University Preparatory Academy

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This article is about a school in San Jose, California. For the Oakland school, see University Preparatory Charter Academy. For the Seattle school, see University Prep.
University Preparatory Academy
University Preparatory Academy Logo.png
2315 Canoas Garden Avenue
Silicon Valley
San Jose, California, Santa Clara 95125
 United States
Coordinates 37°17′30″N 121°52′29″W / 37.2916°N 121.8746°W / 37.2916; -121.8746Coordinates: 37°17′30″N 121°52′29″W / 37.2916°N 121.8746°W / 37.2916; -121.8746
School type Charter School
Founded 2007
Opened 2007
Founder Daniel Ordaz, Jacklyn Guevara, Dorothy Westerhoff, Kurt Foreman
CEEB code 054245
Grades 7–12
Student to teacher ratio 20:1
Orange and blue
Sports Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field, Cross Country,
(High School Varsity and Middle School)
Mascot Golden Eagles
Accreditation WASC
National ranking 55th
Information (408) 723-1839

UPA, or University Preparatory Academy, is a charter school located in San Jose, California, emphasizing hands-on learning for all ethnicities; its charter was approved by the Santa Clara Board of Trustees. UPA opened in the fall of 2007 as a middle and high school, offering grades 7–12th. Currently about 550 students attend UPA, and the school has a student/teacher ratio of 20:1, above average for Californian schools.

UPA courses frequently make use of technology, and computers and internet access are readily made available to all students for educational purposes.

UPA is located at the Cathedral of Faith church at 2315 Canoas Garden Ave.

In 2016, UPA was ranked the 55th best high school in the nation and the 4th best in California by U.S. News & World Report.


3D rendering of the UPA campus

UPA was founded as University Preparatory Academy in 2007. 2016 marked UPA's fifth graduating senior class. The school has a 100% graduation record, with no seniors being held for any additional years. However, graduation standards are more rigorous than at other high schools, requiring more AP units than is mandated by California laws.

UPA's campus is located near downtown San Jose in the Willow Glen area. It shares its campus with the Cathedral of Faith and a small preschool, and features its own outdoors amphitheatre. It is easily accessible via the Curtner Road station of the VTA light rail, and is within walking distance of two shopping centers.

Available Courses[edit]

Core Classes[edit]


In addition to its regular classes, UPA offers thirteen different Advanced Placement (AP) courses.


University Preparatory Academy boasts a number of clubs, founded and funded mostly by students and widely ranging in theme.

  • Innovation, Design, Engineering and Animation Club (IDEA)
  • Speech and Debate
  • Interact Club 5170 Area 7
  • EcoSquad
  • Green Team
  • GirlUp!
  • International Biology Olympiad
  • Science Olympiad
  • Volleyball Club
  • Art Club
  • Spanish Club (Unidad Poder Academico)
  • Fashion Club
  • BARC( Big-hearted Animal Rescue Club)\
  • DECA
  • Inter-Key Club
  • Design Club


UPA's sports program includes, or will expand to include the following sports. Teams are coached professionally.

  • Coed Varsity Track and Field (Practices are held coed, but competitions are separated)
  • Coed Varsity Cross Country (Practices are held coed, but competitions are separated)
  • Boys Varsity Basketball
  • Girls Varsity Basketball
  • Boys Varsity Volleyball
  • Girls Varsity Volleyball

Theatre Department[edit]

In addition to the drama classes available for middle and high schoolers, each year UPA hosts two drama productions (a fall play and spring musical). Students can audition to perform in these shows, or apply to be on technical crews. Below is a list of all the shows done for the past four school years (Year: Fall Play, Spring Musical). Catherine Dietrich is the current drama and dance teacher who also directs these shows.


University Preparatory Academy frequently has schoolwide events, to celebrate achievements, increase student morale, and display school spirit. Other events, such as the annual college trip help students to succeed academically. Such events include

  • Bake Sales - Bake sales are conducted before school to raise funds for clubs and activities
  • The Annual Jog-a-thon - Students jog laps in the school parking lot to raise funds for the school athletics program
  • School Dances - Many dances are held throughout the year including Homecoming, the Halloween Dance, Spring Dance, and Prom
  • Friday Movie Nights - The entire school is invited to watch a movie of their choice.
  • Drama Productions - Twice yearly, UPA students are recruited to act in or support a play. Typically, the finished products are showcased in fall and spring.
  • Junior College Trip - Once a year, junior students are taken on a trip to Southern California to tour renowned colleges such as California Polytechnic State University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of California, Irvine, and others. Students on this trip learn about the application process and familiarize themselves with college campuses.
  • Annual College Trip - All students grades 7-12 visit a nearby college to ready themselves for graduation from high school and entrance into college. Schools visited include Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and University of California, Santa Cruz.


UPA Alumni have been accepted and enrolled in prestigious institutions including Stanford University, all ten University of California campuses, Ivy League campuses, and multiple California State University campuses.


  • Daniel Ordaz — Education Consultant, Retired Assistant Superintendent of East Side Union High School District
  • Jacklyn Guevara — Retired Executive Director of East Side Union High School District
  • Dorothy Westerhoff — Education Consultant, Retired Educator/School Administrator of[East Side Union High School District
  • Kurt Foreman — Director of Operations for Cathedral of Faith


External links[edit]