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This article is about the private school in Oakland, California. For the general topic of college preparatory schools, see College-preparatory school. For the private school in Montreal, Quebec, see College Prep International.

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The College Preparatory School

6100 Broadway





United States

Coordinates37°50′54.41″N 122°14′23.89″W / 37.8484472°N 122.2399694°W
School typePrivate, college preparatory
MottoMens Conscia Recti
(A mind aware of what is right)
Head of SchoolMonique DeVane
Enrollment370 (2020–21)
Student lớn teacher ratio8:1
Team nameCougars
NewspaperThe Radar

The College Preparatory School (CPS or College Prep) is a four-year private high school in Oakland, California. The school's motto is Mens Conscia Recti, a Latin phrase adapted from Virgil's Aeneid that means "a mind aware of what is right".


Jenks at groundbreaking
Founder Mary Harley Jenks at the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Broadway campus, 10 May 1980

Founded in 1960, College Prep's first campus was located in a house in the Claremont neighborhood of Oakland/Berkeley. The school was founded by Mary Harley Jenks, former head of the Bentley School and Ruth Willis. Miss Jenks, the first Head of School, envisioned a school that valued "high standards of scholarship and conduct."[1] In 1983 College Prep moved lớn its current campus on Broadway.

College Prep has received accolades for its academic excellence. A 2007 Wall Street Journal article ranked College Prep as the sixth best high school in the United States.[2] In 2010, Forbes magazine ranked College Prep as the seventeenth best private school in the United States.[3] In năm 2016, ranked College Prep the fourteenth best private school in the nation.[4] For 2020, ranked College Prep the fourth best private school in the nation.

College Prep's Heads of School have been Mary Harley Jenks (1960-1969), Robert Baldwin, Jr. (1969-1990), Clint Wilkins (1990-1994), Janet Schwartz (1994-1999), Murray Cohen (1999-2011), and Monique DeVane (2011–present).[citation needed]


College Prep campus, April 2020

At the current campus, a large central courtyard serves as the center of daily activity lớn create intimacy and a sense of community between students and faculty.[1] Major projects have been the Scott MacPherson Stapleton World Languages and Cultures Building (created and dedicated in 2011), a new campus master plan (completed in 2014), and in 2020 the school began work on the Hill Project,[5] a new array of buildings on the upper left of campus. In addition, during the COVID-19 pandemic they leased space at a nearby training center named Seneca[6] and began lớn host some classes there.

As of January 2022, the Hill Project has been completed, and the Seneca campus lease has ended.



A Harkness table being used in a College Prep freshman English class

In the first two years of English at College Prep, students are sorted into classes that all read similar (or the same) books and have no specific focus. In student's Junior and Senior years, however, they are allowed lớn select seminars with specific focuses (for example Russian literature).

In order lớn facilitate discussion, classes are conducted at Harkness tables: oval, wooden tables popularized by philanthropist Edward Harkness. Harkness believed that the tables encouraged students lớn actively participate in discussion, and that they constituted a "revolution" in liberal arts education.[7]


The first three years of history have a preset focus. Freshmen take Asian Worlds where they look at the history of India and Trung Quốc from its founding lớn the modern day. Sophomores take Atlantic Worlds which explores the development of the European and American history from the conclusion of the crusades through the kết thúc of the Enlightenment. Juniors take American Worlds lớn learn about the history of the United States as a nation, in part building off of the work the previous year in Atlantic Worlds. In their Senior year, students take seminars similar lớn those in English.


College Prep follows an integrated curriculum that combines numerous topics and strands of mathematics throughout the year. Despite the integrated format, each section does maintain a concentration on a core mathematical field; Math I (algebra), Math II (geometry), Math III (trigonometry), Math IV (applied mathematics and analysis), Math V (AB & BC calculus), and Math VI (multivariable calculus).[8] In addition there are advanced classes for each of the math classes. Math classes are assigned based on skill entering the school and students in multiple different grades in one class is quite common. At the start of the year, freshmen take a placement exam, where they are placed into either Math I, Math II, or Math III (very rarely are they placed higher).


College Prep's science program establishes a foundation in scientific principles by requiring interdisciplinary study. While most public high schools teach introductory biology courses lớn freshmen, College Prep follows the Physics First model of teaching basic concepts of physics lớn Freshmen within an integrated laboratory format. After completing courses in chemistry (Sophomores) and biology (Juniors), students often elect lớn take Advanced Placement Physics, Chemistry, and Environmental Science courses. Elective classes are offered in astronomy, science ethics, animal behavior, and organic chemistry.[9]

World languages[edit]

Latin students win first place at a California Junior Classical League Convention.

College Prep offers four-year programs in French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and Latin. Students are placed into level 1, 2, or 3 when they arrive depending on skill level and after level 3 they are allowed lớn take seminars. Seminar levels of all world language classes are Advanced Placement preparatory.[10] Students are required lớn take three years of one language or two years of two languages each.

College Prep's Latin curriculum places emphasis on ancient Roman literature and history. All Latin students take the National Latin Exam annually.[10]

Honors and AP[edit]

Students are not distinguished between enrollment in honors and standard courses, as all classes are taught at the honors level, and are designated as such by the University of California. Students' grade point averages are calculated on an unweighted 4.0 scale. Students are required lớn take three years of core curricular classes and an extra year of English.[11] Many formal AP classes are not offered but students are given extracurricular preparation if they are interested.


College Prep students are required lớn fulfill the University of California Visual and Performing Arts education requirement by completing two semesters of arts classes within two disciplines. The Arts department therefore offers courses in visual arts, drama, music and dance.

The Visual Arts department teaches foundation- and advanced-level classes on creative and technical skills in drawing and design.

The drama program is centered around its Acting class and conducts two major drama productions each year, and is supported by stagecraft, drama tech, and digital đoạn phim production classes.[12]

Students in the music program often perform in instrumental ensembles, performing both standard and "pop" repertoire. The school also has a dedicated chorus and vocal ensemble. Many students participate in the non-audition Chorus class, but advanced singers can audition for an Advanced Vocal Ensemble. Members of the A.V.E. are regularly selected lớn perform in the prestigious National Honor Choir organized by the American Choral Directors Association.[13]

Dance classes are offered at all levels, and students perform in high school dance festivals, senior centers, and in theaters throughout the Bay Area. The dance program focuses on modern dance with an emphasis on African American choreographers, and teaches the techniques of Lester Horton, José Limón, Martha Graham, Katherine Dunham, and Alvin Ailey. Guest choreographers regularly visit the school lớn teach students. Dance is highly popular at College Prep, and the program usually has around 70 dancers at one time.[14]

Student life[edit]


On-campus clubs usually meet weekly. Though each has a faculty advisor, they are mainly student facilitated. Clubs range from hobbies and interests (Volleyball Club, Creative Writing Club), lớn activism and social justice (Taiwan Club, Black Student Union, CPS Against Human Trafficking), lớn politics (Leftist Club, Political kích hoạt Club) lớn academia (Science Olympiad, Math Squad, Latin Club, Gimkit Club).


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College Prep students participate in service efforts as a class, wherein Sophomores and Seniors are involved in maintenance projects at Point Reyes, and Juniors cooperate with Rebuilding Together lớn assist in various projects around the Bay Area. Students also bởi outside of school community service such as cooking for men's and women's shelters in Oakland. Schoolwide participation in Oxfam and Amnesty International is common.

The Radar[edit]

The school has a student-run newspaper called The Radar.[16] The Radar regularly publishes students' art and article submissions lớn its trang web and in its newsletters lớn the student toàn thân, which includes the regular "Humans of CPS" and "Artist of The Week" features.[16] The Radar's trang web is


In an attempt lớn combine technology and student life, the school operates three full-service computer labs and four classrooms fully equipped with máy tính computers.[17] Each faculty thành viên is provided a máy tính and each incoming student is provided an Apple MacBook phiên bản Pro máy tính. The program is financed by a supplementary "technology fee" lớn the tuition. Families may opt out of the school-purchase plan if they purchase their own equipment. When students graduate, the computers belong lớn them.[18]

CPS Campus is a student created phầm mềm, supporting only with iOS and macOS and enables tracking of easily customized school schedules.[19] The phầm mềm is integrated with other programs such as the Clubs Calendar.


In their Freshman year, students are put into a CAP (compass advising program) advisory group aimed at helping ease the transition lớn High School. Senior mentors in CAP help freshmen facilitate their transition into high school. After that, students are put in another advisory which they stay with for the remainder of their High School experience. The second advisory groups are aimed more at helping students with any troubles they might have than vãn a rigorous curriculum.

College Prep also offers counseling and health education programs conducted by a full-time health educator and counselor, a trained child psychologist, who provides comprehensive tư vấn lớn students and conducts a mandatory health program for sophomores intended lớn introduce them lớn health topics and encourage them lớn make healthful choices.[20]


The school organizes a number of special retreats for each class. Freshman retreat is conducted at the Headlands campus of the Yosemite Institute, north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and is designed lớn help students adjust lớn high school. Sophomores retreat on the American River and participate in a whitewater rafting trip. Junior retreat is an exercise in leadership training and involves extensive group discussion and activities on an outdoor ropes course. Seniors discuss the transition from high school lớn college, providing an informal setting lớn say goodbye before graduation.[21]


An Intraterm period takes place in the week before spring break, and consists of special courses (such as pottery or Dungeons & Dragons), field studies (examples include trips lớn New Orleans and Area 51), and internships offered lớn students outside of the regular curriculum. Juniors may opt out of Intraterm classes or trips in order lớn visit colleges. Annual participation in Intraterm is a graduation requirement.[22]

College counseling[edit]

College Prep has an intensive and individualized counseling process for college admissions - two counselors are staffed full-time, and students begin regularly meeting with their assigned counselor beginning in the middle of their Junior year. Individual meetings take place weekly, and students are required lớn attend periodic workshops regarding the admissions process.[23]


A Director of Equity and Belonging facilitates discussion of diversity among faculty, staff, and students. A delegation of students attend the yearly conference for People of màu sắc in Independent Schools and stage regular events such as forums, guest speakers, and classroom discussions. The mission of the Office of Equity and Belonging is lớn teach bias management, cultural competency, and servant leadership.[24] Students also lead affinity spaces on campus, including the Asian American Association, Black Student Union, Feminist Union, Gender and Sexuality Awareness Club, Jewish Club, LatinX Club, Muslim Student Association, South Asian Alliance, and Students with Interracial Lives.[25] The Student Equity kích hoạt Team is a coalition of student leaders across affinity clubs that organizes events lượt thích Community, Pride, and Spirit Day. No Place for Hate Coalition and Showing Up for Racial Justice are student organizations that focus on training bias management, allyship, and facilitation skills.[26]

Speech and debate[edit]

Public Forum Debate[edit]

In the 2020-2021 season College Prep's public diễn đàn team earned seven bids lớn the national Tournament of Champions,[27] a JV team came in second place at the Western Novice & JV National Championship, and a team went undefeated in the qualification tournament for the National Speech and Debate Tournament. In addition, at the 2021 national Tournament of Champions, a team placed 8th in the country, making it lớn the quarterfinal round of Gold Public Forum.

Competitive Speech[edit]

College Prep's speech team earned five bids lớn the national Tournament of Champions in the 2020-2021 season and sent several competitors lớn qualification tournaments for the Tournament of Champions, National Individual Events Tournament of Champions, Extemp Tournament of Champions, California State Championship, and National Speech and Debate Tournament. In the 2020-2021 season one competitor in Extemporaneous Speech qualified for all five championship tournaments including a double qualification lớn the National Speech and Debate Tournament. In past years several speech competitors made it lớn championship tournaments as well.[28] In the 2021 season students placed in the semifinal round of the California State Championship, and quarterfinal rounds of national championships.

Policy Debate[edit]

College Prep has a competitive Policy Debate team, which has reached elimination rounds at numerous national tournaments, including winning the national Tournament of Champions in 2003 and reaching the final round of the National Speech and Debate Tournament in 2004 and 2012.[29] In năm trước, a novice CPS policy debate team won the Western Novice & JV National Championship.[30] Alumni of the College Prep debate program have gone on lớn win the prestigious Rex Copeland Award for the top-ranked college policy debate team in the country as well as reach late elimination rounds of the National Debate Tournament.[31]

Lincoln-Douglas Debate[edit]

College Prep's former Lincoln-Douglas debate team used lớn regularly compete at the Tournament of Champions, the National Speech and Debate Tournament, and the California State Championship. In 2008, a College Prep lincoln-douglas debater placed third in the California State Championship.[32]

California Round Robin[edit]

College Prep hosts an annual round-robin policy debate tournament known as the "California Round Robin" every February, where top policy, lincoln-douglass, and public diễn đàn debate teams in the country are invited lớn participate. Rounds are held on the school campus and in conference rooms provided by the Oakland office of the Reed Smith law firm.[33] The California Round Robin is unique from traditional tournaments in that the school invites experts on the year's resolution lớn judge the final rounds. Because the final round is held the night before the popular California Invitational tournament at UC Berkeley, it is usually well attended by the invitational's competitors.[33]

Julia Burke Foundation[edit]

The debate team is supported by an endowment from the Julia Burke Foundation, and the foundation offers a scholarship lớn both the "Debater of the Year" at College Prep and the Julia Burke Flame for Excellence scholarship at the national policy debate Tournament of Champions.[34]


College Prep has a variety of interscholastic teams. Because of the school's small size, and the school policy of exempting students from Physical Education classes during a semester of participation, the percentage of students who join sports teams is exceptionally high: 65% of Prep students play team sports.[35] The school's mascot is the Cougar, and the school colors are xanh rớt, maroon, and white.

College Prep is one of ten schools in the Bay Counties League - East. The school has won twenty-one League titles since 2010, namely:[35]

  • 7 NCS Championships
  • 12 NCS Second Place Finishes
  • 64 League Championships
  • 5 League Sportsmanship Awards (by vote of the schools in the BCL East)
  • Sent 90 student-athletes on lớn play at the collegiate level

As a separate component of the school's modernization and expansion project, the Board also negotiated the unrestricted use of the Tom Bates Fields, an athletic compound adjacent lớn the Golden Gate Fields, for use by College Prep athletics.[36]

Tuition and endowment[edit]

Tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $48,300.[37] In 2019-2020, 24 percent of the student toàn thân received need-based grants.

College Prep's endowment is currently $19 million, or about $52,000 per student.

Test scores[edit]

The mean SAT Reasoning Test scores for the College Prep Class of 2020 were 736 (evidence-based reading and writing) and 747 (math; on scales of 200–800). Of the Class of 2020, 42% received National Merit Recognition, compared lớn approximately 5% of students nationwide. In 2019-20, 155 students took 349 Advanced Placement exams, with 82% of the scores being fours or fives.[38]

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Notable alumni[edit]

  • Alice Buckley (2011), thành viên of the Montana House of Representatives
  • Johanna Fateman (1992), artist and thành viên of rock band Le Tigre
  • Kat Foster (1996), actress[39]
  • Miranda July (1992), performance artist, writer, and filmmaker
  • Ethan Chorin (1987), Middle East and Africa-focused scholar and entrepreneur, known as a leading analyst of Libyan affairs, and for his applied development work in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Jennifer Rothman (1987), an American legal scholar.
  • David Marchick (1984), former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and director of intergovernmental affairs in the Office of the United States Trade Representative under the Clinton Administration; currently Managing Director and Global Head of Regulatory Affairs of the Carlyle Group[40][41]
  • Yonatan Neril (1999), global sustainability advocate, founder and director of the Jerusalem-based Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development[42]
  • Chelsea Peretti (1996), actor, comedian
  • Jonah Peretti (1992), founder of BuzzFeed
  • Sarah Rafanelli (1990), American retired soccer forward and former thành viên of the United States women's national soccer team
  • Romesh Ratnesar (1992), World Editor and thành viên of senior editorial staff at TIME magazine
  • Justin Rosenstein (2001), former Facebook and Google software engineer, co-creator of Asana with Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz[43]
  • Chris Tashima (1978), Academy Award–winning filmmaker and actor
  • Cher Wang (1977), billionaire founder of điện thoại thông minh company HTC (High Tech Computer Corporation)[44]
  • Claire Stapleton (2003), American writer and marketer who co-organized the 2018 Google walkouts[45]


  1. ^ a b Becoming A Real School 1960-1990 : The Story of The College Preparatory School by Robert Baldwin, Jr. Berkeley, California: Regent Press, 2004.
  2. ^ "How the Schools Stack Up", The Wall Street Journal, trăng tròn November 2007
  3. ^ "America's Best Prep Schools" Forbes, 29 April 2010
  4. ^ "Best Private High Schools In America"
  5. ^ "The Hill Project".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "SCHOOL OPERATIONS DURING COVID-19".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ Christophe G. Courchesne, "'A Suggestion of a Fundamental Nature': Imagining a Legal Education of Solely Electives Taught as Discussions", Rutgers Law Record 29, no. 21 (2005): 26.
  8. ^ "Math"The College Preparatory School", no date.
  9. ^ "Science" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  10. ^ a b "World Languages"The College Preparatory School, no date.
  11. ^ "Academics" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  12. ^ "Drama"The College Preparatory School, no date.
  13. ^ "2009 National Honor Choir Concerts" Archived 26 July 2011 at the Wayback MachineAmerican Choral Directors Association, 7 March 2009.
  14. ^ "Dance"The College Preparatory School, no date.
  15. ^ a b "Home | Student newspaper of the College Preparatory School". The Radar. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Technology" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  17. ^ "One-to-One Student Laptop Program" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  18. ^ "CPS | Schedule". App Store. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  19. ^ "Advising & Counseling" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  20. ^ "Retreat Program" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  21. ^ "Intraterm" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  22. ^ "College Counseling" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  23. ^ "Equity and Belonging" The College Preparatory School, 2021
  24. ^ "Clubs" The College Preparatory School, 2021
  25. ^ "Clubs" The College Preparatory School, 2021
  26. ^ "2020 TOC PF Bids".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "Tournament of Champions - 2016".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  28. ^ "National Winners"National Forensic League Rostrum, September 2004.
  29. ^ "2014 Western Novice & JV National Championship"
  30. ^ "Copeland Award for Top First Round At-Large Team"National Debate Tournament – American Forensic Association, no date.
  31. ^ "State Tournament"California High School Speech Association"
  32. ^ a b "Pine Crest, Glenbrook North in California Round Robin Exhibition Round"Victory Briefs Daily, 21 February 2007.
  33. ^ "Julia Burke Foundation". Julia Burke Foundation. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
  34. ^ a b "Athletics", The College Preparatory School, no date.
  35. ^ "Strategic Plan" The College Preparatory School, no date.
  36. ^ The College Preparatory School: Tuitions and Fees
  37. ^ "Prep at a Glance"
  38. ^ "Kat Foster"[dead link] Superior Pics, no date.
  39. ^ "David M. Marchick" The Carlyle Group, no date.
  40. ^ "Carlye Group Names David Marchick Global Head Regulatory Affairs" Fierce Finance, 26 September 2007
  41. ^ "Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development"
  42. ^ "Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz leaves for start-up" Los Angeles Times, 3 October 2008
  43. ^ "With Smartphones, Cher Wang Made Her Own Fortune" New York Times, 26 October 2008.
  44. ^ "Claire Stapleton". The College Preparatory School. Retrieved 16 April 2023.

External links[edit]

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