Houston Preparatory Academy
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The Students
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In its effort to close the preparation, achievement and digital gaps and to facilitate challenging educational opportunities for under-served, children with academic potential who are members of low-income families  of the Fifth Ward, Denver Harbor, Kashmere Gardens and Spring Branch communities of Houston, Texas, HPA provides academic and social skills enhancement through “U-Prep,” a community- and university-based educational thrust that bridges the disciplines of education and social work to rigorously promote academic preparation, social skills development and self-determination in students and their families.

U-Prep NortheastDuring the summers of 1998 through 2002, U-Prep focused totally on Fifth Ward, Denver Harbor, and Kashmere Gardens (Northeast Houston postal Zip Codes 77020 and 77026. Click here for map.). From these communities, U-Prep  admitted a new student cohort group (averaging 23.6 students) of rising sixth and seventh graders. The five-year composite U-Prep student body consists of 33 (28%) African-American males, 18 (15%) Latino-American males, 43 (36%) African-American females and 24 (20%) Latina-American females for a total of 118 participants - 64.4% (76) African-American and 35.6% (42) Latino-American. The composition by gender is 43% male (51) and 57% female (67).

U-Prep Spring BranchIn 2003, U-Prep admitted another its 6th cohort (12 students) from northeast Houston and entered into an agreement in Spring Branch (Click here for map) with the Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) to implement the U-Prep model in partnership with the district's Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness  for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR-UP) initiative, a federally funded college prep program. The cohort group (labeled Cohort 6a) from SBISD was comprised of 22 students.

Over its six years of operation, U-Prep has served 152 different students.
The ages of all U-Prep students over six-years has ranged from 10 to 15 years old. The grades of the students ranged from 5th through 10th grades.

U-Prep Students 1998-2003


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Red Dot   The U-Prep data was presented in Berger, Helen M. (2003, May (Unpublished)). Attitude and achievement: The U-Prep experience. Teachers College, Columbia University and has been updated with Summer 2003 information.
Note: All research, data and analyses are circulated to encourage discussion and comment. Any citation and use of these works should take into account their provisional character. The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to any program supporters or funders.

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