The Scholars Academy was established in 2003 through a partnership between Horry County Schools and Coastal Carolina University. The goal of the Scholars Academy is to educate top achieving students. Students from nearby high schools in Horry County attend the program in order to complete courses of a higher academic rigor. Students take a combination of required high school classes taught by county-employed teachers, Honors and AP courses taught by county-employed teachers, and college classes taught by Coastal Carolina University professors. Students may finish the program with over two years of college credit while still receiving a high school diploma from their base school.
In 2012, Horry County Schools began building a new building in cooperation with Coastal Carolina University. The new building was completed in December 2013, and the first day of school in the new building was on January 6th, 2014. Students now have most classes within this new building.
The entrance process consists of first sending an application. One can only apply if he or she is a part of the honors or advanced curriculum in the Horry County area middle schools. When applying for admittance into the Scholars' Academy, applicants must consider factors such as the increased amount of homework and new relationships made with completely new people from schools all around the area. The Scholars Academy will find the appropriate candidates based on their answers to the questions in their application, their PSAT scores, EXPLORE scores, discipline records, etc. A select few will be chosen for an interview and an essay scheduled at the main building (the new building) or at the applicant's respective middle school. If the applicant is accepted to the Scholars Academy, they are then sent an acceptance letter and asked to attend an informational meeting where they will receive a Coastal Carolina University application form, an acceptance confirmation form, and summer reading information. Before the upcoming school year, the accepted receive their schedules and supply lists in the mail, along with Freshman Orientation date and time information.
The Scholars Academy promotes and sponsors many different clubs and organizations. The diverse nature of the student body lends itself to a variety of different groups. For example, the Biology Club is an ongoing science club which has been dedicated to bacteriophage research..
The Fellowship of Christian Scholars (FCS) is now a large group sponsored by the Scholars Academy.
The Scholars Academy now publishes a yearbook each year, titled The Aegis.
As of 2010, the Scholars Academy has established its own chapter of the National Honor Society, sponsored by Morgan Sellers. The primary philanthropy is the Street Reach Mission of Myrtle Beach.
Students at Scholars Academy have competed in the We The People Competition after taking various history classes. Coached by Georgia Holley, the Scholars Academy has won 100% of the state competitions that they have entered, becoming the South Carolina State Champions in the 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012 competitions.
This year Holley coached one of the best We The People teams in Scholars Academy history, who won a record of 6 out of the 6 unit awards at the state competition. The team, consisting of only ten members, placed the highest of any South Carolina team in the competition's history, sweeping the competition for the first time in 25 years.
The Scholars Academy Biology Club is a community service organization devoted to exploring scientific concepts and tutoring disadvantaged students. Members of Biology Club are able to attend annual field trips, such as the 2010 trip to the United States National Whitewater Center.
The Club Supervisor is Mr. Ryan Carter.
The small student/teacher population at the Scholars Academy lends itself to a close student-teacher relationship. Students are often included in decision-making at Scholars through the elected Scholar Squad.
Similar to a base-school student government, each year elections are held to choose representatives for each grade level in the Squad. Each grade level elects its own representatives and the representative to win the most votes becomes the class president. The entire school votes in the Scholar Squad president election.
Lee Adi and the other members of the Scholar Squad have organized many school activities, such as Spirit weeks, canned food drives, etc., that are run and/or supervised by the Scholar Squad.
The Scholars Academy Debate Club is an organization devoted to fostering healthy debate among students. Students tackle topics which are of local, national, or international concern such as foreign policy, economic policy, or social policy. Debate Club encourages students to research topics of importance and gain a better knowledge of the world around them.
Revived in the 2012-2013 school year, the Scholars Academy Interact Club is a sub-organization of Rotary, International at the high school level. The club's motto is "Service Above Self" and focuses on community service locally and abroad. Students are invited to participate in events like the Myrtle Beach Marathon, Relay for Life and school-wide recycling initiatives to better the world around them.
Starting in the 2013-2014 school year, the Technology Club is geared toward preparing for the Horry County Schools Technology Fair. The Technology Club also holds a Game Day once a month that serves as a relaxation period from usual schoolwork where students are invited to play video games and hold tournament.
The Fellowship of Christian Scholars provides an environment in which Christian students at the Scholars Academy worship with one another during the school day. The club allows students to participate in community service opportunities, such as local food and clothing drives. All Scholars Academy students and faculty are welcome. Meetings are during the lunch hour in the classroom of sponsor Mrs. Wendy Shoemaker.
The Creative Writing Club was formed in September 2013. It is a place for creative writers to share, discuss, and criticize works composed by students as well as published authors not necessarily studied in Scholars Academy English courses. The club is sponsored by Mrs. Venice Maxey.
The Journalism Club was founded in September 2013. The Scholarly Script is an online publication that gives students the opportunity to gather and analyze data collected over social networks on controversial subjects, to spread the news on current events, to keep peers up to date on the latest in sports, etc. The club is sponsored by Mrs. Wendy Shoemaker.
Ultimate Frisbee Club is in its third year at the Scholars Academy. Meetings are held Tuesdays and Thursdays after school at the Baxley Lawn. Sponsors are Mr. Shuford and Mrs. Zeigler and membership is at 16 students. The tradition of the "Pour Out" lives on dedicating to the Founding Members.
Founded by students, the Scholars Academy Math Club is focused on promoting the mathematical growth of its members. Meetings are spent preparing for upcoming math competitions, but occasionally meetings focus on recreational mathematics. In the 2014-2015 school year, the club participated in the Pee-Dee Math Competition, The AMC competitions, the CCU Math Competition, and the Horry County Rubik’s Cube Competition. CCU professors frequent as guest speakers at least once a year.
Tabletop Club focuses around playing various board and card games every other thursday, sponsored by Mrs. Sellers.