By Melanie Morales
The Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy (HTPA) is a high school started in 2002 and is located by the football field on the Los Angeles Harbor College campus. It is recognized as a middle college which provides the opportunity for students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree. “We have about 67 percent of students who not only get a high school diploma but also their AA,” Jan Murata, the principal said. “Last year we had two students that was qualified for four AA’s.”
In the past, the high school campus consisted of nine small bungalows for their class rooms. Carina Rodriguez, the school’s student president said, “I was in the old bungalows from 9th to 11th grade and I liked the unity of it. Everyone was forced to be close to each other because it was very limited space.” The school recently opened a new two story building on August 14. It includes: 14 classrooms, a multimedia center, two science labs, and a multipurpose room. “I think we will grow as far as technology and science,” said Murata.
Since the building has provided more space, teachers do not have to share classrooms anymore. “In the new campus I like that we have lockers, we never had any before. So playing soccer I would always have to hold my gym bag and my backpack. We also have a locker room now, we used to have to go to the college.” Rodriguez said.
As for who can apply, Principle Murata states, “Our middle college always looks for 3 things: Underserved minorit[ies], those that are disadvantage, and the 1st generation to go to college. We try to make sure that those are the students that we accept first.”
After applying each student is subject to an interview. The interview is usually one staff member and three students, who are the ones asking the questions. ‘I like my fellow students. I like that we are very different because we are so small. We aren’t as diverse as other schools. Predominantly we are more hispanic and asian which are usually the minority but in our school the minorities are the majority,” said Rodriguez.
The school does it’s best to shape strongly educated students. The senior class who has a small community of 118 students, is required to take four classes at the highschool and take college classes for a gpa. ”This college has helped my goals because I get my prerequisites out of the way. It has also helped me save time and money.” said Rodriguez. With dual enrollment, the classes students take at college give them credits for high school graduation.
For more information contact the Principal, Jan Murata at 310 834 3932.: 310-834-3932: 310-834-3932