Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide?

    The Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide is a comprehensive educational resource designed by Hillsdale College professors and implemented by Hillsdale Academy. It can enhance an established educational program, provide the foundation for a charter or independent school, and guide parents who teach their children at home.

  2. What does the Reference Guide include?

    Each Guide contains the following sections:

    • Introduction
    • School Culture
    • Curriculum (K-8 or 9-12)
    • Additional Titles for Classroom and Home Teachers
    • Reading Lists
    • Bibliography
    • List of Publishers
    • Parent Handbook
    • Faculty Handbook
    • Introductory Videotape
    • Weekly Curriculum Outlines (K-8)
    • Course Syllabi (9-12)

    The Introduction outlines Hillsdale’s educational mission: to teach children the skills to be productive citizens, and to nurture in them the moral qualities and habits of mind to be good citizens.

    Hillsdale Academy takes seriously the partnership of parents and teachers. The parents of its students play an active role in their children’s studies and in supporting the mission of Hillsdale Academy.

  3. Does Hillsdale Academy make available daily lesson plans and tests?

    The Reference Guide does not include daily lesson plans, tests, or student assignments, but it does provide weekly suggestions for each subject and grade. Many publishers included in the Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide also provide teachers’ guides and additional instructional materials.

  4. What does the science curriculum cover?

    Hillsdale Academy students gain scientific understanding by completing laboratory exercises that stress student interaction with the natural world. Carefully planned activities in the Hillsdale College Slayton Arboretum, field trips to other sites and laboratory “kits” developed at universities combine to provide students with grade-appropriate knowledge of physics, chemistry and biology.

  5. Is the program Christian in nature?

    Hillsdale Academy employs a curriculum based on the Judeo-Christian and Greco-Roman tradition. The policy of Hillsdale Academy is to reaffirm and respect religious practices learned at home.

  6. Does the Hillsdale Academy program include any aspect of outcome-based education?

    Our curriculum, by design, rejects outcome-based education, with its emphasis on personal feelings and counterfeit self-esteem. Teaching at Hillsdale Academy relies on well-established instructional techniques and a curriculum that stresses facts, logical concepts, and intelligent language.

  7. I home school my child. Does Hillsdale Academy provide record-keeping or consulting services for home schoolers?


  8. How do you assess the effectiveness of your program?

    All students in grades K-8 take the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills. For more than two decades, they have placed at the 97th percentile or above in national school norms. All juniors and seniors take the SAT and consistently rank well above the national average. (More information about student achievement)

  9. What are Hillsdale Academy’s admissions requirements?

    Students are admitted to the Academy based on the combined strengths of their application and interview, inasmuch as these show evidence of personal motivation. Examinations may be given for the purpose of placement, but no examination is required for admittance. Hillsdale Academy does not pre-select its students for their chances of success. (More information about Admissions at Hillsdale Academy)

  10. Do you offer special education programs for children with dyslexia or learning disabilities?

    We do not offer special programs for students exhibiting learning difficulties. Rather, small class sizes and extensive personal attention from teachers permit our children to grasp each subject offered using traditional teaching methods.

  11. Does Hillsdale Academy accept boarding students?

    No. Hillsdale Academy is a day school operating in Hillsdale, Michigan. The Academy draws students from a tri-county area in south-central Michigan.

  12. I want to establish a charter or independent school. Will the Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide help me?

    The Reference Guide is made available to provide educational entrepreneurs with the fundamental information needed to establish the mission, curriculum, and policies of a charter or independent school. It does not provide details on how to apply for a charter or how to raise funds.

  13. Does Hillsdale offer training workshops for teachers?

    Yes. Teachers can earn continuing-education credits by attending seminars conducted by the College’s Center for Teacher Excellence. For further information, call 1-866-824-6831 or visit the Center for Teacher Excellence website.

  14. Are Hillsdale College graduates available to teach in schools that use Hillsdale Academy’s curriculum, or in other schools?

    Employment opportunities for Hillsdale College graduates should be directed to Hillsdale College’s Career Services Office: (517) 437-7341, ext. 2457.

  15. Does Hillsdale Academy accept visitors?

    Visitation Days are held on the first Wednesday of every month during the school year and by individual appointment during the summer. To schedule your visit to the Academy, please call 517-439-8644or send an email to

  16. How much does the Hillsdale Academy Reference Guide cost?

    You can download the Reference Guide for grades K-8 or for grades 9-12 free of charge. 

  17. Does Hillsdale Academy revise the Reference Guide?

    We reserve the right to update our Guide at any time.