Young Women's College Prep
Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy is an all-girls, college preparatory HISD magnet school with middle and high school divisions. The school was opened with the support of the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, which gave $1 million to fund the initial development of the academy. Young Women’s College Preparatory opened in 2011 with grades 6 and 9, with the other middle and high school grades added incrementally over the subsequent years. In fall 2014, it is welcoming students in grades 6-12 for the first time. The school originally held classes in a temporary facility, formerly the Civic Learning Center, but it has since moved to its permanent campus on Cleburne St.
The magnet program at Young Women’s College Prep focuses on college readiness. As such, all core curriculum classes at the school are either Pre-AP or AP, and all high school students are required to pursue the Distinguished graduation track which is optional in most HISD magnet schools.
Young Women's College Prep also offers a Vanguard Neighborhood program with accelerated academics for Gifted and Talented students.
As a magnet school within HISD, Young Women's College Prep has no religious affiliation. Students’ religious convictions do not factor into admissions, and the curriculum does not include theological material. While there is no institutionalized prayer in the school, there is a daily minute of silence during which students may choose to pray. Additionally, absences due to religious holidays do not count against a student's record, though the student is still responsible for make-up work.
Location and Facilities
Young Women’s College Prep is located on Cleburne St. in the Third Ward, near the Medical Center and the Museum District. The area immediately surrounding the campus is primarily populated by businesses and is bounded on the north and east by the Southwest Freeway and South Freeway. The campus includes three separate buildings.
Young Women's College Prep is a dedicated magnet school, meaning that it has no attendance zone - all prospective students must complete the magnet application process. In order to apply for Young Women’s College Prep, students must complete an online or paper application and send additional materials to the school by mail. These additional materials consist of the previous year’s final report card, the report card from the first grading period of the current year, the student’s STAAR and Stanford scores, and proof of HISD residency. Any student who lives within the HISD zone and who meets a baseline academic and behavioral standard - as determined by the student’s seventh grade scores, grades, and track record - is eligible to apply.
Applications are accepted from early November to mid-December for the subsequent school year, and admitted students are notified by late March. Admission is based on the lottery system. Students who have siblings already attending the school are given priority for up to 25% of the incoming freshman class, but otherwise, all students have an equal chance of admission. Young Women’s College Prep is one of Houston’s most selective magnet high school programs, with a 33.01% acceptance rate.
Students are not required to take an entrance examination to be eligible for admission. While neither interviews nor school visits are required for the admissions process, school tours are available upon request.
Academic Tracks and Curriculum
At Young Women’s College Prep, all academic non-elective classes are either Pre-AP or AP. Some classes at higher levels are also offered as dual credit classes in partnership with local universities.
Students now matriculating will graduate under the new Foundation High School Program. (Students who matriculated in 2013 or before may choose to graduate under this program or the old requirements.) The Foundation High School Program’s basic requirements are as follows: four credits of English, three credits of math, three credits of science, three credits of social studies, one credit of PE, two credits of the same language other than English, one credit of fine arts, and five credits of electives, for a total of 22 credits.
Most students who graduate under the Foundation High School Program will take one or more “endorsements” in addition to the basic curricular requirements. An endorsement is essentially the high school equivalent of a college major. Students who take an endorsement must complete 26 credits, including a fourth credit each of math and science and any additional credits needed to fulfill the endorsement’s curricular requirements.
There are five possible endorsements: STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities, and Multidisciplinary. Young Women's College Prep offers all but Public Services.
To earn an endorsement in STEM, a student must complete a coherent sequence of courses from CTE courses within the STEM cluster, computer science, math, science, or any two of these four.
To earn an endorsement in Business and Industry, a student must complete a coherent sequence of courses from a focus area in CTE, or English electives, or technology applications, or a combination of any of these three.
To earn an endorsement in Arts and Humanities, a student must complete a coherent sequence of courses in social studies, a language other than English, two levels in two languages other than English, ASL, the fine arts, or English electives not counted under Business & Industry.
To earn an endorsement in Multidisciplinary, a student must complete a coherent sequence of four courses related to preparation for entering the workforce; or one advanced course in each of the four core areas; or four AP, IB, or dual credit courses from the core areas, economics, languages other than English, or the fine arts.
A student who qualifies for at least one endorsement also qualifies for the Distinguished Level of Achievement supplementary endorsement, which is a necessary prerequisite for in-state college admission under the top 10% rule. Students may also earn Performance Acknowledgements for noteworthy career-focused or academic achievements, including qualifying scores on AP and IB exams and the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.
Accommodations are available for students with special needs who meet the requirements for admission. If the parents already have documentation about the student’s special needs, the school will need a copy of that documentation. After receiving the documentation, the school will set up an annual ARD meeting that the parents, the student, an administrator, a core subject teacher, a special education teacher or 504 representative, and an HISD advocate will attend to discuss the specific modifications necessary for the student and to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for the student. Every teacher will receive a copy of the modifications for the student after they are set in the ARD meeting.
If the parents want to request modifications for their child, then the special education teacher will give the student’s teachers paperwork to document the student’s behavior and any modifications the teacher uses for the student. After 6 weeks of documentation, the teachers will turn in the paperwork, and the special education teacher or 504 representative will call a meeting similar to an ARD meeting. If the meeting determines that the student needs accommodation, then the school will have documentation of the student’s special needs and will follow the same procedures as above.
At the present time, Young Women’s College Prep offers courses in Spanish. Students in the middle and high school divisions may take foreign language classes, and students in the high school must take at least three to graduate.
Young Women’s College Prep offers instruction in both dance and choir. Students must take at least one credit of fine arts to graduate from the high school division.
Young Women’s College Prep makes laptops available to students for on-campus use.
The school prohibits students from bringing personal electronics other than cell phones onto the campus, and cell phones are to remain turned off in backpacks or lockers from the time the student arrives until 4PM. If a student is caught with a cell phone during school hours, it will be confiscated, and she will be subject to disciplinary action.
The primary extracurricular activity available at Young Women’s College Prep is the Energy Club, which is open to students of all grade levels. This club focuses on a combination of STEM and arts-related activities, including robotics, engineering, 3D design, programming, and eTextiles. The club competes in the Energy City of the Future Competition and SECME Engineering Challenges. Other extracurricular organizations include the National Junior Honor Society and a UIL Academic Team.
Additionally, Young Women’s College Prep places a strong emphasis on service learning, and community service is incorporated into the curriculum. Students are required to complete a grade-specific number of service learning hours per year, ranging from 6 hours for 6th grade students to 25 hours for 12th grade students.
Young Women’s College Prep offers three athletic programs: volleyball, soccer, and basketball. At the present time, soccer and volleyball are open only to middle school students, and basketball is open only to high school students.
Parents who wish to become more involved with their daughter’s education at Young Women’s College Prep may join the Parent-Teacher Organization, which organizes volunteers for various school functions.
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1906 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004
*Many of the HISD schools we profile are among the most selective, popular, and coveted magnet schools in the district. For schools which rank in the top 10 in their level, we have presented the ranking alongside the data.
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