Covington Classical Academy's commitment to experiential learning culminates with our Fifth Year Program. This program provides four days of experiential learning and one day of academics, exactly the inverse of the students' high school experience. It's an approach favored by many leading colleges.

William Fitzsimmons, the former Dean of Admissions at Harvard, wrote:

“Perhaps the best way of all to get the full benefit of a “time-off” is to postpone entrance to college for a year. For more than four decades, Harvard has recommended this option, indeed proposing it in the letter of admission. Now more than one hundred students defer college until the next year.

The results have been uniformly positive. Harvard’s daily student newspaper, The Crimson, reported that students who had taken a year off found the experience “so valuable that they would advise all Harvard students to consider it.” Harvard’s overall graduation rate of 97 percent is among the highest in the nation, perhaps in part because so many students take time off.”

William Fitzsimmons

You can read more here.

The Fifth Year program is not required. Students can go directly to college if they prefer. All students will apply to college during their senior year. Students who participate in the Fifth Year will simply defer their enrollment at the college of their choice for a year.

Fifth Year focuses on internships and service opportunities that match a student's interest for Monday through Thursday. On Friday, students participate in a college-level seminar class on a topic of their choice. Students can also choose a high school study abroad program, like the Rotary International Youth Exchange Program.

And because many students take advantage of our Early Entry program, those students who participate in our Fifth Year options enter college at the same age as other students. They are recharged and ready for their next academic challenge.