Private Education: A World of Possibilities!
Have you ever wondered why students in private schools seem to thrive?
When students and educators are empowered to work together outside of the standardized systems that are in place in public schools a world of new opportunities becomes possible. Some of the advantages include smaller class sizes, teachers who are empowered by academic freedom, and learning that can go on through the entire school year. Students in public schools spend about 1/3 of their calendar year directly preparing for and administrating statewide assessment tests.
When this form of assessment is removed from your child’s education, their learning environment changes dramatically. Education becomes less stressful because students can focus on subjects that become the building blocks for higher education. They are not required to balance a variety of learning objectives that will have no bearing on college admissions or on their career pathways. Because they are given more time and attention, stress levels go down.
TCA’s Intermediate Prep Program focuses on three basic principles:
1). College Readiness
2). Exploration and Discovery
3). Authentic Learning Experiences & Assessments
Although the academic components of our curriculum align to or exceed the Texas TEKS and state standards, we have replaced the focus on state testing with the three principles listed above. Our prep program guides students through a curriculum that will prepare them to enter college the first semester of their high school year. Our focus on self-discovery and enrichment will empower them to select the guided pathways that work best for them as they begin their dual credit college experience.
Our Approach to Online Education
We are bringing a unique approach to online learning that is different from any of the models that are currently in place.
TCA is a lab school that is being designed by highly experienced and qualified educators. We have seen results in both brick and mortar classrooms and we have a demonstrated track record in student success and retention in online education. We know that there are tried and true techniques that have demonstrated effectiveness at reaching students in the middle school years. Our classes are interactive, engaging, and designed to harness the energy and sense of wonder that is present in early adolescence.
Our curriculum is organized into three basic modules of instruction. Each module integrates components of CORE education classes and applied learning opportunities. As students work through our program, they are not merely making observations and mastering online workbooks. Our instructional team uses high engagement strategies to equip our students to authentically apply what they are learning. This builds the skills in critical thinking and communication that colleges are looking for. It also restores a sense of wonder and inquiry that motivates middle school students to become agents of their own learning experience.
The TCA Intermediate Prep Modules (MODS) are described below.
College Readiness in the Middle School Years
Our curriculum and instructional strategies are designed to prepare learners with the skills that they will need to thrive in college and career settings.
Dual enrollment only becomes a solid opportunity when students are ready to function like college learners. Colleges expect their learners to be successful in communication, critical thinking, quantitative reasoning (applied mathematics), teamwork, personal and social responsibility.
Most learners do not begin to work on these skills until their junior year or later in high school and only after they have completed all of their high school state assessments. We offer a very efficient and streamlined approach that allows learners to grow at their own pace, get a fresh start or advance ahead in areas of strength.
TCA has replaced the focus on state testing with the standard placement test that colleges use to enroll students in classes. Known as the TSI, this test is skills-based and does not require the intense preparation that is common with state-mandated assessments like the STARR/EOC test. We spend the rest of the time that this gives us, to work with our students on college readiness skills.
We do not want our learners to simply be admitted to college, we want them to successfully graduate from TCA with a demonstrated track record of college success.
We offer three college-prep cohorts that serve the needs of a variety of learners. Placement in cohorts is determined individually for each student based upon their age, current academic strengths, and their present level of development. We will work with you to determine which cohort is best for your learner.
Prep 1: – This cohort is for students who are 11-14 years old and who have completed math and writing courses at what would typically be at least a 5th – 7th grade levels. Learners in this cohort plan to spend two years preparing to engage in college-level pathways. These learners are also a bit younger. Therefore, a greater emphasis is placed on allowing them to spend some time exploring their interests and passions so that they will be prepared to select an appropriate pathway when it comes time to begin the work in the Academy. We also emphasize self-directed learning and independent study skills in both the Prep 1 and Prep 2 modules with the goal of empowering our learners to navigate their own educational experiences.
Prep 2: This cohort is for students who are 12-15 years of age. These students are ready to take Pre-Algebra and are able to express themselves in well-constructed sentences and paragraphs. Most students who begin this program will have completed coursework at the 6th -8th grade levels or they are alumni of our Prep 1 program.
Advanced Prep: This program is for students who are older and who may have more advanced skills. The program combines elements of both Prep and Prep 2 modules. Some students in this cohort will have completed some high school credits. Advanced Prep Math combines Pre-Algebra and Algebra I coursework. Advanced prep students are generally 13-16 years of age and they will have generally have completed coursework at the 8th-10th grade level.
Because our courses are modularized some students may take advanced coursework in areas of their strength. When students complete our Prep 2 or our Advanced Prep programs, they are ready to begin coursework at the Collegiate Academy.
Tuition for Intermediate Prep complete program: $4990.00 for the full academic year.
Science | Technology | Engineering | Mathematics
Our STEM Modules integrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum. Our math and science instructors work in collaboration. Students attend live instruction periods four times per week with their instructors. Live sessions include direct instruction, teacher led guided practice in small teams of students. Outside of class, students should expect to copmlete about 45 minutes of homework which will include independepdent practice, skill review, and/or flipped assignments that are designed to prepare them for the next live class meeting. Our instructors hold open office hours in the afternnons to assist students with any questions or concerns that they may have.
Problem Based Learning: Students will also work together in teams each term. Each STEM Module will include one Progject Based Learning activity each trimester. . These activites are designed by the STEM team of teachersto assist our students in applying what they are learning in class to real world problems. Students are given class time to work together in teams. However, if they want more time to work together they can reserve a time in our Virutal Student Lounge where they are able to communicate and collaborate. Our learning facilitators operate these sessions throughout the week at times when classes are not in session.
Communication | Language Arts | Social Sciences
Students of this era are already being required to communicate on a global scale. Our CLASS Mods are designed to prepare students to become competent communicators in a world where communication is constantly changing. Our instructional team works with students as they discover their unique voice, learn to articulate their thoughts in both written and spoken word while exploring the world around them. The instruction in CLASS Mods is holistic. For example, when students are studying an era in history they are simultaneously discovering the literature that was written in that time period.
The overall structure for CLASS Mods mirrors the structure present in STEM Mods. There are four live sessions per week in which direct instruction and guided practice occur. Students complete about 45 minutes of independent practice per live class session during open office hours in the afternoons. And, each trimester they will work in teams to complete a Problem Based Learning project which allows them to apply what they are learning to authentic real-world problems.
STEM and CLASS modules will alternate PBL projects in either the first or second half of the trimester so that students are working on one team at a time.
(Discovery – Awareness – Readiness – Exploration)
Our DARE program is built upon self-directed learning and discovery. One of the advantages that all TCA students enjoy about our school is that they are given back the extra time (about 40% more than public school students have) beyond what we provide in our CORE curriculum, to explore their own interests.
We believe that the middle school years should be a time of exploration, awareness, and discovery. We can not expect students to choose the pathways they want to walk down in high school and college if they don’t know who they are and what they want to do.
D.A.R.E. mods utilize self-directed learning and are led by facilitators that assist students in various means of exploration including independent study, small mentorship groups, and a master-apprentice model for students who want to specialize in their interests. Some of the explorations our intermediate students make will be very brief; others will be interests that they may choose to focus on throughout their time with us.
DARE modules are individualized. While many are tied to a number of course electives, these modules use an awards system where students earn medals (as they might in gaming or scouting programs). Medals count towards graduation requirements at TCA. Elite medals are recognized by distinguished designations on TCA transcripts and diplomas and they are also signified in graduation attire.
TCA students use DARE experiences to build portfolios over time that will be useful for college transfer, professional auditions, and employment opportunities.
Connect With Us:
Learn More About TCA Programs:
3816 56th St.
Lubbock, TX 79413
Permian Basin Office
1405 College Ave.
Midland, TX 79701