Signature Programs
Alexander Clark Institute of Advanced Studies


Entrepreneurial Pathways for Innovation and Creativity

Unleashing the creative, innovative potential and entrepreneurial spirit of St. Andrew’s students — empowering Saints to improve communities and business environments around the globe.
St. Andrew’s students are known for their ability to think creatively and problem solve. EPIC taps into the natural intellectual curiosity and resourcefulness of those students who have an inner drive to address real-world problems with innovative and practical solutions. The overall goal is to offer pathways to broaden students’ knowledge of business concepts and entrepreneurship. The EPIC journey provides a wide menu of course selections from a number of elective offerings that culminate with a Senior Capstone Project in the final year that may evolve into a viable business endeavor. The EPIC journey is not a single pathway to a diploma designation, but one which is designed so that the student may pursue his/her own passions and interests with entrepreneurial creativity toward a diploma designation.

To graduate with an EPIC distinction on their diploma, students must complete three (3) credit hours from among a list of Elective courses and a Senior Capstone Business Project in their final year. For their Capstone Project, students will craft an individualized entrepreneurial plan intended to launch a business or non-profit. As part of their planning process, students are required to complete off-campus work with a business and/or entrepreneur mentor. These meetings will likely take place outside of regular school hours with the culminating event involving pitching their project plan to a panel of judges in late spring of their final semester.

Program Scope

9th Grade 10th Grade 11th Grade 12th Grade
English English 9 English 10 English 11 English 12/Senior Seminars
Mathematics Algebra I or Geometry Geometry or Algebra II Algebra II or Precalculus Precalculus or Math Elective
Science Biology Chemistry Physics Elective Course
History World History I World History II U.S. History Elective Course
World/Classical Language Language Level I or II Language Level II or III Language Level III or Elective Elective Course
Fine Arts Fine Arts Elective 1 Fine Arts Elective 2 Fine Arts Elective 3 Elective Course
Other Courses Health/Wellness Health/Wellness (2) Religion/Ethics (0.5)

*A student pursuing the EPIC diploma designation will need to complete the Senior Capstone Project during his/her final year. 

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  • Photo of John Roach

    Dan Roach 78

    Upper School History Teacher and Power Lifting Head Coach
    (601) 853-6032

Elective Offerings

EPIC offers the flexibility for a student to chart his/her own unique pathway with some guidance to the diploma designation and the potential reward of a career where they may own a future business venture of their choosing. Below is a list of possible courses a student might pursue, but it is not an exhaustive list. A number of other course offerings may be found among those on the MSON, GOA, and Virtual Saints pages.

History Electives

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  • Ethics

    What does it mean today to be a person of character, a person of integrity and values, or simply put, a good person? How do we determine whether actions are morally right or wrong? How do we equip ourselves to make grounded ethical decisions and develop a moral compass? Such questions will provide the framework for this course.
    After an introduction to major Western ethical theories, the course will focus on the study of both personal ethics (topics such as: honesty, loyalty, forgiveness, etc.) and ethical issues in contemporary society (topics such as: discrimination, violence, the environment, etc.). Work on these topics will help students develop their capacity to analyze texts and issues, to criticize and construct philosophical arguments, and to present their thoughts orally and in clear written form. Students will be better prepared to recognize, confront, and think critically about difficult questions that we encounter in our daily lives.
  • Global Studies

    This semester course is designed to introduce students to the field of global studies by promoting an understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of global processes. The course focuses on historical, cultural, environmental, technological, political, and economic global developments. Some of the key issues will include the challenges of our global economy, the fading of the nation-state, emerging nationalism and transnational ideologies, new communications media, environmental crises, and human rights abuses. This course will challenge students to “think globally” by linking pressing global issues of our time to relevant regional developments. The historical framework of the course is the Cold War to the present and coverage of world regions will provide a foundation for grappling with the emerging possibilities and the ethical responsibilities of living in an interconnected world.
  • Principles of Economic Theory and Macroeconomics

    This course presents an introductory survey of the study of Economics theory and practice. Taken in a semester, the course includes Units of Study on Macroeconomics, money and banking, and the roles which the government, business firms, labor unions, and consumers play in the functioning of a Market Economy.
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  • Microeconomics and Entrepreneurship

    This course presents a survey of the study of competing Economic Theories, Microeconomics and the principles and practice of Entrepreneurship. Taken in a semester, the course includes Units of Study on various theories of Economics, Microeconomics and the characteristic traits and practices of Entrepreneurship, concluding with a Semester Project consisting of a Formal Business Plan.

Science Electives

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  • Biotechnology

    Both biology and chemistry are prerequisites.

    Biotechnology will introduce students to various laboratory techniques used in modern biotechnology research. The course has five major objectives:(1) understand the theory behind techniques such as restriction digestion and gel electrophoresis analysis, transformation and plasmid purification, polymerase chain reaction, and ELISA; (2) learn how to locate and read primary scientific literature with particular emphasis on the methodology used by the researchers to answer their research questions; (3) understand what a standard operating procedure is and how to use one; (4) demonstrate mastery of biotechnology laboratory techniques; and (5) discuss ethical issues related to modern biotechnology research. Biotechnology will be a largely hands-on class. We will discuss various techniques as a class along with their application in research.  Students will then be given standard operating procedures along with materials for each technique discussed and will be expected to independently troubleshoot the procedure until it is mastered.
  • Engineering and Robotics Principles I

    Robotics and Engineering will be split into two independent courses for fall and spring.  It is not necessary to take one before the other.  During the fall, we will be focusing on coding.  To introduce coding, we will be learning Python which is currently one of the most popular programming languages.  This will be an introductory, problem-based course where you will learn about logic and how computers can be used to help with everyday problems.  You do not need any programming experience.  In this course, we will focus on data types, for and while loops, if/else statements.  For students who have beyond a basic understanding of coding, you will be able to move through projects at your own pace and solve higher level problems.
  • Engineering and Robotics Principles II

    Robotics and Engineering will be split into two independent courses for fall and spring.  It is not necessary to take one before the other. During the spring, we will focus on building a small robot and learning how to control our robot through various methods.  You will have the opportunity to learn two platforms: Arduino and Raspberry Pi.  While there is some coding involved with each, you will be working in groups where the building and coding can be done as a team.  Some may be more geared toward one or the other and that is fine.  Engineering is a team effort.  Additionally, you will learn about electrical engineering and mechanical engineering and about the Engineering Design Process.  You will also have the opportunity to design your own project and solve your own projects as a group.
  • Environmental Science

    This course is designed to introduce students to the astounding interactions that exist within environmental systems. Environmental Science reinforces ecological and taxonomic concepts learned in biology while adding a more detailed vocabulary to the complexities that exist. A large component of this course includes the analysis of current environmental trends, and examination of environmental science principles through fieldwork and activities outside of the classroom.

    After successful completion of this course, students will be able to define and use appropriate terminology relating to environmental science, successfully implement the scientific method when asking questions, compare and contrast local, regional, national, and international environmental systems and processes, interpret scientific data and make inferences through critical analysis of peer-reviewed research, and describe the level at which humans affect the environment.

Fine Arts Electives

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  • Digital Photography

    This course will provide students an opportunity to explore the aesthetic principles and basic technical skills of photography as a fine art form.  Students will be introduced to functions of digital cameras, how to take quality  photographs, and how to manipulate these pictures in post production to produce expressive and meaningful artworks.  A survey of the history of photography and the work of famous photographers will be included. Coursework will consist primarily of written and photographic assignments by theme, composition, lighting, color, and other variables.  Traditional and experimental post-processing, including a variety of transfer processes into mixed media art pieces, will be included.  A digital camera with manual control over aperture and shutter speed is required for the class.  This course is open to 11-12th grade students who have successfully completed ART I or Graphic Design I, or with teacher approval.
  • Graphic Design I & II

    An introduction to graphic design and layout will be components of this introduction course. This class is a prerequisite course for the staff of the newspaper, yearbook and graphic design II. With a foundational focus on principles and elements of design, students will learn about form, shape development, typography, color theory, and how each plays an important and vital aspect in the design process. Students will learn the fundamentals of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign, while conceptually developing the structure of information to communicate ideas. This will include logo design, product marketing, poster design, and real-world projects for school-wide functions. Students will become familiar with a variety of tools and techniques used to produce professional work in the fields of graphic design, advertising, and illustration.  Moreover, the class will explore the intersection of business and graphic design by introducing students to the fundamentals of planning, research, and design. This course provides practical experience in essential studio processes, procedures, critiques, and group discussions. Open to 9th-12th grade students who have successfully completed ART I,  took Art in 7th and 8th grade or by submission of a portfolio and teacher approval.
  • Studio Art/AP Studio Art

    Open to juniors and seniors by application and with department approval.

    This course is designed for motivated and advanced art students, with an emphasis on improving drawing and 2D skills and visual self-expression in various creative processes at a more accelerated pace. The curriculum follows the general guidelines of the "Breadth" requirements of AP Studio Art, so students are challenged through specific assignments to create a portfolio of works in a range of themes, mediums, and techniques which may be submitted for AP scoring. Creativity as an ongoing process that involves the student in informed and critical decision making is encouraged.
  • Theater Production: Acting

    This is a studio class for highly motivated acting students that develops and sharpens the student’s appreciation, understanding, and technical mastery of performance skills, including character development and relationships, stage movement, and script evaluation. Materials include published plays, monologues, poetry, and other manuscripts selected by the students and the instructor. The program is designed not only to heighten the acting student’s mastery of performance technique, but also to acquaint the student with the many elements involved in producing a play or film, including lighting and sound design, costuming, scene design and construction, budgeting, and directing.
  • Theater Production: Technical

    Students receive training and practical experience in theatrical set design and construction, costume design and construction, sound and lighting design and implementation, and set properties selection and/or construction. Students have the opportunity to work daily in a state-of-the-art theatre and to broaden their particular areas of expertise through active participation in multiple productions produced by this class and the theatre department throughout the school year.

Math Electives

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  • AP Statistics

    Successful completion of Precalculus or Honors Precalculus

    Application and departmental approval required

    AP Statistics is a year-long course equivalent to a one-semester, non-calculus based college course in statistics. Students are introduced to the major concepts and tools for collecting, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from real data. The four main areas of study are exploring data, sampling and experimentation, anticipating patterns, and statistical inference. Statistics, more than any other mathematics course, is ideally suited for hands-on, small group activities, therefore it functions as a activity-oriented course. In addition to student generated data and real world data available from a variety of sources, technology plays an important role in the course. Each student will be required to have a TI-84+ graphing calculator. While the calculator may be used on the AP exam, students will not be allowed to use computers. However, students will be required to read output from standard statistical packages. The AP exam in May is a requirement of the course.
  • Mathematics of Finance

    Successful completion of Algebra 2 or Precalculus required

    Open to seniors

    This spring semester elective covers many financial topics such as banking, college costs, car loans, mortgage loans, insurance, investing, credit cards, credit scores, budgets, taxes, retirement planning, financial goals, personal goals, and career choices so that students will be more educated in making wise financial decisions and choices.
  • Statistics

    Successful completion of Algebra 2 or Precalculus required

    Open to seniors

    This fall semester elective focuses on data exploration, experimental design, simulation procedures, and the examination of surveys and information from samples. Real data is used for all statistics lessons. Students learn to select appropriate graphs and plots for a given set of data and to use technology to create graphs. They will learn to examine graphs and plots in order to describe the data, detect patterns in the facts, and make conjectures about them. Analysis of the data in natural context is stressed in addition to the importance of clear, written communication of findings and conclusions. Students are also coached in techniques for the analysis of data found in the media or chosen fields of study. Students will be involved in hands-on experiments revealing the concepts of the course. Students will generate their own data, surveys, and simulation results through individual and group projects.
Foundations — Grade 12 • Jackson, Mississippi
South Campus | Infants to Grade 4
4120 Old Canton Road, Jackson, Mississippi 39216
North Campus | Grades 5 to 12
370 Old Agency Road, Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157