About the University-Model®
The University-Model® combines the best attributes of traditional schooling with the best attributes of homeschooling and integrates them into one model. The result is quality, cost-effective, college-preparatory education that gives parents more time for imparting their own faith and values to their children. In partnership with one another, parents and the school work together toward a mutual goal: to produce wholesome, competent, and virtuous followers of Christ who will change the world in their generation.
The fulfillment of God’s purposes on the earth depends on godly families who know Him and make Him known.
Parents play a critical role in this mission. They have God-given responsibilities to shepherd their own children by mentoring them to know Christ and to live according to His purposes. God’s design is that parents lead their children to understand that they are blessed and have a mission to become blessings in the world.
Christian young people are inundated with worldly “callings” to pursue goals that are inadequate and ultimately unsatisfying. They are constantly being lured into counterfeit purposes that fall far short of God’s highest and best: personal happiness (apart from fellowship with God), popularity and acceptance, relationships and sexual activity, success (academic, artistic, athletic, material, social), and the pursuit of their desires to have, do, and believe what they want with no accountability to an absolute standard of truth.
The purpose of the University-Model® is to cooperate with parents who aspire to train their children to live as responsible Kingdom citizens of the world. The UM school, therefore, emphasizes discipleship instead of evangelization and uses its resources to train young adults who are willing, equipped, and courageous to impact their world in order to glorify God.
The University-Model® is a five-day academic program with students spending 2-3 days in the central classroom and 2-3 days in their “satellite classroom” at home. Both classrooms are under the supervision of the professional educator.
The key to the success of the concept is the integration of a biblically-based, parentally-guided, Christian faith and a sound, teacher-directed, academic environment. Parents partner with professional educators in this educational process. Under the supervision of the qualified educator, parents are required to provide oversight responsibilities of their children’s coursework in the satellite classroom at home. They also serve as paraprofessionals by providing extension, enrichment, tutoring, and study skills instruction.
As the level of parental involvement progresses from a private tutor (elementary) to a guide (junior high) to course monitor (senior high), parents are expected to continue exercising responsibility for their children through graduation.
Because the goal is to prepare students to become spiritually and academically independent, the University-Model® provides a gradual transition from the home to the school. Since younger children typically need more time at home, it is recommended that full-time elementary students attend school two days a week, while being in the satellite classroom three days a week.
When students reach the middle school age level (sixth or seventh grade), their time generally increases to three days in the central classroom and two in the satellite classroom. The goal is to introduce upper-level students to a college schedule where they attend school whenever classes are scheduled instead of spending full days in the central classroom.
For upper-level students, large University-Model® schools should provide a college-simulated environment. This requires the school to schedule sixty (60) minute classes on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and longer classes, usually ninety (90) minutes, on Tuesday/Thursday.
The teachers are in charge of all direct instruction in the central classroom, and they encourage and expect students to learn the material assigned through independent practice and homework. Teachers also provide consistent feedback to students and parents regarding the progress in each class.
The school integrates the Christian faith, formation in virtue, and a biblical worldview into the context of each subject area, to the end that character building that begins in the home receives support and reinforcement throughout the school community.
The University-Model® offers a rigorous, college-preparatory education that is second to none. Validation of the University-Model® by the entire educational community proves its value as a highly credible alternative model of education. The AdvancED accreditation of NAUMS, Inc., along with the growing number of accredited NAUMS/UMSI member schools, support this belief.
Note: In 2010, the NAUMS, Inc. Board of Trustees voted to permit the officials of University-Model® schools to implement three-day programs for full-time elementary students, although the two-day elementary schedule is considered ideal.
The Gift of Time
The chart shows the academic benefit of gradually preparing students for direct entrance into college vs. an approach that requires significant adjustments.
On the left side of this diagram is the number of hours each week students are in a classroom guided by a professional teacher. On the bottom, from left to right, are the ages of students up to 18, the typical age for high school graduation.
The upper portion of this diagram is the additional amount of time the University-Model®, in contrast to the traditional model, gives back to parents.
According to information gathered by pollster George Barna, the most critical period when 94% of all boys and girls come to a saving faith in Christ is before the age of 18, and 90% before the age of 14. Only 6% will make the decision to accept Christ between the age of 18 and their death. Since parents are the most influential factor in this decision, it is vital that models of education exist that keep parents involved with their children during the early, critical years of a child’s education and spiritual formation.
The University-Model®'s credibility is validated by its trademark, certification, and AdvancED accreditation.
To assure the public the quality it is entitled to when it encounters a University-Model® school, the name was trademarked by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2003. The mark UNIVERSITY-MODEL® has been used consistently since its original registration. A Certification Trademark can only be used by educational institutions that meet certain standards set by the certifier so only schools that are certified by NAUMS/UMSI can truthfully call themselves UNIVERSITY-MODEL® educational institutions. It is important to the trademark that only those that are certified use this trademark.
Accordingly, NAUMS, Inc. relies on certified schools to assist in policing this effort to ensure the quality the public is entitled to when it encounters a certified UNIVERSITY-MODEL® educational institution. Because the certification trademark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, efforts should be made to ensure that the use of the federal registration symbol accompanies the mark, for example, UNIVERSITY-MODEL®. Questions related to the proper use of the trademark or to report any misuse of the trademark by others should be directed to the NAUMS, Inc. Chief Executive Officer at 972-525-7005 or toll-free at (888) 485-8525.
NAUMS, Inc. is the owner of the trademark and all materials, products, and website verbiage are the intellectual property of NAUMS, Inc. (dba UMSI).
Although there are numerous schools across the nation attempting to replicate the University-Model®, only members of NAUMS/UMSI represent the original University-Model®.
The NAUMS/UMSI certification process protects and maintains the identity and integrity of the University-Model®. Successfully completing this process prepares schools for school accreditation. Certification standards have been established for the four major components of the University-Model®: Academics, Character Development/Family Ministry, Student Activities, and Program Support.
The UM certification standards are cross-referenced to the AdvancED accreditation standards. AdvancED accreditation of the NAUMS, Inc. corporation opened the door to AdvancED accreditation of the University-Model®.
As the credibility of the University-Model® has grown, other accreditation agencies are also open to accrediting UM schools. These agencies include:
- Christian School International (CSI)
- Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
- Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS)
“Our [recertification] visit was such a blessing. It is rare when we have the opportunity to have that amount of wisdom and insight in one room talking about how to improve ACA. We thoroughly enjoyed it and are blessed to be a part of a organization that cares enough to go through this process with schools!” – Dr. Christy Wilson, Administrator, Alliance Christian Academy
AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. It is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school or corporate systems (like NAUMS, Inc.) to ensure that all learners realize their full potential. While their expertise is grounded in more than a hundred years of work in school accreditation, AdvancED is far from a typical accrediting agency. Their goal is not to certify that schools are good enough. Rather, their commitment is to help schools improve.
Combining the knowledge and expertise of a research institute, the skills of a management consulting firm, and the passion of a grassroots movement for educational change, AdvancED serves as a trusted partner to 32,000 schools and school systems—employing more than four million educators and enrolling more than 20 million students—across the United States and 70 other nations. AdvancED was created through a 2006 merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)—and expanded through the addition of the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) in 2011.
Prior to the merger that resulted in AdvancED, NAUMS, Inc. (dba UMSI) was accredited by the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation in 2006. Following the same five-year cycle as schools, NAUMS was reaccredited by AdvancED (which eliminated CITA) in April of 2012. NAUMS, Inc. is scheduled for reaccreditation in May of 2017. University-Model® Schools International (UMSI), a DBA of NAUMS, Inc., supports member schools by helping them strengthen Christian families and values as they equip parents to raise their children to be college-worthy character-witnesses of Christ for the next generation. UMSI joins with NAUMS member schools in fulfilling the mission to “build dynamic University-Model® school communities worldwide.”
NAUMS, Inc. (UMSI) Certification and AdvancED Accreditation hold member schools accountable for implementing and maintaining high standards while ensuring parents the excellence and quality to which their children are entitled.
Only member schools are eligible for NAUMS/UMSI Certification and the consultative services required for successful AdvancED accreditation. Once member schools are certified by NAUMS/UMSI, they are automatically eligible for AdvancED Accreditation.
UM vs. Non-UM School Data
The University-Model® demonstrates significant benefits when compared to the non-UM school.
According to a 2011 Harvard study titled “Pathways to Prosperity,” just 56 percent of students who embark on a bachelor’s degree program finish within six years. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, just 46 percent of Americans complete college once they start, worst among the 18 countries it tracks.
Although various factors are cited for the college drop-out problem, educators, parents, and graduates who have been involved in the University-Model® believe the following about the UM alternative model of education:
- The university schedule eliminates the adjustment to a college schedule
- Parents in the satellite classroom who partner with the UM school not only reinforce the direct teaching provided by the professional educator in the central classroom but they also teach their children study skills and organizational skills which have been shown through research to be highly correlated with good grades in college
- The emphasis on character development and family ministry in the UM results in a strong discipleship approach, thus students are much more likely to enter college as Christian students who will not fall away from their faith
- The direct involvement required of parents in the University-Model® results in a strong relationship between parents and their children
Many people in the University-Model® believe other factors also contribute to students dropping out of college. Factors such as a lack of challenging courses in high school, the failure of schools to teach basic virtues (personal responsibility, ordering time, developing initiative, prioritizing tasks, and striving for excellence rather than perfection), and the removal of parents from the educational process.
Love for learning and a strong work ethic are essentials that parents can teach and University-Model® schools can reinforce. Graduates of University-Model® schools report that they have been well prepared for the challenges of college because they have been trained in the university system from the beginning.
Other practical benefits of the University-Model® include:
- University-Model® schools cost one-half to two-thirds less than private Christian schools. Both parents do not have to work in order to send their children to a University-Model® school. The school is designed to keep costs low so that a single income family can participate, leaving mom or dad home on the days that the students are in the satellite classroom at home.
- The student teacher ratio is small: 16 to 1 in elementary, 18 to 1 in junior high, and 20 to 1 in high school (recommended).
- Many qualified teachers prefer to teach in the UM school due to the positive school climate and parental support. Some teachers and even college professors prefer the part-time schedule of the University-Model®. Thus, teacher retention is often high. Teachers have the freedom to pursue their love of teaching without the distractions and problems often observed in the traditional school. Students come to class prepared because parents are required to supervise their children. Discipline problems are managed quickly by involving parents early in the process.
- Parents find they have many teachable moments one-on-one with their children, without having to carry a full load of responsibility.
- Because of the university schedule, the peer pressure in most traditional schools is not a major factor. Students spend similar amounts of time under the influence of their parents as they do their friends.
- Some of the programs adopted from traditional schools are academic competitions, student council, yearbook, competitive sports, drama, band, choir, senior trips for educational purposes, and others. UM students do not miss out on extra-curricular activities.
- With more time available on satellite days, older students in University-Model® schools can pursue other interests that further their God-given purpose. Dancing, playing an instrument, participating in select sports, and even part-time jobs for some students are examples.