Columbus Girls Academy is a year-round Christian therapeutic boarding school for teenage girls struggling with life-controlling problems — one of the finest such programs in the nation.
CGA offers a disciplined, structured therapeutic environment emphasizing character development, spiritual growth, and personal responsibility. The non-profit therapeutic program for girls is designed to develop girls in four main areas: spiritual, social, academic, and physical. Therapy involves interpreting or identifying why the inappropriate behaviors are occurring and then contextualizing these reasons.
Each student is specially assigned to the caseload of an on-site Counselor. Along with individual and group counseling, this counselor ensures the smooth delivery of CGA’s services to the student and family. The counselor is the point of contact for the family, available to answer questions and update the students’ progress.
Group counseling occurs regularly. This time is utilized to allow students an opportunity to grapple with and resolve commonly faced issues. Students learn to constructively express their thoughts, ideas, and questions in an environment where each member is accepted and respected. Group counseling is not utilized to scrutinize individual members or glorify past poor decisions. Students enter the Columbus Girls Academy program exhibiting emotional issues and inappropriate behaviors such as:
- Low Self-Esteem
- Depression/Suicidal thoughts
- Deceitfulness/Cheating/Theft Manipulation
- Drug experimentation/Alcoholism/Prescription drug abuse
- Self-harm/Cutting/Eating Disorders
Most students who come to the program have been previously diagnosed with behavioral or psychological disorders such as:
- Attention Deficit (ADHD/ADD)
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Oppositional Defiance Disorder(ODD)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Reactive Attachment Disorder(RAD) – from adoption
- Depression or Anxiety
The parent, student, and mentor team is vital to our life-changing process. Teens who are hurting internally often live in a very distorted view of reality. One of the many goals of the parent-mentor team is to work together to continually uncover reality and reveal truth. This includes taking the student through the process of telling their story, addressing past hurts, confronting deceptions, taking ownership of past failures, and gaining tools for future successes. Our team coordinate the care of students throughout their entire stay at CGA and are available to provide parent updates on a regular basis.
Near the completion of the CGA program, a Home Contract is mutually created that outlines the expectations of home life as well as the support available to the student who is returning home. Topics covered include future counseling options, positive peer activities, future school and work plans, conflict resolutions, and boundaries. The contract also highlights an aftercare plan for the student to stay connected with CGA.
The family members of each student are highly involved in their teen’s care as the student embraces her important role in the family. We hold parent retreat weekend several times a year. Parents receive regular updates from the staff and have regular communication with their teen through the mail, phone calls, and visits. The parent’s insight and history with the teen is an invaluable resource to the girl’s counselor at CGA. Our staff offers support to parents in order to provide a unified plan and guidance for the students of CGA, both during and after the program. We make this a team effort!
CGA offers students equine therapy sessions with our equine specialist, as well as additional opportunities for horseback riding experiences. The horse-human partnership stretches far beyond the barn or arena. Lessons learned with horses help with human-to-human interactions and problem-solving capabilities. Through horsemanship, we cultivate poise and critical thinking. Students learn that horses are prey animals, acting out of anger or frustration simply does not get you far with them. A big lesson in horsemanship is learning to breathe, remain calm and think through situations. Horses can teach us many things, even when we don’t think we’re learning. They act as a medium for us to find attributes and skills within ourselves and help to strengthen our minds and bodies.
A Second Chance at a Great Education
Teens come to us with various academic records, often with a history of failing grades and skipping classes. For many of our students, enrollment here means a second chance at graduating high school, a possibility nearly destroyed by their former lifestyle. Our self-paced curriculum, along with one-on-one instruction from our teaching staff, allows students to gain mastery of subjects and earn missed credits toward a high school diploma.
Our educational program features our in-class teachers, and coursework is facilitated through Ignitia Virtual Academy (a part of Edgenuity). It is a fully accredited online Christian worldview school with a personalized learning environment to help students achieve educational goals. Ignitia motivates our students to achieve phenomenal progress toward high school completion. Through Ignitia, we offer introductory courses, honors, Advanced Placement courses, credit recovery, intervention, and test readiness.
Ignitia Virtual Academy is accredited through Cognia (formerly AdvancED) and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and, as such, has nationally recognized accreditation. This is the same accreditation awarded to public schools and fully recognized by high schools and colleges nationwide. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has also approved the Edgenuity instructional model and curriculum for student-athlete online instruction.
Edgenuity is a leading provider of online curriculum and instructional services. It is used by more than 20,000 schools, including 20 of the 25 largest school districts, to meet academic goals and improve student outcomes.
While the program is intuitive and self-paced, our certified classroom teachers ensure that our students keep up their coursework, offer to tutor, answer any questions, and encourage each student. Students who fail to keep up or struggle with a specific topic are helped. Still, if they are dragging their feet out of rebellion, they may lose out on some privileges like outings and fun times until they choose to get caught up.
Our educators and support staff strive to match the students’ courses with their primary school courses. We work closely with the parents and students to design an individualized program of study that best supports the child’s past educational progress and future educational or career goals.
Students are also taught faith-based character-building courses, an essential aspect of our program. We utilize the Bible and landmark books by today’s leading evangelical Christian authors to teach key concepts. Christian speakers and musicians visit our campus to provide spiritual instruction, encouragement, and motivation, and the boys are taken to off-campus spiritual events.
Students learn to become independent while building solid academic and problem-solving skills. Our educational program teaches the child’s strengths and enables our teachers to intercede when conditions indicate help is needed. Close supervision, the latest education technology, and individual workstations support and motivate students to continue their education throughout the time they are in our behavioral therapy program. Individual tutoring is also available in the classroom for specific subjects.
Students thrive and get ahead on our structured, year-round schedule. Our educational routine focuses on the classic basics but emphasizes character, honor, respect, time management skills, responsibility, and accountability. Academic expectations are taken seriously, and our students discover a sense of pride in succeeding with each new educational level.
Self-control and self-discipline are vital benefits of our academic program — two character traits that will help them succeed in every aspect of life. They discover true satisfaction and confidence from attaining goals and achieving good grades through hard work and self-management. This helps students transform into productive and cultivated adults upon graduation and beyond.
CGA EDUCATIONAL MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY
Quality education is a stepping stone to discovering one’s God-given purpose and identity, vitally important to a teen’s healthy psychological development. Academic knowledge partnered with character development improves emotional intelligence. It empowers CGA students to become problem solvers, leaders, and healthy members of their own families who make meaningful contributions to society. We recognize the parent’s sacred responsibility to have input into their child’s academic development.
Our teachers help students examine significant ideas, solve problems, and work as a team. They are responsible for setting an example of exemplary character and morals for all students. They prioritize classroom management to provide a safe environment of structure and nurture where students may thrive.
Our high school graduates can transition immediately into general education college courses with Liberty University. Once students have transitioned to Liberty University, their educational path is their own. Students can keep a collegiate pace while attending CGA. Several options open up for transitioning into a university setting after CGA.
Our 11th- and 12th-grade students enroll in Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) prep classes, with videos, two months before the test date. SAT preparation hones the student’s critical thinking skills, broadens their vocabulary base, and develops grammatically correct writing for the SAT essay. Armed with these tools, the student is primed and ready for maximum performance on the College Board SAT test, which is necessary for college entrance.
Our 200-acre lakeside campus is a special place where students and families experience peace and tranquility as they work through changing their motivations in life and restoring relationships. The property includes a 35-acre lake for fishing, canoeing, paddle boats, hiking trails, tennis, and basketball courts, a softball field, a swimming pool, and a volleyball court.
Participation in all activities is required and completed as a group, supervised by staff members. Students are challenged daily in relationships as they interact with staff and peers. The environment balances discipline with personal responsibility to create a positive peer culture. Columbus Girls Academy’s goal is to nurture students who make positive decisions not based on mandatory compliance but rather where positive choices are made due to genuine concern for themselves and others.
Physical Education – As a regular part of the daily schedule, students can participate in calisthenics, practice drills, and sports (i.e., tennis, basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, aerobics, and swimming). CGA school credit is earned for each student’s participation in Physical Education.
The Arts – Choir and Drama Teams rehearse and perform at local churches, events, and on-campus ceremonies. Under the direction of skilled CGA staff, students can continue to grow and excel in their God-given talents.
Special Outings – We want our students to understand that, contrary to popular belief among teens today, one can live a life that honors God and have fun at the same time. To demonstrate this, CGA staff go above and beyond to “create wow experiences” for our students; fun is allowed! CGA students attend several youth conferences, concerts, and events yearly.
Recreation – There are many facilities and opportunities for recreation on our campus. The students enjoy the beautiful 35-acre lake with paddle boats, canoes, kayaks, and fishing poles. Students enjoy the sport swimming pool with welcomed refreshments and fun during the summer months. Our students enjoy recreational time indoors on rainy days in our student lounge or spacious lodge. Students also enjoy special events for our students on campus, such as field days, obstacle courses, team-building activities, and talent shows.
Columbus Girl’s Academy
14 Motts Dr Seale, AL 36875
PHONE: (334) 855-3695