Merit Academy

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Merit College Preparatory Academy
1440 W Center St
Springville, Utah
Coordinates 40°10′03″N 111°38′09″W / 40.16750°N 111.63583°W / 40.16750; -111.63583Coordinates: 40°10′03″N 111°38′09″W / 40.16750°N 111.63583°W / 40.16750; -111.63583
Type Public, Charter
Director Kimberly Mitchell
Grades 7–12
Enrollment < 600
Color(s)              Navy, Maroon, Silver

Merit College Preparatory Academy (MCPA) is a public chartered high school serving grades 7–12. It is located in Springville, Utah and opened in 2008. The school and its curriculum have been created around a highly focused mission devoted to college preparation, a sense of community awareness and a learning process that engages students within real-world knowledge and applications.


The school building is a 63,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) ADA-compliant facility on approximately 12 acres (49,000 m2). The facility boasts innovative classrooms, foreign language labs, a student store, art, dance, & music rooms, a full-sized kitchen & cafeteria, a separate gymnasium, and indoor & outdoor sports facilities. Through classroom instruction and through a full array of extra-curricular activities, students at Merit enjoy the ultimate high school experience.

Student growth[edit]

At MCPA, students are challenged to grow through personal commitment to a rigorous academic environment. Furthermore, through community involvement curriculum, students are given opportunities to develop a sense of social and civic responsibility and leadership. In addition, Merit Academy empowers students with a consistent focus on the organization and study skills necessary for high school and college success. In short, MCPA is dedicated to endowing all students with the knowledge and skills required to excel in higher education and with the understanding essential for civic and social responsibility.

Educational models[edit]

The education at Merit Academy is based on an innovative model of university-style learning and assessment. They incorporate the best of technology to enhance subject presentation and address various learning styles in each classroom. The curriculum follows the state core, but it enhances it through project-based learning that allows interactive investigation, problem-solving and engagement, contextualizing all core knowledge.

Individualized learning[edit]

One example of innovative university model can be seen in the design of core subject classrooms. Every core class will have a licensed teacher and two assistants specialized in the area of instruction. Core classrooms are especially large to accommodate 45 students and are regularly divided and closed-off into 3 smaller classrooms of 15 students for instruction and practical implementation of the subject matter, so that all of the projects, labs and work of the state core have a 15:1 student-teacher ratio.

Instructional Focus Tracks[edit]

Another innovation involves Instructional Focus Tracks (IFTs) to allow students, starting in the 10th grade, to specialize their high school experience. Students can take 6.5 credits, of the total 27 credits they need to graduate, as intensive focused study in the following areas:

  • Concurrent Enrollment (College Credit)
  • Business
  • Science & Engineering
  • Science & Math
  • Computers & Technology
  • English & Humanities
  • Foreign Languages
  • Fine Arts
  • General Studies
  • Individualized Focus

These IFTs allow students to individualize their education according to their interests, while providing learning mastery through hands-on, real-world experience. Student taking courses in the Business IFT, for example, will actually start and run their own businesses either online or at the student store, under the direction of Merit’s business IFT faculty and volunteer professionals from the community. Likewise a student in the Computers & Technology IFT might build a service robot in the Robotics course, or work on a web site development team that produces a site for a real company, and a student in the Fine Arts IFT might create a composition or short play staged and performed in the theater.