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Mount Bachelor Academy

Therapeutic Boarding School

Mount Bachelor Academy Program Information

Gender: Coeducational
Ages: 14 to 18
Grades: 8 to 12
Estimated Enrollment: 110
Length of Stay:
Program was founded in: 1988
Accreditations: Affiliations:

Mount Bachelor Academy Contact Information

33051 NE Ochoco Hwy
Prineville, OR 97754
Phone: (800) 462-3404
Fax: (541) 462-3430
School Contact: Kelli Hoffman
Alternative Contact: Sharon Bitz
Therapy Provided?: Yes

Program Description:

Mount Bachelor Academy (MBA) is more than just a school. It’s a community of caring professionals dedicated to helping young people achieve the highest levels of personal and intellectual development who would otherwise be at risk of failing in school or succumbing to dangerous behaviors. We believe these young people are often our nation’s most promising, and that they deserve an educational setting that integrates personal and academic growth into a total learning experience.

Mount Bachelor Academy, an accredited private boarding high school for teens founded in 1988, provides a well-rounded academic and therapeutic curriculum designed for teens with behavioral, emotional, or motivational problems or special learning needs. We integrate intellectual, social, and physical development while facilitating students on their way to emotional maturity.

Our Methods

Our methods emphasize acquisition of self-awareness and self-esteem, and the development of problem-solving and decision-making skills through experiential learning. Students deal with situational living, as well as personal issues in communication skills groups two to three times weekly.

Students learn to address issues that have prevented them from achieving academic and personal success in a highly structured, nurturing, healthy peer environment. The Academy's highly skilled teaching faculty and staff members have proven records in working with children who may have displayed behavior that is symptomatic of low self-esteem and self-concept.

Adoption Curriculum

For the 30% of our students who are adopted, Mount Bachelor Academy offers support for adolescents coming to terms with adoption, grief, and loss. This is a unique component of our therapeutic program just for adopted teenagers and their families.

Our desire is to reawaken the love of learning. Many of our students performed well academically in the past and then slipped behind due to a variety of factors such as emotional or family issues, drug and alcohol use, or poor attendance. We are so successful that the majority of graduating seniors attend college. Those students that complete our program prior to graduating high school either transition to other high schools successfully or stay with us in our Graduate Residence to complete their studies.

Through the therapeutic process, students are taught to be accountable for their own actions, and this includes performance in the classroom. With the support of academic and mentoring staff and their peers, students become motivated to do their best in all aspects of life, including academics. With a staff of exceptional teachers and a solid emphasis on the essential courses, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Language, and the Arts, students become motivated to excel and see academics as the key to a bright future.

Major Components of MBA Academics

Accreditation – Mount Bachelor Academy is an accredited member of the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools and the NAAS (Northwest Association of Accredited Schools). MBA is licensed by the State of Oregon. High school credits are transferable to any high school. A State of Oregon High School Diploma is issued if graduation requirements are met while attending.

Credit Recovery – Many students arrive behind in credits approximately six months to one year. With an extended school day and year-round school, it is possible for a motivated student to catch up with their peer group academically.

Small Class Size – Most teachers agree that a small student to teacher ratio is one key to student success. Our class sizes average less than 12 students per teacher, enabling teachers to assist students with special needs, while still challenging advanced students.

Learning Needs – MBA specializes in teaching students with special needs, including ADD, ADHD and most learning disabilities. In addition to records and IEP's provided by parents, we test students for ability and learning styles to determine what modifications and teaching techniques are needed in the classroom to ensure each student's success. Our Director of Special Education monitors student progress and makes recommendations to teachers to assist students in their coursework. Mount Bachelor Academy employs two full time learning needs specialists.

College Preparation – The majority of our students attend college after graduating from MBA. All high school grade level courses meet Oregon state standards for college level preparation. A guidance counselor assists students in the college application process.

Transitioning back to class – Many students arrive at MBA with some anxiety about returning to class due to past problems and failures. We assist them in that transition with an academic seminar. During this all day session, students are tested to determine their learning styles, instructed on brain function and the effects of drugs on learning, introduced to how their class schedules work, and receive a preliminary introduction to all of their teachers.

Adventure Classrooms – Adventure Classrooms have become a trademark of MBA academics. This venue involves blending outdoor, experiential education with academic standards to offer exciting learning opportunities outside the classroom schedule. Examples of Adventure Classroom are River Classroom, a multi-day American Canoe Association course in whitewater rafting; Mountain Classroom, an extended learning trip to the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California; and Coastal Classroom, a marine biology study done in conjunction with the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Oregon State University Hatfield Science Center.

Structured for Success – The structured, drug-free MBA environment is renowned for its therapeutic curriculum, and its therapeutic curriculum, which is a contributing factor in students academic success. Many students arrive "stuck" emotionally due to personal issues. Their academics generally get correspondingly "stuck" and students experience decreased performance or total failure in school. Once they work past this point through the emotional growth curriculum, their academic success is unlocked and they are once again able to perform well in the classroom.

Drug and Alcohol Education – Mount Bachelor Academy offers a comprehensive drug and alcohol curriculum. All students are administered the SASSI drug and alcohol screening test to determine their drug dependency level prior to beginning academics at MBA. Students with drug and alcohol use history have the opportunity to participate in 12 step NA meetings on and off campus, as well as being required to take dependency and recovery courses if their drug history warrants it. Drug and alcohol processing groups are offered two times per week with a licensed CDAC counselor. In addition, all students have the opportunity to participate in workshops related to high-risk behaviors and drug and alcohol use.

Graduate Residence – Students who have completed the MBA emotional growth curriculum, but have not met high school graduation requirements, may continue on at the Graduate Residence. Students have the option to stay at MBA to complete their education or ease their transition to a different educational setting.

Therapeutic Program

Program Description

During their enrollment at Mount Bachelor Academy, students have specific, individually developed plans of action and must earn their way through each phase. Because each child is unique, the plans will vary slightly.

Phase I
All new students enter MBA through Phase I in which they participate in approximately 28-60 days of adventure-based activities. Phase I is a multi-stage process structured around outdoor experiential learning and the introduction of basic principles of healthy living. The completion of Phase I is merit based; therefore, some students will be enrolled beyond the 45-day curriculum. Students will receive academic credit for English, Wilderness/Physical Education, and Environmental Science for participation in Phase I.

The goal of Phase I is for students to enter Phase II aware of:

-Recognition of their responsibility in being placed at MBA
-Specific behaviors and attitudes that will not be acceptable at MBA
-Commitment to personal accountability and completion of the MBA program
-Focus on issues of trust, autonomy, and initiative
Formation of a strong peer group of 12 – 15 students

Phase I provides students the opportunity to:

-Focus internally and be able to complete an honest personal evaluation
-Be challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally through rigorous exercise, daily journaling, and individual and group focus times
-Begin to function as a peer group and work as a team
Phase II & III

Students enter the second phase of the program, a combination of academic and a combination of academic and therapeutic curricula, immediately following the completion of Phase I. The transition between Phase I and the main campus is marked by completion of a Lifestep® called The Bridge. Following this experience, students are oriented to campus life, academics, two weekly communication skills groups, off-campus activities, and daily responsibilities.

-The goals of Phase II and III are for students to:
-Identify and replace old coping patterns with new, appropriate ones
-Identify strengths and challenges in academic learning styles
-Develop and/or refine personal social skills
-Identify and resolve family conflicts
-Increase self-awareness of their impact on others in the community
-Focus on issues of productivity and identity
Strategy Through a multi-faceted approach of intellectual, emotional, and experiential learning, students:
-Participate in academic, personal, social, and family seminars
-Are challenged daily to raise their standard of academic and personal achievement
-Receive positive peer/faculty reinforcement and action-appropriate consequences through individual and group counseling
-Identify and develop their core values as they relate to peer group, family, and community

Phase IV (Aftercare)

Scheduled phone calls with students and families
Access to an Alumni Advisor 24 hours per day in case of the need for unscheduled communication
Regional support groups, family workshops, and alumni reunions
Assistance with the location of support systems in their area
Access to alumni online support group for students and parents
Cost for one year of services is the same as one month’s tuition and paid at admission

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