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HANDS ON LEARNING - How one school continues to bring more educational opportunities to students

The Wonderful College Prep Academy continues its open enrollment with hopes of bringing more students onto their campus
Posted at 6:55 PM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 10:00:31-04
  • Video shows how the Wonderful College Prep Academy has grown their campus to now having over 2,000 students on their Delano and Lost Hills campus.
  • Speaking with students on their experiences about being at the school and how they believe its benefited them educationally and how school officials plan to continue their efforts.

The Wonderful College Prep Academy has seen great academic success since their campus opening in 2016. The school started serving only middle and high school but has since expanded to becoming a TK through 12 school. Having a campus in Delano and Lost Hills, the school is currently serving over 2,000 students.
“It has not always been like this. Although there is a beautiful campus today, we come from very small humble beginnings so a smaller campus over on Randolph street where we only had about 14 teachers to now serving over 2,000 students,” said Megan Palomo, Interim Senior Director of Academics at Wonderful College Prep Academy.

Palomo says the idea for the school first started when officials wanted to bring more scholarship opportunities to students in the area.

Not only does the school bring those opportunities but they also offer a wide variety of programs where students even have the option to participate in dual enrollments — earning an associate degree before graduating.

Senior Isac Medina is one of those students... enrolling at WCPA in seventh grade, Medina says having these extra opportunities has pushed him to become a stronger student.

“It gives you just a boost of confidence knowing that you’re able to do the work like be in that college area like already having the upper hadn’t of knowing what it’s like to go to college,” said Medina.

Medina says he feels more at ease making the transition from high school to college and credits it to the work that WCPA does for students.

Junior Aiko Panelo has also been with WCPA since she was in middle school. Still keeping in touch with her friends who go to other schools, Panelo says she sees firsthand how different her academic life has been and is grateful for it.

“They’re just kind of like struggling more and they don’t have as much help as we have as in like they also have counselors and they also have the ability to get this help and that’s great but it seems like there is less kind of push to do well in these classes,” said Panelo.

WCPA says while the goal is to prepare students for college and learn more but to then come back and serve their community. That is the case for first-year Spanish teacher Naomi Cruz who graduated from the school in 2018.

“I know they see me and I tell them yeah like I went to high school here and they just look at me like, ‘oh wow like you know its possible’, it’s possible to go, move to a major city and come back and give back to your community, maybe not even as a teacher but maybe something in other fields,” said Cruz.

Cruz says she feels honored to come to work everyday and watch students become confident in themselves and hopes students understand that there are multiple academic pathways they can take.

Palomo says the school saw a 95% return rate for teachers this school year — she says its scores like this had pride themselves on their growth and are looking forward to assisting more students academically.

“Consistency builds momentum and momentum brings and momentum is what we have and were excited now that we don’t just offer a high school pathway but our students come in and are following an a through g trajectory,” said Palomo.

WCPA enrollment is currently open and closes in January of 2024. School officials say they are no requirements to apply but they do run a first come first serve basis. For information on the application process visit the Wonderful Career Prep Academy’s website.

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