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Frequently Asked Questions

USPA integrates and leverages our students’ passion for athletics into the learning environment.  Our elective topics incorporate our students’ passions outside the classroom. Students also collaborate with other USPA student-athletes throughout the country on challenge based learning projects that incorporate relevant learning experiences in the learning process and require our students to apply what they are learning in their classroom to solve critical issues.

Each student is assigned a USPA Learning Coach who handles all of our student and family needs and plays an integral part of each USPA student’s success. Each student has the ability to customize their own learning schedule and to spread each academic year over 12 months. This allows them to take advantage of different offerings in the classroom and athletic opportunities to truly individualize their learning experience.

USPA is a college preparatory academic institution that prepares students for acceptance to their college/university of choice. We provide a customized, rigorous academic environment that meets the demands of complex competition schedule. We provide a completely individualized curriculum and customized schedule that supports the academic and athletic goals of our scholar-athletes.
One. We don’t lump students together because their academic needs are similar. We absolutely mean it when we tell families that each student’s experience is individualized and the academic calendar can be customized to meet the athletic demands for each student.

Just because the student has an individualized schedule, does not mean they work alone. Our students are required to collaborate with other USPA students on Challenge Based Learning projects supervised by our Learning Coaches. These are ideas and challenges that students are already interested in. They brainstorm a strategy for a solution and act in an effort to solve that challenge. It’s one more way we create relevant learning experiences and community for our students to apply what they know in order to solve problems. The best part is that they can take their project with them if they need to travel and still collect data or interview an industry expert.

Yes.  Please see our website for details about the application process.  You may enroll at any time during the year.  To inquire about applications please email admissions@gouspa.org.
Yes. USPA offers a full college counseling program. We continue to build relationships with various college coaches and admission offices throughout the United States. We are privileged to have the MIT head sailing coach as a member of our founding advisory council.
USPA learning coaches begin working with their students during orientation to identify the optimal time to complete their school work, what is their typical training schedule, and what type of physical environment do they learn best in.  Then, working with each family, we suggest a time of study that integrates each of those elements.  We recommend at least 4-5 hours of study per day but due to the nature of our student’s activity understand that this may increase or decrease on any given day. In addition to school work, each student has academic meetings with their learning coach throughout the year to discuss academic progress, training schedules, and study skills.
Yes, they focus on teaching each of their students specific skills around organization, routines, and managing their own learning.  It all begins during orientation with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) discussion and then each week our learning coaches develop plans to integrate different learning opportunities for each of their students.
USPA uses 3 different support features in the learning environment.  One feature is on-demand tutoring where any student can push a button on the screen, choose the subject, and enter into a live chat and interactive whiteboard session with a tutor.
This starts during the enrollment process when our new student athletes meet their learning coach for the first time.  In those initial orientation meetings, there are multiple discussions about learning styles and organization all developed to allow our students to become self directed learners within the USPA community.  We believe that it’s a continual process of relationship building and support.  We also offer a Online Learning and Digital Citizenship elective for those who are interested.
Simply stated.  Each individual in the USPA community is part of a community that are passionate about academics while also succeeding in their given sport.  Often students that are high performance athletes develop stronger bonds with the their teammates from other areas or fellow competitors who they interact with during competition.  We believe that these digital natives are comfortable and adept at connecting with each other digitally (in fact some studies say they are more comfortable in this environment).

As each student is accepted at USPA they are assigned a learning coach who also has other athletes from around the world that make up their team.  The team meets as a group discussing academic strategies, team building, or video-based group roundtable discussions where they share stories about athletic success.   Each of our students can literally drop into a learning coaches office and meet with other students the same way that we used to meet after school to work on projects in the old brick and mortar models of education.  We have come to love our team meetings and witnessing our students connecting with others from throughout the world.

The schedule is developed by the student athletes and their learning coach during student orientation.  We consider training schedules, academic strategies, and overall personal goals for each of our students.  The typical schedule is three times per week and times vary between 15 minutes to over an hour depending on subject matter being discussed.
No, we recognize that our student needs vary depending on training schedules and intensity over the course of the year.  Therefore, we remain “open” 365 days a year.  For our athletes and their families this allows the ultimate level of flexibility to successfully integrate their training calendar into their academic calendar.

For example, a winter athlete may train from November through March, and then begins his/her school year April 1 and finishes up with courses in December as they begin training on a more intense schedule.  However, we may have another athlete who works throughout their training, and designs a set of personal goals that gives them up to 12 months to finish their classes versus a compressed 7 or 8 month schedule.  At USPA, we emphasize mastery over seat time.

Yes, we strongly believe that you shouldn’t be limited in exploring your interests as a student because you are a high performing athlete.  Students are encouraged to explore our extensive elective offerings versus in our course catalogs.
Students all take a series of core courses but their path through the courses may vary depending on their middle school mathematics preparation and which global languages they are interested in.  A copy of the USPA curriculum map is below.

Curriculum Map

USPA students who require a Physical Education credit for college admission can earn one credit per year on their transcripts upon receiving a letter from their coach indicating that they participating in regular training for a minimum of 6 months of a calendar year.
Physical Education credits (up to one per year) earned at another institution can also listed on your USPA transcript.

In both scenarios, Physical Education credits are not included in the calculation of your GPA, nor do they count toward meeting the minimum 20 course graduation requirement. All Physical Education credits are listed as Pass or Fail.

Yes, please refer to our course catalog.
Students are required to complete 20 academic credits to graduate from USPA.
Our academic leadership team works hand in hand with learning coaches throughout the admissions process to make every effort to place an incoming student at the appropriate level across all subjects.  These are ongoing discussions throughout orientation and as the student begins his/her courses.
Yes!  In fact, this is a great way for student athletes who may be beginning a new training regimen or development program in September and want to get a head start on their studies.  It is a great way for students to make the transition to the USPA program during a time when they are in-between training, or in a slower period of their training calendar.  Remember, for those families who travel during the summer for vacations your child can continue working with their computer and a wifi signal if they so choose, but it isn’t required.  At USPA, family comes first and we believe it’s important for adolescents to have downtime throughout the year.
The University of California Office of the President has granted A-G approval for 34 of our online courses.
The A-G requirement, also known as the “Subject Requirement” is a series of 15 college-preparatory courses drawn from the subjects of history/social science, English, math, lab science, a language other than English, the visual and performing arts and the college-preparatory electives that students must complete in order to enroll as freshmen in the University of California (UC). Courses receiving A-G approval include:

Five English language arts classes;
Two science courses, biology and chemistry;
Eight math courses;
Three social studies courses;
Five high school Spanish and French language classes;
Four general elective courses such as economics and geography; and
Seven advanced placement courses.

More information on UC’s A-G requirements is available at ucop.edu.

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