The College Preparatory School is an independent coeducational day school serving 360 intellectually adventuresome 9th through 12th graders who want to experience a purposeful education with kindred peers. The school, comfortably nestled in a small wooded valley on the Oakland-Berkeley border in Oakland, California, is a proudly down-to-earth bastion of genuine learners and doers. Supporting our students are 82 dedicated and accomplished faculty and staff members. Ours is a distinctive and friendly community where the values of intellect, service, and creativity flourish. We are diverse in our identities, varied in our interests, and committed to one another and our school’s mission.
Now in its fifty-first year, College Prep was established as a place where students would develop simultaneously the powers of the mind and the ethical life. Its founders chose the school’s motto, “Mens Conscia Recti” – a mind aware of what is right, the philosophy that continues to shape the school. Our mission is to prepare talented and motivated students for productive, ethical lives in college and beyond by fostering a stimulating education within an atmosphere of consideration, trust and mutual responsibility. 25 percent of our students receive financial aid from the school; 46percent are students of color.
College Prep educates the whole student through a program of academics, co-curricular offerings, and community service. The low student/teacher ratio of College Prep classes facilitates individual attention and collegial interaction, as well as lively discussions within and beyond the classroom. Teachers’ schedules are structured to encourage tutoring, discussion and review throughout the school day. Teaching methods are varied and creative, but all emphasize deep analysis and critical thinking practices.
Gauging the “success” of College Prep students is a multi-dimensional endeavor. While test scores cannot reflect the complete picture, they do tell an important story. The mean SAT Reasoning Test scores (on a scale of 200-800) for the Class of 2011 were 707 critical reading, 721 math and 729 writing. (The most recent national averages were 501 critical reading, 516 math and 492 writing.) In 2011, 117 students took 235 Advanced Placement exams in 16 different subjects with 95% of the scores three or higher. 100% of our students enroll in four-year institutions, and, in 2007, the Wall Street Journal ranked College Prep sixth in the nation for our success rate in admission to the most selective colleges. For the classes of 2007-2011, the universities enrolling the largest number of College Prep graduates were Stanford University (24), Harvard University (19), and Columbia University (13). The most telling evidence of the impact of our program, is the life stories of our alumni, who go on to lead lives of contribution and consequence.