“It’s (RPA has) basically provided that opportunity for me to discover what I want to do before I have to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for it.”
YES! We have RPA alumni attending private and public colleges and universities across the nation, many on full or generous academic scholarships. Students from recent graduating classes have been accepted to University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Smith College, University of Portland, Reed College, Loyola University, Willamette University, Duke University, California Polytechnic State University, Gonzaga University, Seattle Pacific University, US Naval Academy, University of Puget Sound, Sweet Briar College, Colorado School of Mines, and University of California-Berkeley. The list goes on and on.
So glad you asked! College prep at RPA begins during the freshman year of high school, when many students take a Freshman Seminar class. In this class, students engage in college and career activities including skills and interest assessments. In addition, freshmen are encouraged to take any AP or college class for which they have completed the prerequisites. As well, all RPA students are learning to manage their schedules and navigate a college-style environment on a daily basis.
The AP Capstone was developed in response to feedback from higher education and enables students to distinctively set themselves apart to colleges. The two AP Capstone courses (AP Seminar and AP Research), with their associated performance tasks, assessments, and application of research methodology, complement the rigor of AP courses and exams by equipping students with the power to analyze and evaluate information with accuracy and precision in order to craft and communicate evidence-based arguments.
In the traditional model of school, students take one PSAT (practice SAT) their junior year, then one SAT or ACT their senior year, all of which they have to pay for. At RPA, we think students need practice, and we think that every student should get the practice they need, despite their ability to pay. To that end, RPA offers the pre-ACT exam during the Fall term for juniors, and a full ACT exam in the Spring. The ACT Aspire program allows for a vertically aligned assessment system that is directly linked the ACT test, meaning RPA staff will be able to consistently and accurately track student learning gains throughout their time at RPA with the ultimate goal of college and career readiness. In addition, RPA pays for other college entrance exam testing opportunities for any interested students.
Accelerated learning at RPA is our daily model. Any student in grades 6 through 12 can take classes above their grade level at any point they feel prepared to do so. At RPA, advanced middle school students can earn high school credit for high school level courses as they are ready to do so. Similarly, our high school students have three options for accelerated classes:
1) Placement above grade level (i.e., a sophomore may be placed in a junior or senior level class). 2) College courses (Typically through COCC, but other options are available.) 3) AP (Advanced Placement through College Board) Courses. Students can also graduate with the new AP Diploma after completing the AP Capstone program. 4) Advanced Spanish students can earn up to 20 college credits through RPA’s unique testing partnership with Southern Oregon University.
These options give our students many choices to move their education forward at an accelerated pace, even earning part or all of their Associate's Degree by the end of their high school career.
Yes. One of the foundations of RPA’s mission is to do everything possible to prepare its students for their futures. RPA offers help with the entire college application process, including details like calendar reminders for important dates or essay writing, editing and review. It provides individual counseling for students and their families, information nights to learn about colleges and the college experience, and many other events designed to keep them thinking about their future. We have several classes focused on career exploration, including CTE Business Courses, Freshman Seminar, University 101, Career Explorations and Health Occupations. We host campus tours at colleges and universities throughout Oregon each year. These are free events open to all students. In addition, RPA participates in three specifically designed programs to keep its students on track:
- College Application Week offers students dedicated time and space to complete college applications with the assistance of school staff and volunteers. Schools and community based organizations host CAW events during November, designated “College Application Month” by President Barack Obama and Governor Kate Brown.
- College Cash Campaign focuses on assisting students with the necessary steps to apply for all forms of financial aid. Schools and organizations that hosted a College Application Week event in the fall offer students similar assistance in completing their FAFSA and applying for scholarships.
- College Decision Day celebrates students’ plans for postsecondary education and training, and their acceptances to colleges, universities and training programs. It’s a wonderful week at RPA and gives younger classmates, staff, and community members a chance to experience the excitement of being college bound.
The cumulative experience at RPA is preparation for higher education and life beyond high school. So we don't just offer College and AP Courses - we have created a Collegiate Model high school experience.
At RPA, just like at college, students take part in self-created, college-style scheduling and manage a college-style Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday schedule of classes. They are responsible for time management, decision-making, and keeping commitments. In addition, they are accountable for their relationships with other students, faculty and staff, and the community. RPA students are using college-style technology for communications as well.
RPA students can also earn credit for working, volunteering and doing internships. This “real world” experience is very valuable in helping them mature, to manage expectations about demands outside of the classroom, and to form positive relationships beyond RPA. Many people familiar with RPA students say they demonstrate a maturity not often seen in teenagers.