proficiency in an actual college course to college admission officers, and (2) to earn tangible credit which they may use in college.
Because our students are all postgraduates, our athletic teams compete against excellent college junior varsity teams as well as the best prep schools in New England. The benefits from this type of exposure and interaction, particularly with college coaching staffs, are many for our student-athletes as they prepare for college competition. As a result, Bridgton Academy graduates may be found on many prestigious college rosters nationwide every year.
Pursuing a postgraduate year at Bridgton Academy does not count against the NCAA eligibility requirement providing for five years in college to play four. Upon graduating from Bridgton Academy, our student-athletes have five years to play four in college.
Participation in Athletics Is Not Required
Whether a student is a starter on a varsity team, or the dorms computer guru, or an outdoors enthusiast, or an aspiring writer, he will learn how to:
- manage time
- take notes in classes
- read critically
- write effectively
- set up a study schedule and stick to it
- seek help when needed and take advantage of academic support resources
- read, understand, and use an academic course syllabus
- live away from home and make important decisions on your own