Southwest Preparatory School is a cutting-edge charter school that will prepare interested students for a dynamic career in rapidly evolving professions such as Video Game Design, Graphic Design, A/V Production, Sports Entertainment Marketing and Law Enforcement. The variety of career and technologically oriented programs will work to give high school students ways to graduate with nationally portable, industry-recognized skills credentials to succeed in a range of high paying jobs.
One of the school's goals is to significantly reduce the number of at-risk students who do not graduate from high school. Career academies have a proven record of increasing attendance and graduation rates among at-risk students, while preparing students for a future. “Whether they want to go straight to work or continue their education through an apprenticeship program, two- or four-year degree, we are committed to graduating the student in four years,” said Dr. Gary Short, SWPS Superintendent.
Southwest Preparatory School provides young people with the vital skills to become the future leaders in a rich, complex and vital sector of the San Antonio economy. Classes at SWPS maintain a low student-teacher ratio and are taught by highly qualified teachers. Students are engaged in project-based learning, applying what they learn to actual real world projects from the very beginning of their high school career. Junior and Senior high school students can potentially qualify for paid internships (on or off campus) based on guidelines such as good grades, attendance and work ethic. The on-campus, Service Learning program gives students the opportunity to improve the school, get credits and get paid simultaneously.
As part of its commitment to its students, the school just created the position of Job Developer and hired business entrepreneur, Mark Tapp, to forge partnerships with area employees that would provide internship opportunities for serious students, reach out to future workers before they’re seriously thinking about career choices and work to address the employment challenges employers face by ensuring a strong and skilled workforce.
“Partnerships with employers, the community, and local colleges will help to bring resources from outside the high school to improve student motivation and achievement,” said Mr. Tapp. The coveted Explorer Program that is offered through St.Phillip’s College South West Campus is an example of this. SWPS students are bused from their home campus to the college and learn about basic safety instruction, career information and general overview of occupations such as, Allied Construction, Multi-Modal Transportation or Repair and Manufacturing.
Southwest Preparatory School was founded in 1998 to provide high school graduation opportunities to at-risk students through tuition-free public high school. Vocational courses are available at one or more of the four San Antonio area campuses in a variety of convenient curriculums that accommodate a student’s work schedule- night school, four and six hour school days.