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Ready for college in a year?
it's possible with SDS Academy

A New Path to Higher Education
create a photorealistic image of a present-day college with a 15 year old girl preparing t

self-Directed Success ACADEMY
college-Prep express program

An innovative online high school program designed to prepare teens to be ready for dual enrollment college classes in as little as one school year!

With project-based and inquiry-based curriculum that emphasizes conceptual and practical learning personalized to the student, this program not only prepares students for college but releases their potential, inspires independence, and empowers autonomy!


Who We Are

At Self-Directed Success Academy (SDS Academy), we’re breaking the mold of traditional schooling. We offer a vibrant online high school alternative, a "school for homeschooling," that values efficiency, engagement, and real-world preparedness over rote memorization and standardized tests.

Founded on the belief that every teen has the potential to excel when learning is personalized and meaningful, SDS Academy provides a refreshing alternative to both traditional and home-based schooling options. Our innovative approach ensures that students are not only academically prepared but also equipped with the skills needed for real-world success.

What We Do

SDS Academy offers a project-based, inquiry-driven learning environment that mimics the dynamics of real-life challenges and opportunities. Through a curriculum that feels more like a real-life mission than mundane schoolwork, we engage students in a journey where education meets ambition and theory meets practice.

The College Prep Express program, which includes the Quest program, is designed to prepare students for college and life beyond school in a condensed, one-school-year format. This program is both challenging and flexible, providing a comprehensive and dynamic educational experience.

Whom We Serve

Ideally suited for 10th graders, but appropriate for teens aged 14-17 who are looking for more from their high school experience. Our students are officially considered homeschoolers, allowing them the freedom and flexibility to learn at a pace and in a style that suits them best.

SDS Academy is ideal for:

  • Students feeling unchallenged or uninspired by traditional schooling

  • Homeschoolers seeking fresh strategies to engage teens who may be seeking new learning dynamics

  • Families interested in homeschooling benefits but looking for more structure and support

  • Teens aiming to accelerate their educational and career paths

Why Choose SElf-directed success

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The Method

Personalized, Engaging Learning

SDS Academy utilizes a unique blend of project-based and inquiry-based learning methods tailored to each student’s needs. The curriculum includes the Quest program, structured like a video game with levels and challenges to make learning engaging and fun. This innovative approach, combined with personalized support and small cohort sizes, ensures students stay motivated and achieve mastery in essential skills and knowledge.


The Stage

Navigating Teenage Independence

During the teenage years, students often resist instruction from parents, especially regarding self-management. SDS Academy addresses this by providing external guidance and support through experienced educators and mentors. By fostering independence and self-directed learning, the program helps teens develop crucial self-management skills in a supportive environment, making this pivotal life stage more productive and less stressful for both teens and parents.

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The Reason

Why This Program Matters

SDS Academy’s curriculum emphasizes practical knowledge and life skills, making education directly applicable to real-world scenarios. This program is crucial for your teen's life because it not only prepares them for academic success but also equips them with the essential skills needed for personal and professional growth. By focusing on real-world applications, SDS Academy ensures that students find meaning and relevance in their education, motivating them to engage deeply and excel beyond the classroom.


The Impetus

Seize the Opportunity Now

SDS Academy empowers teens to take charge of their education, quickly transition to dual credit courses, and reduce the cost and time to earn a college degree. Don’t wait for traditional education to catch up. Equip your teen with the skills and opportunities to excel today. The sooner they start, the sooner they can take advantage of dual credit courses and set themselves on a path to success.

BENEFITS of Self-directed success Academy


- Early College Credits:

Our College Prep Express program readies your teen to complete high school requirements while earning college credits, potentially achieving an Associate’s degree by the time of high school graduation.

- Efficient Curriculum:

Master essential skills quickly and effectively, saving time and reducing the cost of higher education.

Accelerated Learning Pathway


Real-World Relevance

- Practical Skills:

Gain real-world knowledge and skills that are directly applicable to life and careers, ensuring students are well-prepared for the future.

- Integrated Learning:  

Engage in project-based and inquiry-based methods that provide hands-on experience and make learning more meaningful.


Personalized Education

- Customized Learning Plans:

Receive a tailored educational plan based on individual needs, interests, and goals, ensuring each student’s success.

- Adaptive Challenges:  

Stay motivated and engaged with personalized challenges and optional group projects.


- Focused Attention:

Small cohort sizes ensure personalized support from educators, fostering a close-knit learning community.

- Continuous Guidance:  

Benefit from one-on-one coaching sessions and group support video calls, providing consistent mentorship and accountability.

- Comprehensive Support:

Access additional help through tutoring and one-on-one text messaging, ensuring students have the assistance they need.

Supportive Learning Environment


Innovative Learning Model

- Engaging Gamified Structure:

Taking a cue from the engaging nature of video games, experience a gamified course structure with levels and challenges that make learning exciting and fun.

- Interactive, Personalized Learning with Generative AI Tools:

Students can personalize their learning journey and get their questions answered anytime with chatBot tutors, enhancing the learning experience. These AI tools are integrated thoughtfully to complement human guidance, ensuring a balanced and supportive learning environment.

- Empowered Learning:  

Encourage teens to take ownership of their learning journey, promoting independence and self-motivation.



- Engaging Online Workspace: Students will interact and socialize in a secure, private online workspace on Slack, fostering collaboration and friendships. Parents have the ability to monitor the workspace, ensuring a safe and supportive environment.

- Parental Involvement:

Stay informed and involved with regular progress updates and a dedicated parent support forum (on Slack as well).

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how it works

Daily and Weekly Structure

Core Meeting Times:

  • Weekly Video Call: Mondays from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM Central Time (11am ET, 9am MT, 8am PT)

  • Optional Tutoring and Coaching: Scheduled at mutually convenient times between the Success Coach and the student.

Flexible Availability:

  • Student Flexibility: Outside of the core meeting times, students have the freedom to manage their tasks and communication according to their schedules. To foster Self-Directed Success skills, students are encouraged to message their Success Coach their daily plan at the start of the day and share the results of their plan at the end of the day.

Weekly Meeting Structure

Monday Group Video Call 10am CT (11am ET, 9am MT, 8am PT):

  • Weekly Instruction: Guidance and objectives to plan the week effectively.

  • Group Activities: Collaborative projects and interactive sessions.

  • Progress Sharing: Students showcase their work and receive feedback.

Quarterly Structure

The academic year is divided into four quarters, ensuring focused study periods and comprehensive coverage of core subjects while allowing for independent exploration.


SDS Academy provides a robust curriculum designed to prepare students for college readiness in one year. Here's an overview of each subject:

  • Math: Tailored to each student’s level and pace, with assignments customized to ensure college readiness within one year.

  • English: Personalized to the student’s level and pace, with a focus on developing strong reading, writing, and analytical skills necessary for college.

  • Science: A cross-disciplinary group course that covers both conceptual and practical topics, including lab experiments. Traditional science concepts are personalized based on student needs (e.g., if a student has completed biology but needs chemistry).

  • Social Studies: A structured group course that emphasizes critical thinking and practical topics, while also covering foundational subjects.

In addition to the core curriculum, students are encouraged to pursue independent studies in areas of personal interest. These independent studies will be monitored to ensure students stay motivated and focused.

Communication and Support

  • Slack Workspace: Our primary mode of communication is through a secure and private Slack workspace, where students can interact, collaborate, and seek support. Parents have the ability to monitor this workspace to ensure a safe and supportive environment.

  • Tech Training: Comprehensive training on using Slack and other necessary tools will be provided to both students and parents, ensuring everyone is comfortable and proficient with the technology.

  • Self-Directed Skills Training: Students will benefit from the Quest program (included), which equips them with the skills to work independently and succeed in their studies.

  • Expert Guidance: Benefit from the expertise of Jill Baumann, founder of SDS, who has successfully taught and coached over 50 teens.

enrollment process

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Complete the SDS Academy application. If we believe your student is a good fit for the program, you will receive an email to schedule a family consultation.


Family Consultation

During this video call, we will get to know each other better to determine if there's a match. This is your opportunity to ask any remaining questions you may have.



If we think there's a match, we'll send you an email invitation to enroll, along with the enrollment paperwork to complete and return with the first tuition installment.

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Apply for Our Year-Long Program College Prep Express
Starts August 26, 2024

Get your teen ready for dual credit college courses in as little as one year!

📆 Weekly Group Video Calls: Mondays, August 26, 2024 - May 16, 2025 (except Academy holidays) at 10:00 AM Central Time (8 AM PT, 9 AM MT, 11 AM ET).

Annual Tuition: $9,970
Special Pilot Program Pricing for 2024-2025:
Just $6,970

Or 10 monthly installments of $697. The 1st payment is due upon enrollment, with the remaining 9 installments due on the 5th of each month from September through May.

Application Deadline:
July 31, 2024


Dual Credit Readiness

  • College Credit Preparation: Streamlined and focused on preparing students for earning college credits while still in high school.

Project- and Inquiry-Based Learning

  • Hands-On Projects: Curriculum based on practical, real-world projects.

  • Inquiry-Based Methods: Encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Weekly Coaching Sessions

  • One-on-One Coaching: Provides personalized guidance and accountability.

  • Group Coaching Calls: Promotes community and accountability to a group of peers.

  • Tutoring and Messaging: Additional support through tutoring and one-on-one text messaging.

Small Cohort Size

  • 8-15 Students per Cohort: Ensures personalized attention and support from the Self-Directed Success Coach.

Experienced Coach

  • Benefit from the guidance of Jill Baumann, founder of SDS and an experienced educator dedicated to empowering teens through personalized and innovative learning strategies.

Official Transcripts and Reports

  • Academic Records: Students receive official transcripts with grades and weekly progress reports.

July 23!

Want more details? Sign up to be notified about our upcoming webinar, July 23 at 7pm Central, where we'll provide in-depth information and answer all your questions. Plus a special offer for those who attend live!


For more timely assistance, you can also schedule a personal consultation.

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