Located in St Paul, close to the state fairgrounds, Hmong College Preparatory Academy (HCPA) currently serves approximately 700 students. 95% of the student body lives in poverty. As its name implies, most students at HCPA are Hmong, attracted to the rich infusion of both Hmong and American culture, and a rigorous college preparatory environment where students can thrive while being true to their cultural heritage.
HCPA opened its doors in 2004 and seeks to ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach or exceed proficiency on challenging state academic achievement standards and state academic assessments.
This year marked the fourth consecutive year that HCPA achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). “Making AYP for four consecutive years is a testament to the dedication of HCPA students & their families, teachers and staff,” stated Superintendent Dr. Christianna Hang. “Our school has academically come a long way in its eight year history. I couldn’t be more proud of this achievement.”
The following factors have driven this academic success:
- Participation in the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP)
- Utilizing the NWEA MAP tests to identify student learning gaps
- Having a 1:1 student to computer ratio
- After school, weekend and summer programs such as homework help & tutoring
In addition to academic success, HCPA focuses students on life after graduation. Students learn about themselves, their interests and strengths in 9th grade. They explore career paths and visit area colleges the next year. By 11th grade, students explore college options and admissions.
“Our students begin to delve into the college selection process in their junior year. Our curriculum has each student investigate researching a school to learn the differences between a 2-year versus a 4-year program,” stated Jane Craig, HCPA C3 Curriculum Program Coordinator. “Students also have the opportunity to look closer at the other components of the college experience—housing, costs, scheduling, activities to make good decisions that match their career interests.” By the Junior and senior year, students had already completed the exploration of college choices and admissions process.
HCPA has a strong financial position, having been awarded the Department of Education Finance Awards seven times. HCPA’s 48% fund balance has helped it weather the 40% holdback crisis well.