iThink Academy - Shiloh's Early College Experience Program
iTHINK ACADEMY (Shiloh’s Early College Program)
The iThink Academy is Shiloh Christian’s College Preparatory Program that provides students the opportunity to earn up to 60 college credit hours before they graduate. Shiloh partners with Northwest Arkansas Community College, Ouachita Baptist University, Liberty University, and the AP program to attain these hours. The mission of the iThink Academy is “to provide a Christ-centered, collegial foundation equipping students to think and live Biblically before the face of God.”
The iThink Academy provides a broad foundation of knowledge that can be used in a wide spectrum of careers. The students in iThink take real college classes that propel them in their college experience. They have the opportunity to take anywhere from three hours to 60 hours of college classes. Students who graduate as an iThink Scholar eliminate two years of college work which enables them to enter the work force or a post-graduate program earlier. This group must take AP History in 10th grade and all core classes plus an elective at the college level in the 11th and 12th grade. There are currently 13 seniors who will graduate as iThink Scholars this May.
Chris Sutterfield, who has taught at Shiloh for 17 years, is the visionary and the founder of this valuable program. In 2002, he proposed doing a seminar class as an elective for seniors and titled it, “iThink.” The goal of this original course was to provide a liberal arts curriculum, which is a set of academic disciplines that include the sciences and the humanities (literary works, philosophical ideas, and the consequences of them) while incorporating apologetics and theology. Building a Biblical worldview is the foundation for all of the teaching. Mr. Sutterfield currently teaches Composition I and II, along with World Literature I and II which serve as the capstone courses of the program. Since the inception of iThink, Shiloh has added multiple college-level instructors and courses to expand this program to what it is today.
Meg Rogers is one of the seniors on course to become an iThink Scholar. She learned about the iThink Academy as a sophomore, and she quickly realized it was an opportunity that would help prepare her for higher education. Her experience with the program has been exceptional, despite the arduous course work. Meg loves creative writing and the courses she took under the leadership of Shiloh’s college instructors. iThink helped her determine what she would like to purse as a career. This fall she will attend The University of Texas in Austin where she will study English and Creative Writing. Concerning the value of iThink, Meg stated, “This program has been incredibly important as I prepare for life and education beyond high school, and through it, I have learned determination, prioritization, and time management. I have grown so much, and I have learned to persevere and work hard to reach my goals.”
Preston Hall learned about the iThink Academy from his older brother who graduated from Shiloh in 2016. He was drawn to the academic opportunities and the value of graduating with a significant amount of college credit and experience with higher academic work. He managed to lead worship at his church, participate in the Shiloh Musical Program, teach a class of children, and play football while successfully completing 10 college classes. Preston will attend the University of Arkansas in the fall and plans to Major in Engineering. He said that during his time at Shiloh he was most impacted by Mr. Sutterfield’s classes, and because of them he feels “fully prepared for college, work, and life.”
To find out more about the iThink Academy or how to become an iThink Scholar, email Mrs. Diehm at firstname.lastname@example.org.