AcaPrep

AcaPrep is an elective class for all GECA students that helps students set and achieve life goals, and helps prepare students for success in four-year colleges. Students have chosen to attend GECA to push themselves academically in rigorous coursework in order to gain entry into a four year college after graduation from high school. Students are expected to complete the AcaPrep Curriculum as part of their support and guidance throughout their four-year experience.

Each grade level of AcaPrep is themed after the school’s mission/vision of “Be Someone. Go Somewhere. Seek Excellence.” in the following way:

As a result of this course sequence, students:

  1. Develop strategies to identify and fulfill personal and academic goals (including peer tutoring, team-building & resilience-building activities, Character Counts! Education, Mindfulness practices, career exploration, and personality assessments).

  2. Develop strategies to ensure academic success in both core studies in high school and college class required for entrance to four-year colleges and universities.

  3. Explore multiple academic and social cultures within a variety of college environments.

  4. Prepare to successfully complete the application process, including the testing requirements to transfer into a four-year college or university (PSAT, PLAN, SAT prep).

  5. Understand the intrinsic differences between high school and college writing and as a result, successfully develop academic college writing.

  6. Evaluate the content of oral communications and deliver focused, coherent presentations that convey a clear interpretation of ideas and unity in relation to purpose and audience.

AcaPrep is meant to support students in their academic subject areas by introducing and practicing certain strategies, test-taking skills, organization and study skills that are proven successful for college bound students. The course is also meant to help students determine future goals and create a plan to achieve them, including A-G and GECA diploma completion, creating four-year plans, exploring college entrance requirements, and determining appropriate career paths. AcaPrep’s curriculum is based on the research and work of Dr. David Conley’s Four Keys of College and Career Readiness:

KEY of College and Career Readiness THINK: Key Cognitive Strategies KNOW: Key Content Knowledge ACT: Key Learning Skills & Techniques GO: Key Transition Knowledge & Skills
Description of Key of College & Career Readiness Problem formulation, research, interpretation, communication, precision and accuracy

Key terms & terminology, factual information, linking ideas, organizing concepts

Time management, study skills, goal setting, self-awareness, persistence, collaborative learning, student ownership of learning, technological proficiency, retention of factual information Post-secondary program selection, admissions requirements, financial aid, career pathways, post-secondary culture, role & identity issues, agency  
AcaPrep Curriculum Components Writing Projects, SAT Practice (Khan Academy), Individual Reflection, Habits of Mind Peer Tutoring, AVID WICOR model, Seminar Study time, Subject-based Khan Academy Time Management, Mindful Mondays, Goal Setting Activities, Week of Kindness, Anti-Bullying Assemblies, Study Skills, Google Apps For Education FAFSA Applications, Scholarship Applications, Seeking Recommendations, College Registration, Career Exploration, Four-Year Planning, ASB Updates, School Culture (Honors Tribunal)

 

Meeting LCAP Goals

GECA is the only school in the district that offers this AcaPrep course, and it is encompassed in the school’s Single Plan for Student Achievement as the following focus area for the 2018-19 school year: Continue providing structured social and academic supports for GECA students; this includes providing targeted tutorial supports through AcaPrep Tutors and after-school/weekend tutoring options, and strengthening AcaPrep 9-12, AcaPrep Tutors, and Student Government curricula to include a focus on Dr. Conley’s Four Keys of College and Career Readiness, mindfulness, self-advocacy, time management, digital citizenship, school culture, stress relief, SAT/ACT test-prep, career exploration, and student responsibility in developing and monitoring their own four-year plans, as well as improved, built-in academic interventions and supports.


AcaPrep is a means of addressing the school district’s LCAP Goals 1, 2 and 3 (Goal 1: Provide high quality instruction and 21st century learning opportunities to ensure College & Career Readiness; Goal 2: Provide Equitable Support for All Learners; and Goal 3: School Culture and Engagement).

Results, Outcomes & Program Monitoring

As a result of the school-wide implementation of AcaPrep, the percentage of students attaining an associates degree by the time they graduate from our high school program (in four years) has increased from 19% (with the Class of 2014) to 72% (with the Class of 2018). Additionally, the school’s retention rate between grade levels has improved from  roughly 81% (in 2013-14) to 93% (in 2018-19). The school Advanced Placement exam scores have improved from roughly 59% students passing with a 3+ (in 2013) to roughly 66% students passing with a 3+ (in 2018).

Staff members and administration monitor the success of the AcaPrep program and lessons together by meeting monthly to plan curriculum, discuss supports for struggling students, and strategize implementation of schoolwide initiatives. Monthly AcaPrep collaboration meetings allow staff to check in with the school’s Associated Student Body teacher, coordinate peer tutoring efforts, and review lessons to be implemented in the classrooms. The structure of the AcaPrep Collaboration meetings provides an excellent professional development opportunity for staff.

Sample Lessons

AcaPrep is an elective class for all GECA students that helps students set and achieve life goals, and helps prepare students for success in four-year colleges. Students have chosen to attend GECA to push themselves academically in rigorous coursework in order to gain entry into a four year college after graduation from high school. Students are expected to complete the AcaPrep Curriculum as part of their support and guidance throughout their four-year experience.

Each grade level of AcaPrep is themed after the school’s mission/vision of “Be Someone. Go Somewhere. Seek Excellence.”