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The Hales Franciscan educational model fuses the Service Learning and Performance Based Learning approaches together with a spiritual and character development program and tailors the resulting curriculum to engage high school students who view themselves as emerging engineering entrepreneurs.

Students must meet the following requirements to graduate:
Math (4 cr.) Natural/Physical Science (4 cr.) Foreign Language (2 cr.) Business & Technology (4 cr.) Religion (3 cr.) English (4 cr.) Social Science (3 cr.) PE/Health (2 cr.) Visual/Performing Arts (1 cr.) Electives (1 cr.)

All courses are designed to teach students by doing. Students are engaged daily in real world, hands-on projects linked to national standards that ensure they see the relevance of content, reinforce lessons taught and provide ample time to secure skills learned through practice.

In addition to written exams, students are required to demonstrate content and skill mastery through individual and group exhibitions, performances, publications, presentations, forums and service activities during class, at school affairs and in the community.

All subject-area courses ensure mastery of content and skills required to excel at ACT College and Career Readiness Standards but are aligned with the more rigorous expectations for incoming freshman engineering students at tier-1 universities. Consequently, students are also expected to complete pre-calculus, two years of physics and an annual technical writing unit.

Students are required to take Business & Technology classes for four years to meet the new profession expectation that today’s engineering students not only be technically educated but also know what it takes to bring their ideas to market.

Students are regularly paired with engineering college students, professionals and entrepreneurs through mentoring, tutoring, project coaching and knowledge sharing programs conducted by partners that include the Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Chicago, National Society of Black Engineers, Center For Community Development, Cisco Networking Academy and numerous corporate affinity groups.