CCPA 2022 Graduate posing with her children and their father for a family photo

Too old for high school, but not too old for a diploma. Here’s how.

Where can young adults turn if they’ve aged out of the public school system without a high school diploma? OCDE’s College and Career Preparatory Academy offers a path to MOVE FORWARD.

Established in 2015, CCPA is a first of its kind in Orange County. It’s a free public charter school that offers a blend of online courses, independent study and small-group instruction specifically for students ages 18 to 25 who have yet to complete their high school graduation requirements.

Many of these students have already entered the workforce, and some have children at home. For most, flexibility is crucial.

Students who enroll at CCPA have the opportunity to create customized schedules while taking advantage of a variety of supports including counselor sessions, remote learning, tutoring and peer activities.

“At CCPA, we want students to succeed and move forward with the next steps in their life, whether that is college, a career or a training program,” Principal Dave Connor said. “This program was developed to help students who’ve lost their way, and we couldn’t be prouder of the nearly 750 students who’ve graduated from the academy.”

Many of CCPA’s incoming students are behind in credits and performed below grade-level at their last school. Yet nearly half of the academy’s graduates go on to attend community college or enroll in a career technical education training program.

In fact, CCPA builds relationships with community colleges, community-based organizations and potential employers to provide students with a robust network of support. One example is a partnership with the California Jobs ChalleNGe. Sponsored by the National Guard, the program provides career technical education training and career readiness skills, which are keys to meaningful employment.

Of course, it’s one thing to talk about how CCPA fills a niche in Orange County. But it’s another to attend the academy’s heartwarming graduation ceremonies. These moments reveal the true impact on students and families who have taken diverse educational journeys, only to discover fresh starts and bright futures.

From the desk of Al Mijares, Ph.D
County Superintendent of Schools

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