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Arizona College Prep Academy

  • Arizona College Prep Academy
  • 3434 E. Broadway Blvd
  • Tucson, AZ 85716
  • 2010

Program Description

ACPA is a public charter high school serving students in grades 9 - 12 in Tucson, AZ. ACPA cultivates the growth and development of students: academically, socially and personally. Our ideal is a rigorous pursuit of knowledge and understanding in an inquiry-based curriculum, weaving interdisciplinary explorations and real-life experiences. The learning community of ACPA constructs an environment where knowledge is acquired and created, where creative and critical thinking, reading and writing are valued which, in combination, enriches each individual learner and, in turn, multi-faceted society. ACPA students are competitively skilled, self-motivated, civic-minded and participatory, which promotes the essential elements of being healthy citizens of different communities and thriving in college. ACPA believes knowledge and understanding are ever-changing and expanding constructive processes. At ACPA this process is supported by high-quality professionals who are committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure students are admitted to and attend post-secondary institutions. ACPA's teaching faculty fosters a collaborative culture that supports student learning and achievement, as well as their own personal development as teachers and teacher-leaders by utilizing research-based practices to improve student engagement and learning. ACPA's teaching faculty reaches out often and actively to the students, parents and the Tucson community. Most importantly, the teaching faculty works closely with all stakeholders sharing collective responsibility for the learning and achievement of the top 100% of students.

Success Stories

Victor arrived at ACPA as a 9th grade student. He spent the next 4 years as an active member of the Griffin community. As a Freshman, Victor did not recall ever having heard of Stanford University. However, during the course of his high school career, Victor became involved in Student Council, Soccer, Volleyball, a student-run snack bar, and political internships. This, in combination with innumerable class opportunities gave Victor a different perspective and vision for what his life could be. The Faculty and program at ACPA created an environment and encouraged Victor to develop a deep curiosity and passion for learning that still follows him today. After graduating from ACPA, Victor attended Stanford University in Palo Alto CA. on a full scholarship worth over $200,000. At Stanford, Victor majored in International Relations with a concentration in global economics and Western Europe. Having developed a passion for learning about different cultures, Victor learned 2 new languages, Italian and German, and was able to travel to the Galapagos Islands to research the viability of ecotourism in the fragile archipelago. He also traveled to Wales for a world design fair at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and studied abroad in both Florence and Berlin. While at Stanford, he worked for the Tucson Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington D.C., and the United Nations Association Film Festival. These experiences along with the lessons and skills he learned at ACPA sparked a spirit of inquiry and desire to achieve that have increased his curiosity and desire to understand pressing international issues. After graduating from Stanford in June 2015, he moved to San Francisco to begin his career in international marketing and business development for Andersen Global. Victor plans to continue working at Andersen Global for several years after which he will attend either business or law school.

Best Practices Library

ACPA's stated goals of preparing students for college readiness and civic engagement within the context of an inquiry-based curriculum weaving interdisciplinary explorations with real-life experiences into a Seminar-based program lends itself to a project-based, constructivist approach which rests firmly on the foundational skills of critical inquiry, literacy, reading, thinking, writing and problem-solving. ACPA's Program of Instruction is a hybrid of the teaching and curriculum-creating experiences of its founders. These include the use of well-established programs such as Understanding by Design, the Rigor/Relevance/Relationship model, Differentiated Instruction and Reading Apprenticeship, voracious reading in diverse fields, teacher action research reflected in scholarly papers and a commitment to take theory-to-practice. Currently, ACPA's inquiry-based curriculum engages critical literacy, independent research projects and culturally sustaining pedagogy. ACPAs Curricular Framework begins with the careful alignment and purposeful embedding of Common Core Standards into all levels of teaching and learning experiences. The Common Core Standards meld easily with the concept of Differentiated Instruction, allowing educators to infuse rigor and relevance into the curriculum through personalization and student choice within the context of carefully monitored ongoing assessment. ACPA believes the Common Core Standards provide the what while the curriculum provides the how of the teaching and learning engagements.

Services Provided

  • Academic enrichment/tutoring/study skills
  • Arts and cultural
  • Career exploration and counseling/internships
  • College admissions guidance and counseling
  • College fairs/campus visits
  • College transition and retention support
  • Community service/service hours
  • Financial aid advising/FAFSA completion
  • Leadership development
  • Mentoring
  • Parent/family services
  • SAT/ACT and other test preparation
  • Scholarships and last-dollar grants
  • Science, tech, engineering, & math (STEM)


Race & Ethnicity

  • American Indian or Native Alaskan: 2%
  • White: 43%
  • Asian or Pacific Islander: 2%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 45%
  • African American: 8%

Education Level and
Number of Students

  • High School: 130
  • Middle School: 0
  • Elementary School: 0
  • Post-secondary: 0
  • Non-traditional: 0

Populations Served

  • Academically At-risk
  • Academically High-performing
  • ESL Students
  • Undocumented Students (6)


  • More than 75%

Colleges Attended
by Alumni

  • Northern Arizona University (8)
  • Smith College (3)
  • University of Arizona (27)
  • University of San Diego (3)

Matriculation & Completion

  • 4-yr College Matriculation: 80%