ASU Prep: Blended College Prep with a Little Extra Kick

Dr. Sean Mark, ASU Prep Casa Grande.

Between Phoenix and Tucson is a ‘70s golf resort that has been converted to a soccer camp, a developmental program for FC Barcelona. About 110 of the best soccer players in the country come to Barca Residential Academy for one to three years to build their skills and finish high school.

The young men from Barca make up about half of the student body at the three-year-old ASU Prep Casa Grande, a blended high school that is part of a six-school Arizona network (@ASUPrepAcademy).

Students, ASU Prep Casa Grande.

Principal Sylvia Mejia (@MejiaSylvia) explained that the network uses the Cambridge curriculum as the backbone of the college prep program.

A coach from Highlander Institute in Rhode Island worked with the Casa Grande staff extensively this year to improve personalization strategies.

Sarah Rich (@edtechSAE) explained that teachers had the opportunity to pick priority practices (including culture; interest, identity, and agency; differentiation; and rigor and mastery).

Sarah Rich, Highlander Institute.

Dr. Sean Mark (featured image) showcased three stations in a blended science freshman biology class. (he was getting ready to launch the fourth station of small group tutoring).

Like the ASU math faculty, ASU Prep selected ALEKS from McGraw Hill as the adaptive backbone of the math curriculum.

The Habitable Worlds course from ASU, which explores the formation of stars, planets, Earth and life, uses Smart Sparrow as the adaptive engine.

ASU Prep Poly STEM Academy.

ASU Prep Poly

On the satellite Chandler campus (in southeast Phoenix), ASU Prep Poly STEM Academy is a high school that takes advantage of college amenities including access to college courses, internships and jobs, a fitness center and student union.

In a spectacular new building, Poly has been open seven years with five graduating classes.

Like Casa Grande, Cambridge is the core but there is access to concurrent enrollment at ASU (where students can take the courses and if they pass and want the college credit they pay $600). Big blocks in the schedule accommodate access to college courses.

Despite about a third of Poly students living in or near poverty, 95% graduate and are admitted to ASU (with an average ACT score of 24).

In addition to the six Phoenix schools, ASU Prep Digital serves full and part-time students across the state and around the world with a comprehensive online program.

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Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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