Our School Spirit Lasts An Eternity

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

How is SCA ranked academically among other U.S. schools?  SCA students consistently score well above national and state averages on standardized tests as well as the ACT college entrance test. SCA students have been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Are college credit classes offered at SCA?  SCA offers 70 hours of college credit classes, transferable to American colleges and universities. Students who have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA may take dual credit courses through Southwest Baptist University in Algebra, Precalculus, Calculus, Business Statistics, Spanish, English, Western Civilization, American History, Geography, and American Government. Religions of the World; Conflict, Social Justice & Literature; French; Music Appreciation; and General Psychology are offered through St. Louis University.

From what countries does SCA have international students?  SCA enjoys having students from countries all around the world. We celebrate a rich, cultural diversity with students from South Korea, China, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Norway, Russia, Uganda, and Brazil.

What grade levels are accepted?  The majority of our international students are enrolled at the high school level. Elementary and middle school students are only considered for acceptance when they live with a family member.

With whom do international students live?  Some students live with family members but most students live with a host family.  

Do you accept students for second semester (January)?  The best experience for international students is to begin at the start of the school year in August. A student may be considered for second semester if they have previously been in the U.S. school system, demonstrate a high level of English proficiency, and have excellent grades and references. 

Do you offer an ESL program?  We do not have a remedial ESL program. Students accepted to SCA must have an English language proficiency that allows for success in our college preparatory program. International students are required to take the English for Academic Purposes (EAP) class. English proficiency is assessed and personal skill objectives are established in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The EAP instructor offers classroom assignment support and helps students prepare for the ACT and TOEFL tests. Cultural adaptation assistance is also provided and students have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and encourage one another in their American experiences.

Do you require a particular score on an English proficiency test and which tests do you prefer?  SCA requires a score of at least 61 on the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or at least 4.2 on the iTEP Slate Plus. This is the test that colleges and universities require. Students are prepared for the TOEFL in the English for Academic Purposes class and will see improvement in language acquisition when the test is retaken as part of the college application process. As part of the application process, students also have an interview with the International Program Director, either in person or through Skype, where their English proficiency is further assessed.

Do you accept students with J-1 and F-1 visas?  We do work with carefully selected agencies that bring students on J-1 and F-1 visas. We also deal directly with students for private placement. After a student is accepted to SCA and we have received the necessary paperwork, we issue an I-20 form that the student takes to the U.S. Embassy in order to request an F-1 visa.

Is there a dress code for students at SCA?  SCA has a very user-friendly uniform policy. Students may wear khaki, black, or navy blue slacks, walking shorts, or skirts. They can wear any color of solid shirt or sweater. SCA also has sweatshirts and hoodies with the school logo available for purchase several times a year. Please refer to the Uniform Policy on the SCA website.

Are international students required to be a Christian in order to attend SCA?   SCA does not require that students be professing Christians in order to attend the school. We do require, however, that a biological parent, guardian, or host parent be a professing Christian. The mission of SCA is to “inspire students to achieve their God-given potential through excellent academics and Christian training in a compassionate environment.”  Emphasis is placed on strong academics, good character and spiritual formation which is further explained in our Statement of Faith and Core Values.  

Do you help students with homestay arrangements?  We work with agencies to find host families and host families are provided for students who work directly with SCA. Students are placed in Christian host families that are carefully screened and prepared to make the international student a part of their family. A homestay arrangement is for a full year. Changing families during the year is discouraged and may not be an option.

What is Lee’s Summit/Kansas City like?  SCA is located in Lee’s Summit, just 20 minutes from the center of Kansas City (2.1 million population). Lee’s Summit is a family-friendly community and one of the most prestigious cities in the metropolitan area. Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains, with the number of fountains second only to Rome. It is a beautiful, historical city that enjoys all four seasons. There are a wide variety of attractions including Arrowhead Stadium (home of the Kansas City Chiefs), Kauffman Stadium (home of the Kansas City Royals Baseball Team), LiveStrong Sporting Park (home to KC’s soccer team Sporting Kansas City), The Plaza shopping and dining district, Union Station, Crown Center, the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, The Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the Kansas City Power and Light District with the Sprint Center that is home to major concerts and performances, Worlds of Fun amusement park, the Jazz District, and the Kansas City Zoo. 

What do I need to know about medical insurance?  Upon arrival, all students must provide proof of International Medical/Evacuation Insurance for 11-12 months. Ideally, insurance is purchased in your home country. SCA can provide insurance information if needed. 

When are students expected to arrive?  It is best if students can arrive in the U.S. by August 2 in order to settle in with their host family, meet their SCA Buddy, attend Open House, and participate in the Orientation Weekend for international students.  

When should students apply for admission?  The number of international students is limited and is quite competitive, so early application is suggested. The enrollment process takes several weeks so sufficient time must be allowed to complete the application process. Applications should be received by April 1. Please refer to the Application Process on our website.

How do I apply to SCA?  You may complete a downloaded application that can be submitted by email to ktharp@sca-kc.org or by fax to 816-525-5402 with attention to Kathy Tharp, International Program Director. For further details on how to apply, click Admissions, and choose International Students from the drop down menu.