Prep at a Glance

Mary Harley Jenks and Ruth Willis founded The College Preparatory School in 1960, an independent co-educational day school for grades 9-12 in Oakland, California. 
Our kind, creative, diverse, and joyful community engages, supports, and inspires academically curious young people.

at a glance

List of 6 items.

  • Our Community

    Our Students
    Every year our reputation for high standards of scholarship and character—and our culture of warm acceptance—attracts motivated students from all over the Bay Area. Our student body reflects broad racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds as well as diversity of interests and talents.

    In the 2016-17 school year, 52% of the students are female and 48% male; 58% are students of color. Average academic class size is 14 and the average entering class size is 90. Although most students begin their time at College Prep in the 9th grade, we usually welcome a small number of new sophomores and juniors. Our students come from a diverse group of middle schools: Independent (64%), Public (25%), Parochial (9%), and Home Schooled (1%).

    College Prep draws students from communities throughout the region:
    • 35% from Oakland/Piedmont
    • 28% from Contra Costa County (Central)
    • 24% from Berkeley and cities north of Berkeley
    • 10% from Alameda and cities south of Oakland
    • 2% from San Francisco
    • 1% from Marin County 
    Our Faculty
    55 Faculty & 25 Staff
    College Prep faculty members engage in focused learning interactions with every student. They have earned outstanding reputations for mastery of their subjects and for gifted teaching in the classroom. Of our 55 faculty members, 81% hold advanced degrees.

    Our Campus
    Our 5-acre campus has 15 buildings tucked into a small valley that blends with the Northern California landscape of native plants and eucalyptus trees.
  • Mission & Philosophy

    Our Mission

    At College Prep we believe in the foundational importance of scholarship, the value of dialogue, and the need for academically curious young people to belong to a kind, creative, diverse, and joyful community. We challenge our students to engage deeply in learning, appreciate one another, and grow into adults who are intellectually adventurous, ethically sure-footed, and generous of heart and spirit.

    Our Philosophy

    Guided by Mens Conscia Recti, “a mind aware of what is right,” College Prep develops each student's strengths and capacities through an education based on ten core beliefs.
    1. We value the individuality of our community members and our egalitarian school culture.
    2. We believe that high expectations, kindled curiosity, and dedicated effort encourage students to discern excellence and strive to do their best.
    3. We affirm that deep learning requires patience, creativity, reflection, and practice.
    4. We cultivate an awareness of self and others that is rooted in respect and empathy and emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for one’s impact and actions.
    5. We work in a collaborative environment that gives young people opportunities to take risks, express themselves, and appreciate the perspectives and gifts of others.
    6. We embrace the variety of backgrounds and life experiences within our community and recognize that the rich expression of diversity is essential to a meaningful education.
    7. We integrate work and play, helping students recognize the elements of a balanced life.
    8. We foster an understanding of interdependence and stewardship that starts with care for our open-air Oakland campus and extends to our greater community.
    9. We prepare students to make a positive difference, encouraging engagement in a full array of school activities, and service and learning opportunities in the broader world.
    10. We dedicate ourselves, as teachers and mentors, to our own ongoing development, modeling commitment to learning and growth.
  • Campus Life

    The school day begins at 8:05 am and ends at 3:15 pm on most days.
    Our campus located less than a mile from Rockridge BART station, and we offer shuttle service between Rockridge Station and campus before and after school.

    Our 1:1 Laptop Program equips all students with MacBook Pros to enable seamless cooperation on projects, facilitate communication between teachers and students, and ensure school-provided technical support.

    College Prep athletic teams compete in the Bay Counties League East. We offer cross-country (boys and girls), soccer (boys), tennis (girls), and volleyball (girls) in the fall season. Basketball is offered during the winter season (boys and girls). In the spring season, we offer baseball (boys), golf (coed), soccer (girls), softball (girls), swimming (boys and girls), tennis (boys), track and field (boys and girls), and volleyball (boys). Go Cougars!

    Performing arts offerings include drama productions, musicals, art exhibits, music concerts, dance shows, music tour, and Cabaret Night.

    Students play an active role in the leadership of the school, serving alongside faculty members on the Judicial Committee, the Curriculum Committee, and the Green Council. Our Student Council includes representatives from each grade level.

    Each spring our weeklong Intraterm program provides students with opportunities for experiential learning beyond the regular curriculum. Students choose from more than 40 diverse offerings, including classes on campus, around the Bay Area, and even around the world.

    In 2013, College Prep’s Debate Team was a “Schools of Excellence” winner at the National Forensics League National Tournament, awarded to the top 20 teams in the nation.

    College Prep has a long history of community service including partnerships with the Berkeley Men’s and Women’s Shelters, Chabot Elementary School, Chaparall House, Playworks, and our own Partners Program, which has been recognized by the Educational Policy Institute as a model pre-college outreach program.

    Additional activities include retreats, student publications, multicultural events, Spirit Week, and dances.
  • SAT/AP/National Merit

    Test scores are only part of how we know our students succeed, but they tell an important story.

    Class of 2016 SAT Reasoning Test: 737 critical reading, 749 math, and 746 writing

    Advanced Placement Exams completed in 2016: 302 exams in 18 different subjects with 91% of the scores fours or fives.

    Class of 2016 National Merit Recognition: 59% (compared to 5% of students nationally).

    College Prep has been recognized as one of the top 20 independent schools by Forbes and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
  • College Matriculation

    Colleges and universities know our graduates to be intellectually curious and kind-hearted, collaborative individuals. College Prep sends 100% of its graduates to attend four-year institutions.

    Colleges that have matriculated five or more College Prep graduates over the last five years:
    • Swarthmore College, 20 
    • Tufts University, 17
    • Carleton College, 15
    • Cornell University, 14
    • Williams College, 14
    • Barnard College, 13
    • University of Chicago, 13
    • Brown University, 12
    • Georgetown University, 12
    • Harvard University, 12
    • Stanford University, 12
    • UC Berkeley, 11
    • Washington University in St. Louis, 11
    • Lewis & Clark College, 10
    • New York University, 10
    • University of Pennsylvania, 10
    • Wesleyan University, 10
    • Amherst College, 9
    • Oberlin College, 8
    • Case Western Reserve University, 7
    • Columbia University, 7
    • Haverford College, 7
    • Yale, 7
    • Boston University, 6
    • Duke University, 6 
    • Macalester College, 6
    • UCLA, 6 
    • UC Santa Barbara, 6
    • Bowdoin College, 5
    • John Hopkins University, 5
    • Middlebury College, 5
    • Occidental College, 5
    • Rice University, 5
    • Scripps College, 5
    • Wellesley College, 5
  • Non-Discriminatory Policy

    NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATORY POLICY: The College Preparatory School admits students of any race, national and ethnic origin, creed, physical ability, economic status, gender identity, or sexual orientation to enjoy all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally made available to students at the school. The school applies all legal non-discrimination standards to school-administered programs, administrative practices, and in support of all members of the community.

List of 2 members.

The College Preparatory School

mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right
Photo Credit: Dan Battle, Mark Compton, Bosky Frederick, Polly Lockman, Richard Wheeler, and Jonathan Zucker.