Welcome to the Guidance Office at Thomas Heyward Academy.  Our aim is to make this exciting time for our graduating seniors and their transitions to college run as smoothly as possible.  The Guidance Office provides resources, information, encouragement, and support as students move through the process of deciding what comes next as they prepare to graduate from high school.  Please use the link below for assistance in beginning your college planning.

“Today’s young people are living in an exciting time, with an increasingly diverse and mobile society, new technologies, and expanding opportunities. To help ensure that they are prepared to become the next generation of parents, workers, leaders, and citizens”, every student needs support, guidance and opportunities during adolescence; a time of rapid growth and change. Adolescents face unique and diverse challenges, both personally and developmentally, that impact academic achievement.

High school is the final transition into adulthood and the world of work as students begin separating from parents and exploring and defining their independence. Students are deciding who they are, what they do well, and what they will do when they graduate. During these adolescent years, students are evaluating their strengths, skills and abilities. The biggest influence is their peer group. They are searching for a place to belong and rely on peer acceptance and feedback. They face increased pressures regarding risk behaviors involving sex, alcohol and drugs while exploring the boundaries of more acceptable behaviors and mature, meaningful relationships. They need guidance in making concrete and compounded decisions. They must deal with academic pressures as they face high-stakes testing, the challenges of college admissions, the scholarship and financial aid applications process and entrance into a competitive job market.


Thomas Heyward Academy provides a well-rounded college preparatory curriculum with extensive offerings in English, social sciences, mathematics, foreign languages, sciences, art and music.  Honors classes are offered in biology, physics, calculus AB and BC. In addition to the curriculum, dual enrollment college courses are offered through The Technical College of the Lowcountry and The University of South Carolina Beaufort.  Students are able, through their choices, to create an individual schedule tailored to their needs and interests.  Some courses are required and some are recommended, but there are electives, increasing in number as the student progresses through school.  The act of making one's own choices is important as it develops responsibility, increases commitment, and encourages exploration of new areas for learning.  Not every student chooses to go to college directly from Thomas Heyward, but those who do are well prepared.  One of the strengths of Thomas Heyward Academy is the enrichment which comes from such varied experiences.

The role of the faculty is to help students acquire the skills, information, and attitudes that will enable them to have productive and satisfying lives.  Social and personal skills are cultivated, and student responsibility is emphasized.  While academic achievements will vary because of differences in abilities and interests, all students are expected to work hard, complete tasks, and participate fully in the academic program.  The faculty provides guidance as each student seeks his or her own intellectual and personal maturity.


College counseling at Thomas Heyward Academy is designed to be personal and individualized.  At its best, the process goes beyond helping students find a college that is a "good match"; it helps them grow and learn more about themselves. We start to work with students in the middle of their junior year.  From beginning to end, the students are at the center of this process.  They are expected to take responsibility for registering for appropriate tests, completing applications, and meeting deadlines.  We are here to assist, encourage, challenge and support students as they set goals and make decisions.

There is no doubt that the process can be stressful at times and can have emotional highs and lows. We find that it works best when - students, parents and counselors communicate honestly, have an open mind, exercise patience, and maintain a good sense of humor.