Preparatory schools, or college prep schools, are academic institutions designed to prepare high school students for college.

Preparatory schools in the US fall under one of the three types: public, private, and charter. It's also worth noting that these three types are further classified as secular (non-religious), religious (tuition-based), or parochial (religion-funded - typically, Christianity).

What is a Preparatory School?

While most college prep schools are private - which typically requires students to meet academic-criteria to gain admittance - there is a small percentage that employs open enrollment. This diversity of options means that any student, whether private or publically educated, has many college preparatory options to choose from. However, according to the most recent statistics, only 9% of private high school students and less than 1% of public high school students enroll in a preparatory school.

While the most reputable of these higher learning academic institutes provide specialized curricula designed to prepare motivated students for the much more challenging college courses, a growing number of "college prep" schools use the title as a promotional tool. The latter use the title of "preparatory" school without providing any educational field of study that would be considered discernible from a traditional high school.

Preparatory School vs. Public School

Preparatory School vs. Public School

Public schools are state-regulated and are required by law to adhere to said region's strict guidelines and assessment procedures. This type of government regulation ensures every child enrolled in the public school system is given a proper and well-balanced education.

However, when it comes to private schools (which includes the vast majority of preparatory schools), the school in question can handpick its curriculum and assessment model. Interestingly, this freedom of choice in picking its academic standards can either legitimize or discredit a prep school's ability to prepare students for secondary learning effectively.

The Makana Way

Makana is Hawaiian, and it means "gift." The gift we offer to our students and families is hope. We are here to help the teen who has established the identity of "hopeless" or "unruly," as well as the parent, feeling discouragement and fear for the future. Our program is for families of teenage boys and girls, ages 14-17, who are struggling with inadequate academics, problematic relationships, persistent substance use, or malicious behaviors as a result of failing mental health.

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