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Seton’s Advanced Diploma - How Advanced Do You Need to Be - Nicholas Marmalejo

Seton’s Advanced Diploma – How Advanced Do You Need to Be?

1 minute


Seton Guidance Counselor Nick Marmalejo reveals the secret to choosing the right diploma track is in finding the right balance for your particular student.

Seton’s Advanced Academic Diploma was designed to give the most enterprising and ambitious students the option to take the most rigorous coursework available to them through Seton.

Specifically, it was designed with students whose strengths and interests are in the areas of Math and Science and who desire to attend the most competitive universities in those fields.

However, when many parents see Advanced Academic Diploma in the diploma tracks of the High School catalogue, most instinctively desire to place their child on this track to give them the greatest edge in life and, hopefully, at college. This desire is natural, but not always the best choice for most students.

Why? Because the fact is Seton’s standard diploma, also known as the “Academic Diploma,” has the subject and credit requirements built into it that most universities desire of their applicants.

To Seton’s college partners, not to mention other institutions familiar with Seton’s curriculum, the standard diploma is a highly respected accomplishment. If a student makes the grade at Seton, college acceptance letters are all but ensured to follow.

While that is the case, the Advanced Academic track is considerably more demanding in terms of time and effort for both the student and family pursuing it. In going this route, a student will be taking the toughest classes in every subject Seton has to offer.

When parents call the guidance office for advice about this track to see if it is right for them, my standard response is that unless their student wants to be in absolutely the most competitive college or university in the math and science fields, or in the service academies, generally speaking, the Standard Diploma is the correct choice.

An impressive transcript with all of the Advanced Academic Diploma coursework requirements is swell, but preventing unnecessary academic burn-out in a promising student is perhaps even more laudable.

Finding the right balance for your particular student—while still giving him or her a competitive edge—is the real key to success in learning and achievement. Fortunately, this is an approach that works well in any of Seton’s diploma tracks and in the life beyond.

About Nick Marmalejo

Nick Marmalejo
Nick Marmalejo, a history major, graduated from Christendom College in 2001. He holds a Virginia Teacher Certification and lives in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and three children.
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  • Debbie Ramos

    Thank you for this article. We’ve become programed to believe that unless a high school student is taking all AP courses, he has no chance of getting into college. This is not the case. One of my children just graduated from university and his only AP class in high school was an English course.

  • Kelley Fiorentino Peffer

    What is important to note is that some states have requirements for admittance in their public colleges and universities that are more than the standard academic diploma requires. For example, to graduate from Seton with an Academic Diploma, in the area of science and mathematics, only 3 courses of each are required. But, to attend a state college in Georgia, the student needs to have completed 4 courses each of Science and Mathematics. Altering the Seton courses accordingly places the graduating senior somewhere between the Academic and the Advanced Academic Diploma. This is challenging for a great student and yet very daunting for an average student who is not eligible for great scholarships at Seton college partner schools and looks at having to “settle” for a state school. I do love Seton! I have had 1 graduate already, I have a senior this year, and I’ll have one next year too. But this has definitely posed quite the challenge for our family.

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