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.

our school

List of 6 items.

  • Our Community

    Our Students
    Our student body reflects broad racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, in addition to possessing a diversity of interests and talents.

    In the 2021-2022 school year, we have 370 students; 65% self-identify as students of color. Our average academic class size has 14 students, and each grade has approximately 92 students. Although most College Prep students enter in the ninth grade, we typically welcome a small number of new sophomores and juniors. Our students come from a diverse group of over 100 schools: independent (70%), public (23%), parochial (7%).

    Nestled within walking distance to Rockridge BART Station, College Prep draws students from around San Francisco Bay Area region:
    • 61% from Alameda County
    • 20% from Central/South Contra Costa Counties
    • 10% from San Francisco 
    •   6% from Western Contra Costa West County
    •   3% from Marin and Other Counties
    Our Faculty
    85 Faculty & 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 faculty members, 83% hold advanced degrees.
    Our Campus
    Located in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood, our 5-acre campus blends in with the native plants and eucalyptus trees typical of the Oakland Hills landscape. College Prep lies in a small verdant valley and is dotted with 15 buildings.
  • 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 daily schedule is built using a two-week cycle: four class meetings are held for 45 minutes and the remaining three for 75 minutes. Classes are grouped as part of either a morning or an afternoon rotation.
    Our campus easily reached using public transportation as we are located less than a mile from Oakland’s Rockridge BART station. We offer shuttle service between Rockridge Station and campus before and after school.

    College Prep’s 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.

    Our students have a variety of school-sponsored extracurricular activities to choose from including athletics, performing arts, leadership, debate, community service and service learning, student-run publications, and more.
  • SAT/AP/National Merit

    Test scores are only part of how we know our students succeed, but they tell an important story:
    • Class of 2021 average SAT Reasoning Test scores: 727 (evidence-based reading and writing), 731 (math)
    • Class of 2021average  ACT Composite score: 34
    • Class of 2021 National Merit Recognition: 36% (compared to approximately 5% of students nationwide)
    College Prep has been recognized as one of the top 20 independent schools in the nation by Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and among others.
  • College Matriculation

    Colleges and universities know our graduates to be intellectually curious and kind-hearted, collaborative individuals. 

    Colleges that have matriculated four or more College Prep graduates over the last five years:
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  • 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.
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mens conscia recti

a mind aware of what is right