3260 6th Street Drive NW | Hickory, NC 28601 828-324-5405


Hickory Christian Academy’s comprehensive K-12 School Guidance Counseling Program is a resource for students, parents and staff.  We want to promote positive academic, personal, spiritual and career/college development for everyone in the HCA family, especially students. HCA Guidance Counseling is so much more than getting into college. It’s about helping young people maximize their skills and abilities, be confident in themselves, and become who God wants them to be as a person. Our idea of a successful student includes much more than a standardized test score.  The quality of a student’s character and the decisions they make as a Christian in our world matter much more.

Goals of HCA Guidance

  • Create a supportive atmosphere promoting positive social, personal and academic development.
  • Offer opportunities for students K-12 to explore their SHAPE: Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, and Experiences.
  • Provide developmentally appropriate classroom guidance for Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric Stages.
  • Promote College and Career Development through extensive resources to parents and students.
  • Coordinate CCP (College and Career Promise) for students at CVCC.
  • Assist in coordinating all testing: PSAT, Pre-ACT, ACT, ACT-Aspire, and AP.
  • Supply solution-focused counseling for academic and personal challenges.
  • Identify community resources that enhance and complement the School Guidance Counseling program.

Smarter Education Choices

College is a very special time in one’s life! It affords the student the opportunity to academically prepare for their career while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of “college life”. For most students, this is the first time out on their own. It is now up to them to set the alarm clock; decide when, where and what to eat; and learn to manage their time responsibly by balancing their academics, social and personal life. Student life affords wonderful new opportunities to grow, experience life, and ultimately become independent thinkers ready to impact the world.

Deciding where to attend college is a critical decision. As you begin your college search, consider the weight of the decision that you are making. It goes beyond, “where will I spend the next few years of my life?” It is important to know that the school you decide to attend will become a prominent “voice” in your life. In many ways, it will become the main “influencer” during this important life stage. Keeping this in mind, elect to base your decision on thorough research, thoughtful insights and lots of prayer.

Items to Consider When Considering College

  • “Who am I?” Picture yourself there…
  • Location
  • Size
  • Programs of Study
  • Atmosphere
  • School’s Personality
  • Competitiveness
  • Public, Private, or Private Christian
  • Admissions Process

Thorough Research & Thoughtful Insights

  1. Spend Time Researching Colleges Online
  2. Attend Admissions Representative Visits to HCA
  3. Visit College Campuses
  4. Talk to Current College Students
  5. Sit in on a College Class

College Application Process

HCA Career & College Folder

Stay organized by putting together an HCA Career and College Folder.
What should your folder contain?

  • Hickory Christian Academy: High School Code: 341814
  • Colleges interested in – “reach”,” match” and “safety” schools
  • Important dates – application and scholarship deadlines
  • Pertinent websites: include usernames and passwords; security questions and answers
  • Relevant numbers: social security, DOB, license numbers, include Parent/Legal Guardian Information – educational experience.
  • Entrance Test Dates and Test Scores
  • Student Resume
  • Extracurricular Activity Sheet – activities inside and outside of school
  • Forms and Reports: Request for Teacher Recommendation form, Transcript Request form, Profile Sheet for Guidance Counselor, Transcripts, Progress Reports, Report Cards


  • After thorough research, thoughtful insights and lots of prayer…
  • Fall of Senior Year begin applying to your “list” of schools
  • There is no magic number of applications: many students apply anywhere from three to nine schools
  • It is good to include a “reach” school, “match” school and a “safety” school
  • Letters of Recommendation should be requested and completed
  • Transcripts should be requested and sent
  • Test Scores should be sent directly from ACT/SAT Website
  • Financial Aid – Complete FAFSA – Opens Oct. 1
  • Apply for Scholarships

General Senior Information

First Semester

  • High School Retreat. Seniors will establish themselves as servant leaders.
  • Choose Senior Class Verse. This will be highlighted in the graduation invitations and in the graduation ceremony.  We need to select this verse before the next bullet date, so that it can be included in the invitations.  Start thinking now.
  • Mid-October order Josten’s Graduation Caps & Gowns & Invitations. We will let parents know ahead of time when this meeting with Jostens will be held.  The cap & gown is approximately $30 and required. You may borrow from a previous graduate, but are required to purchase the tassel for 2021.  Invitations will range from about $25 – $100, depending on what you order.  Extra tassels and other senior doo-dads are additional cost.
  • Class Gift Ideas — every year, the senior class gives the school a class gift at graduation. Often, this gift must be worked on beforehand.  Please let Mr. R know if you have ideas.  Traditionally, each senior contributes $50 toward this fund, which would mean this year’s class has around $ to spend.
  • November (late) – Fall Athletic Banquet. (**Senior Night – per coach’s decision during the season)
  • Mid-Term exams.  Senior Exemption – An A or B average in the class with 3 or fewer absences.  (Neither medically documented absences nor college visits will count against the three. Must have documentation.)

Second Semester

  • Decide Graduation roles (Mr. Robinson). We will need several seniors to take on lead roles in the graduation ceremony.  These roles will include Opening Welcome, Presentation of Gift, Senior Class History, Introduction of Commencement speaker.
  • Choose Commencement Speaker. Any ideas?
  • Mid-March — Cap & Gown pictures. Graduation honors (Cum Laude status) will be determined by the picture date, and will be designated in the photograph.
  • Knight’s Night (Prom) 
  • May seniors lead Grammar Chapel. This is an HCA tradition and a sweet time of celebration of the completion of 13 years of school.
  • May 17th seniors last day of regular classes.
  • May 20th-24th Senior Thesis presentations. Every student has a thesis handbook with deadlines for statements, note cards, rough drafts, etc. that are due beforehand. (Mr. Blackburn)
  • Mid-May Spring Athletic Banquet — Senior athletes will be formally recognized for their four-year achievements. (**Senior Night – per coach’s decision during the season)
  • May 28th-30th Final exams for seniors who do not qualify for exemptions. **AP exams are typically early/mid May.
  • Tuesday, May 28th Senior Lunch. This is an HCA tradition, where Mr. Robinson personally takes the senior class out to lunch prior to graduation.
  • Thursday, May 30th Graduation practice in the gym from 12:30-2:30 PM.
  • Friday, May 31st Awards Day in the Fine Arts Building begins at 8:30 AM.
  • Friday, May 31st Senior lunch in the cafeteria at 12:30 PM, followed by graduation practice.
  • FRIDAY, MAY 31st at 7 PM is YOUR GRADUATION!! Each senior will be able to reserve up to 6 seats in the middle sections of the auditorium for immediate family members and/or grandparents. With 37 graduates this year, we will reserve 222 total seats.

College Applications

  • Abby Pulley will be having meetings regarding testing, college applications, and deadlines. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact her.  apulley@hickorychristian.com or 828-324-5405.


College Entrance Testing

  • PSAT – Fall/October
    • Grade 9, 10, 11
  • Pre-ACT – Spring/February
    • Grade 9, 10
  • ACT – Spring/February
    • Grade 11 on HCA campus
  • SAT – On your own
    • Most students begin testing Spring of Grade 11
  • ACT – On your own
    • Additional attempts on your own
  • AP EXAMS – May
    • Grade 11 – AP Language
    • Grade 12 – AP Literature
    • Grade 12 – AP Calculus

K-12 NC State Required Testing – April/May

  • ACT Aspire
    • Grades 3-8
  • PSAT and Pre-ACT
    • Grades 9-11