Graduation Certificate Programs

Upper School students who are passionately interested in scientific research, engineering, fine arts, or global affairs can opt to participate in one of the graduation certificate programs related to our Centers of Excellence. The multi-year programs provide intensive, college-level academic experiences under the support and guidance of faculty and mentors, while giving them an invaluable glimpse at what a future career in the field could entail.

Each program culminates in a review of their work, either through a thesis defense, final presentation or artistic review to complete their work and achieve the graduation certificate.

The Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship (IBE) offers Upper School students an immersive certificate program that provides students with intensive, college-level academic experiences, complemented by real-world, hands-on opportunities in the field of business and entrepreneurship.Under the guidance of experienced faculty and mentors, students in the IBE will gain the following:

  • Student-Run Business Opportunities: Throughout the program, students will have the chance to engage in student-run businesses, applying their knowledge and skills to practical situations.These business ventures will provide invaluable experience in areas such as marketing, finance, operations, and strategic decision-making.
  • Real-World, Hands-On Experience: The IBE emphasizes experiential learning, offering students the opportunity to tackle authentic business challenges.From developing business plans to executing marketing campaigns, students will gain practical skills that will prepare them for future endeavors.
  • Mentorship and Guidance: Students in the IBE will receive guidance from accomplished entrepreneurs, business professionals, and faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.This mentorship will provide invaluable insights, advice, and networking opportunities to support students' entrepreneurial aspirations.
  • Professional Connections: The IBE fosters connections with local businesses and entrepreneurs, providing students with opportunities to engage with professionals in the business community.These connections can lead to internships, mentorship opportunities, and potential collaborations for student ventures
  • Culminating Projects: As part of the program, students will undertake culminating projects that demonstrate their understanding of business principles and entrepreneurship.These projects may involve creating comprehensive business plans, launching innovative startups, or conducting in-depth market research to solve real-world business challenges.

The Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship at our school is committed to empowering students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for success in the dynamic world of business and entrepreneurship. The certificate is supported by grants from both the E.E. Ford Foundation and from The Veale Foundation. As part of its affiliation with The Veale Foundation, students in the Certificate program are connected with the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum (VYEF), a collaborative network of educators, business leaders and collegiate-level resources that offers programs and experiences that allow students to think creatively and analytically, recognize business opportunities, take initiative, solve problems, persist through failure, communicate persuasively, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

Upper School students who are passionately invested in a pragmatic study of the humanities can nominate themselves in their sophomore year to become a Global Scholar in the Global and International Studies Program, which is the graduation certificate program for the Center for Global Citizenship. The Global and International Studies Program develops our students’ overall global awareness by nurturing their intercultural consciousness and fostering the leadership skills needed to become active global citizens of the world. Global Scholars learn to advocate for policy change through a developed intrinsic motivation to understand the world and make a positive difference.

Global Scholars will conduct an in-depth, two-year research project on their self-selected Area of Study, which is supported by their academic study of world history, world literature, political and economic realities, health and environmental realities, and world languages, as well as participation in cross-cultural opportunities such as extracurricular clubs and travel and/or travel-equivalent opportunities. Participants share their extensive proficiency in their Area of Study with a knowledge-based presentation to faculty members and an outside professional proficient in the Area of Study at the end of their junior year. The culminating project is the defense of an extensive paper in which Global Scholars have developed a pragmatic and purposeful resolution to a specific challenge from within their Area of Study to the same panel at the conclusion of their senior year.

Benefits of the Global and International Studies Program:

  • Opportunity to build critical and cross-curricular thinking skills in the goal of developing pragmatic and purposeful resolutions to global issues
  • Development of social and intellectual skills to navigate effectively across cultures
  • Comprehensive understanding of non-western history, politics, religion and culture
  • Development of college-level research, writing, organizational and independent learning skills under personal faculty guidance

The Institute for Engineering and Innovation is a graduation certificate program under the Center for Scientific Exploration and Research. The goal of this optional program is to provide innovative and passionate students the facilities, education, and support to deepen their understanding of engineering and cultivate the ability to independently design and fabricate high-quality designs.

Students can apply to become an Engineering Apprentice at the end of their sophomore year. Engineering Apprentices use a set of procedures that mimic the design and fabrication process used by industry and academic professionals. At the onset of their junior year, Engineering Apprentices work with their client and the program director to establish project guidelines such as a cost estimate, project schedule, and set milestone client meetings to pave a path towards project completion.

As the Engineering Apprentice begins to research and design the project aspects, they are paired with mentors who possess the knowledge and expertise to guide their work, and are held accountable for their scheduled progress. The program culminates with a public display and presentation of their work at a Lake Ridge Academy hosted Maker Faire, which is attended by public and industry professionals.

The program utilizes our robust engineering workshop and lab to design and construct sophisticated projects. Lake Ridge Academy is equipped with an incredible variety of quality equipment, ranging from hand tools to an engine lathe, a top-,awarded safety equipment such as a SawStop table saw, and a computer network controlled Tormach mill and Shop Sabre router to give extreme precision.

This college-level experience is designed to introduce students to the methodology and procedures used in academia to conduct world-class research, along with the production and project management skills of industry professionals to complete multi-million dollar projects. This program gives the student an invaluable experience beyond the classroom and provides insight into a future career in engineering.

The Institute for Scientific Research, the graduation certificate program for the center, is an optional program for Upper School students that are interested and qualify for this unique and rigorous research education experience. The purpose of the institute is to develop a student’s ability to problem solve through the lens of science. The program strives to cultivate a student’s ability to think creatively, inquire, evaluate and communicate their findings in a clear and accurate manner.

Considered a capstone program, students in the Institute (also known as institute fellows) enter the program in their sophomore year by taking an introductory course on the methods and process of scientific research. In the Junior year, the institute fellows embark on a two-year original independent research project of their own selection. They are matched with mentors, who are external partners and experts in the particular field the student is researching. During the senior year, the Institute Fellows complete their research and produce a thesis which is defended in front of a panel.

This college-level experience is transformative for the student, as they learn the methods of original research and the resilience required to be a researcher. The program gives a distinct advantage for students applying to colleges, as they will be able to share this tremendous experience.

2019-2020 Graduating Fellows List of Research Topics

  • “Effectiveness of Behavioral Treatments in Helping Reduce Pain from Pediatric Migraines”
  • “The Impact of Educational Philosophies on Growth Mindset and Self-Efficacy in Middle School Students”
  • “Irrational Triangles and Periodic Trajectories”
  • “Risk Aversion and Impulsivity in Children”
  • "The Use of Organic Waste in Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors, A Meta-Analysis of the Literature"

Lake Ridge Academy's School of Fine Arts provides talented students with greater access to fine arts course work during their high school career while allowing them to take advantage of the academic opportunities at Lake Ridge Academy. In addition to this increased access, students move through a comprehensive fine arts curriculum where close-working relationships between students and teachers, as well as among students, provide an enriched experience in the given course of study.

The School of Fine Arts can be thought of as a school within a school. Students need to first be admitted to Lake Ridge Academy before auditioning for one of the programs of study. Programs of Study include:

  • Music: Voice, Strings
  • Theater: Acting, Musical Theater
  • Visual Arts: Studio Arts, Digital Arts

Each program of study requires students to complete sixteen Fine Arts credits within their field, attend and participate in a weekly Fine Arts Seminar, meet certain extra-curricular expectations, and complete the exit requirements. Special schedules are created for students in the School of Fine Arts to allow them the time to complete these curricular demands while meeting graduation requirements.

School of Fine Arts graduates have gone on to further their study at prestigious art programs such as Berklee College of Music, Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Belmont University, Oberlin Conservatory and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

The School of Fine Arts operates with the assistance of an Advisory Council made up of individuals with a variety of backgrounds and experiences in the Cleveland Arts Community. The Council's role is to assist in the development and growth of the School of Fine Arts by providing input and insight into the program and curriculum, bringing ideas and innovations, and facilitating relationships with artists and organizations in the Cleveland area.