Award Year: 2013

Harding Charter Preparatory High School

3333 North Shartel Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK, 73118-7277

(405) 528-0562

Justin Hunt, Principal at time of Nomination

Oklahoma City District

School Website

Mission

Provide each student with an academically challenging, educational experience through an Advanced Placement curriculum, which will prepare graduates for success at a four-year university.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 31%
  • White: 42%
  • Hispanic: 17%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 2%
  • Asian: 4%
  • Native American: 3%
  • Two or more races: 1%
  • ELL: 3%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
Application

Harding Charter Preparatory High School, founded in 2003, is a dream come true for many students and their families in inner Oklahoma City: a free, public, college-preparatory education. Harding’s founders created a mission to “provide each student with an academically challenging, educational experience through an Advanced Placement curriculum, which will prepare graduates for success at a four-year university.” The reasons for the success of Harding and its student body of nearly 500 are many, but the most important one is culture, buttressed by its Advanced Placement curriculum. Each student is personally enrolled by an administrator, who does not ask, “Are you going to college?” but “Where do you want to go to college?” That same day every student enrolls in either Pre AP or AP classes for four years. Harding students also take a 4 by 4 curriculum — math, English, science and history -- for four years. Harding Charter Prep, a non-selective public school, is open to any student who lives in the Oklahoma City School District and thus reflects the diversity of a metropolitan area of 1.2 million people; students of color represent 58 percent of Harding’s population. Two-thirds of Harding’s students are first generation college students. As a result, many have trouble envisioning themselves on a college campus, much less in a college classroom. Some Harding students not only are the first in their family to attend college but also are the first to graduate from an American high school. The most important statistic of all is 98. Since the first graduating class in 2007, 98 percent of Harding’s students have graduated from the school and gone on to college.