College Preparatory Program

We expect 100% of our students to participate in the College Preparatory Program, which will prepare students for the college application process and college entrance exams. We will conduct college visits and offer workshops for parents to support them in the college application process. Our educational program will stress the skills needed to succeed in college, which includes critical thinking and analysis, problem solving, and writing for different audiences and purposes. In addition, in the eleventh and twelfth grades, students will have opportunities to explore careers in order to aid them in the college selection process.

Service Learning

Service learning offers the opportunity for today’s young people and tomorrow’s leaders to learn, while addressing local needs. Hands-on experiences reinforce learning in the classroom, promoting civic responsibility and showing that citizens working together are a powerful source. Colin Powell

Service learning is a teaching method that enriches learning by engaging students in meaningful service to their schools and communities. Young people apply academic skills to solving real-world issues, linking what they learn in the classroom with genuine needs within the community. Service learning is an opportunity for students to learn critical skills through project development, organization, implementation, and reflection.

What will the service learning program look like at CLA?

The Youth Development Coordinator (YDC) will be responsible for developing project opportunities for and with students. The YDC will work with teachers and community organizations to identify service opportunities that match the interests and academic goals of students. The YDC will also maintain a database of grant opportunities for service projects and work with the Guidance Counselor to create a similar database for college grants and scholarships.

In the ninth grade, students will engage in school-based service projects as they develop research skills, public speaking, and writing skills. They will have opportunities for supervised off-site service.

In the tenth grade, students will work in teams to identify a community need, design a plan of action, and propose it to the Community Advisory Board. If approved, each team will work with the YDC to begin the set-up for their approved plan. Career explorations will begin at this grade.

In the eleventh grade, students will implement their approved plans, attaining funding through grant-writing and community fund-raising. The grant-writing process will support them as they apply for college scholarship grants in twelfth grade. Students will also have opportunities to explore different careers as they begin to prepare for the college application process.

In twelfth grade, students will participate in internships, exploring more deeply a career path that is of interest to them in preparation for college.


Our goal is to prepare our students for college. In order to achieve this goal, we will emphasize critical analysis and evaluation, synthesis of information, and the ability to read and write different styles for different purposes. To help our students gain proficiency in these areas, we will use service learning and problem based learning to give them opportunities to reinforce and extend their learning within the context of real world situations. These skills will prepare our students for the Regents and college entrance exams.

Problem-based learning is a natural outgrowth of service learning. In designing curriculum that incorporates this approach, teachers will select and structure problems so that they address both the important content objectives of the curriculum and real-world issues. In solving the problems presented, students will develop creative thinking, make connections across the disciplines, and use questioning as a clarifying tool. Teachers will facilitate this learning by challenging, questioning, and stimulating students in their thinking and problem solving process. Technology is an integral component of this process, used for communication, informational access, research, data analysis, and publishing.

To teach skills and strategies in all content areas, we will employ the workshop model of instruction, which allows teachers to “show” what they teach and provide the supports that students need to learn concepts. In order to support these types of learning tasks, longer blocks of time are scheduled to allow teachers to implement instructional activities that encourage greater depths of learning and understanding. By the time they graduate, students will be prepared to succeed in college.