Academic Programs for Girls at Diamond Ranch Academy

The Diamond Ranch Academy (DRA) takes a customized approach with their choice of six extensive programs for each teen who seeks residential treatment at DRA on its 55-acre campus. Each of the programs gives each teen personalized and professional attention while connecting them with a variety of resources that will aid them in accomplishing their goals to succeed in their program and in life.

The academic programs that are offered are accredited through AdvancED, a non-profit organization consisting of three pre-college regional accreditation groups: The Council on Accreditation and School Improvement of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (CASI); the Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC). AdvancEd works with the Utah State Office of Education to approve all the programs at DRA for academic recognition for teens who fulfill their credit requirements to earn a high school diploma and move on to college.

Diamond Ranch Academy structures all of its academic programs to give each teen the foundation of skills and tools that they need to not only accomplish their program goals but to be prepared to enter college and life beyond an academic setting. The following are basic resources that all teens have available to them at DRA:

• Classes in College Readiness Skills
• Career Goals Assessment and Guidance
• ACT & SAT Testing
• PSAT & ASVAB Testing
• Guidance in Choosing a College, the Application Process, and Scholarship Applications
• High School Transitioning
• Availability of College Courses (for high school graduates entering a DRA program)
• Field Trips (for exposure to real-life social and career experiences)
• Hands-on training in vocational fields

Diamond Ranch Academy understands that teens develop at their own pace depending on their age as well as have developmental issues that are specific to their gender, so DRA offers programs that are customized to meet the needs of the girls that reside at DRA:

Crystal Springs (for girls ages 12-15)

This is an age range for girls that is highly charged with new social experiences and biological developments that take girls from childhood into being a young woman. With these changes comes extreme changes in mood that can lead to a diminished feeling of self-confidence and peer pressure.

In this program, the emphasis is on character-building and understanding how each teen is attempting to circumvent through these changes and how it is affecting them. They also have the opportunity to unite with other teen girls in their struggle to cope with the same life changes. The academics center around developing the following personal traits and foundational life skills:

• Being a nurturing and responsible family member
• Building healthy family ties
• Personal hygiene and health
• Setting personal and social boundaries
• The way to use social media safely
• Practicing mindfulness in personal actions
• Coping with anxiety and stress
• Practice in regulating emotion
• The importance of a physical fitness regimen
• Interpersonal efficacy

Education in all of these practical life skills through the Crystal Springs program is coupled with academic assignments set forth by certified teachers who allow the girls to not only learn at their own pace and master each level and move on to the next challenge. The teachers show them how to be a personal stakeholder in their own learning. This is done by presenting learning tools and techniques to each teen that they can utilize throughout their lifetime. Each student will master the content at a level of 80% or higher than they are assigned before they are allowed to move on to further academic content within each subject area.

Whisper Creek (girls ages 16-18)

For many girls within this age range, biological growth into womanhood has already taken place, and the emotional growth that comes along with these changes needs to be assessed and nurtured in order to enter adulthood with a healthy outlook and confidence. The staff supports all the girls through this process during their tenure in the Whisper Creek program with the goal of developing a trust with the staff members to go to them with questions and concerns for guidance through any process that presents itself to each teen. There is also an opportunity to interact with other girls who are experiencing the same life issues and doubts about who can relate to their struggles and form a social and personal bond that can last a lifetime. The character-building design of this program suits the age of the participants and includes the following components:

• Being a nurturing and responsible family member
• Building healthy family ties
• Setting personal and social boundaries
• Personal hygiene and health
• Preparing for the adult world
• Being a responsible and contributing member of society
• Appropriate social media use
• Skills in job interviews and resume-building
• Interpersonal skills
• Practicing mindful behavior
• Developing tolerance skills
• Understanding how to regulate emotion
• The importance of regular physical fitness

Academically, this program is structured to maximize each student’s academic confidence and skill sets. The certified teachers work with each student to master the subject matter at an 80% or higher rate before they move on to the next level of content in that subject. So, the learning is paced at each girl’s own speed without pressure to move on because others have already done accomplished that particular academic goal. There is an additional emphasis on being responsible for the pace at which they progress as they work to meet their own personal goals. This gives them experience in the same kind of personal accountability they will need to use in real-life very soon in college and in their chosen career.