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About Tri-city College Prep

School History | Statement of Success | Graduation Statistics

Tri-City College Prep was selected by U.S. News and World Reports as one of "America's Best High Schools" January 2010.

TCP is a school dedicated to keeping standards high and helping students reach them.

Education is one of the most important skills needed in today's society; therefore we have centralized everything we do around preparing students for college. This need for education is why we are one of only a few high schools who offer college classes to high school students.

In order to be considered a college preparatory school we must meet certain guidelines which make our courses meticulous and require a lot of motivation and therefore are not for everyone. We have many highly qualified teachers who are prepared to help anyone succeed who has the motivation and ambition to tackle such a challenge.

Due to our staff's hard work and the diligence of our students TCP has earned a reputation of being one of the top schools in Arizona and the Nation.

Arizona Department of Education has labeled TCP as

AZ Higher Performing Schools Recognition
ABEC (Arizona Business and Education Coalition) recognizes the Arizona Higher Performing Schools – schools that are advancing their students toward college and career readiness (CCR) more rapidly than schools of like demographics.

The National Center for Educational Achievement (NCEA), a department of ACT, Inc., in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), recently released the 2011 NCEA Higher Performing Schools list for Arizona. The list identifies those elementary, middle and high schools in Arizona that have consistently outperformed their peers with similar student populations over a three-year period (the 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 school years).(azbec.com)

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The History Behind Tri-City College Prep High School



Tri-City College Prep High School (TCP) was founded on $2000 and a promise to a man shortly before he died. The man was Paul W. Bear and the promise was made by his granddaughter, Mary Ellen Halvorson. The promise was that she would do something with the $2000 that would make it grow. After a few years of hard work and lots of research she realized that there was no better investment for Paul’s $2000 than the education of children as that will continue to grow for lifetimes to come. The idea for the investment and use of the money came in early 1998 when Mary Ellen decided she wanted to start a school. The school she wanted to start would emphasize math and science while preparing students for college. This was an innovative idea because there was currently no school in the area that specialized in college preparation. More importantly she wanted her school to be free so anyone who wanted to benefit from what the school offered had the chance to do so. She applied for and received a charter from the state of Arizona.

TCP first opened its doors in 1999 and had its first graduating class in 2000. The school started on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University campus where the university graciously rented three buildings to the school. From there TCP and the money grew as promised to Paul Bear. Eventually in May of 2005 the school moved to its permanent location on Side Road in Prescott, AZ. As TCP grew so did the need for sports so the students as well as the staff raised money to build a GYM in 2008 that supports a wide range of sports including Basketball, Volleyball, and Crew Rowing. About the same time as the GYM was being built some parents wanted a place for the students to play soccer at the school. A parent group, organized by the Larson family and with the help of a local church set out to make a field on which students could play soccer. Thanks to the support of staff, parents, students and the community the school has places to hold sports.

From research and travel as far as Oxford University in Oxford, England Dr. Mary Ellen Halvorson learned that the best way to prepare students for college was to have them start taking actual college courses while still in high school. After further research she found that Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa already had a program in place for high schools to offer college classes. The school partnered with Graceland University to offer true university credits to high school students right on the TCP campus.

Today TCP has become known for its quality education focusing on college preparation and offering college credits from both Graceland University and Yavapai College. The school’s excellence now includes award winning programs in all academic areas including the arts, winning Arizona’s nomination for the Kennedy Center for the Arts Award in 2008. As per the promise made to Paul W. Bear the school is continuing to grow to make his original $2000 everlasting.

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Statement of Success
Tri-City College Prep High School
Updated 10/18/16

Tri-City College Prep High School is a model for college preparatory high schools in Arizona and the nation.
The following facts document this statement:

1.    TCP was one of the first public high schools in the state of Arizona to have full College Preparatory accreditation with AdvancedEd (formerly NCA)
2.    Arizona Business and Education Coalition selected TCP as 1 of only 5 high schools in AZ to be recognized as “Highly Performing in All Subject Areas”
3.    98% of our graduating seniors continue their education in college or through the military
4.    TCP was recognized by US News & World Report as “One of America’s Best High Schools”
5.    TCP offers many college credits through Graceland University and Yavapai Community College
6.    TCP holds memberships in the following organizations:  National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), Science National Honor Society, Tri-M International Music Honor Society, Leo Club, National English Honor Society, United States Rowing Association, National Association of Biology Teachers; National Art Honor Society, AdvanceED
7.    Our Choir ranked “Superior” at the NAU Jazz and Madrigal Festival 4 years in a row
8.    TCP students placed in the Northwest Regional Orchestra, Choir and Band
9.    Majority of TCP faculty have either a Master’s or Doctorate degree.  All of the Fine Arts teachers have master’s degrees.  Several faculty members have international backgrounds
10.    Multiple faculty members have been nominated for Yavapai County High School Teacher of the Year
11.    Multiple graduates have received an Associate of Science degree prior to a H.S. diploma
12.    TCP has had multiple National Merit scholarship Finalists and winners
13.    Academic Competitions in which TCP has participated and won awards include: Thumb Butte Invitational Forensics Tournament, Academic Decathlon, Yavapai County high schools regional math competition, Mu Alpha Theta Western US Region, International Western N. America Reg. Robotics Competition, Arizona Mock Trial Competition, Arizona State Envirothon, We The People, Poetry Out Loud, College Bowl, College Science Bowl, Young Playwrights Festival, NAU Jazz and Madrigal Festival, NW Regional Band, Orchestra and Choir.
14.    TCP students published a book about WWI which was accepted by the Library of Congress, and also published multiple creative writing anthologies.
15.    TCP hosts the Northern Arizona Regional Science Fair for K-8th grade.
16.    TCP Art Guild holds an annual art show, and art is displayed in the gallery throughout the year.
17.    TCP hosts over 30 clubs and co-curricular student activities
18.    2013 school year 100% of TCP students Met or Exceeded AIMS (Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards) Reading, Writing & Science and 98% Met or Exceeded in Math
19.    TCP was selected as one of 3 top arts schools in Arizona by the AZ Alliance for the Arts 2007; nominated for the Kennedy Center for the Arts Award; and a finalist for the governor’s Art award
20.    TCP’s superintendent was selected for Arizona’s Circle of Honor as an Exemplary Educational Leader
21.    TCP has placed Overall #1 High School multiple years in the Yavapai County Math Competition
22.    The Arizona Charter School Association awarded our Principal State Charter School Leader of the Year and we had finalists in the categories of Teacher and Business Leader of the Year.
23.    TCP hosts the Yavapai County Middle School Math Competition
24.    More than 50% of students compete in athletics 11 scholar athletes in 2016 graduating class with an average GPA of 3.85
25.    2016 graduation class of 51 students offered more than $2.7 million in scholarships
26.    Major portion of the 11th and 12th grade classes are offered for dual credit
27.    All upper division science students participate in Science Symposium
28.    TCP Envirothon students have placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in state Envirothon competition
29.    TCP Robotics has competed at state


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Tri-City College Prep Graduation Statistics

2006 - 2011 Graduation Chart

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Tri-City College Prep High School
5522 Side Road Prescott, Arizona 86301
Phone: 928-777-0403 Fax: 928-777-0402