Tilden Prep FAQs

Where are Tilden Prep School campuses located?

Our Albany campus is located at 1231 Solano Avenue in Albany, between Evelyn and Talbot Streets, and a half-mile from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station (click here to view a map).

Our Walnut Creek campus is on North Broadway  directly across from the Walnut Creek Public Library and less than a mile from the Walnut Creek BART station (click here to view a map).

What is mastery learning?

Mastery learning means that students master the course material before moving on. With one-to-one or small group teaching, we can make sure students understand the material before going to the next chapter, and we promise a learning environment in which students master the material at their own pace and in their own style. We generally require that students master the material to 80% (B-) level or higher; if a student doesn't do well on an assessment (tests, lab reports, essays, etc.), we reteach and retest to ensure success. Read More...

Is Tilden Preparatory School a private school?

Yes. For students who enroll in our full-time program, we are a private school, fulfilling state education and college entrance requirements. Students in our part time program can be enrolled at Tilden Preparatory School and their regular school concurrently.

May I transfer credit from Tilden Preparatory School to my high school of record?

Yes. Some students take only one or two classes at Tilden Prep, and transfer credit to another high school, from which they’ll graduate. Credit earned at Tilden Prep can be used toward high school graduation from both public and private schools, and towards college requirements.

We will provide you with a concurrent enrollment form to be signed by your school counselor. We work closely with neighboring high schools to ensure that our curriculum complements and mirrors their curriculum, so that credits are easily transferred and academic standards are upheld.

Upon course completion, you’ll receive an official transcript (for your school) and an unofficial transcript (for your own records). You may request additional transcripts—official and unofficial—at no extra charge. To demonstrate enrollment, you may request an in-progress transcript before the completion of the semester.

What schools have past part-time Tilden students attended?

Part-time Tilden students come from schools across the Bay Area and California:

School Location
Acalanes High School Lafayette, CA
Alhambra High School Martinez, CA
California High School San Ramon, CA
Campolindo High School Moraga, CA
College Park High School Pleasant Hill, CA
Dougherty Valley High School San Ramon, CA
Las Lomas High School Walnut Creek, CA
Livermore High School Livermore, CA
Monte Vista High School Danville, CA
Mount Diablo High School Concord, CA
Northgate High School Walnut Creek, CA
San Ramon Valley High School Danville, CA
Ygnacio Valley High School Concord, CA
Alameda High School Alameda, CA
Albany High School Albany, CA
Amador Valley High School Pleasanton, CA
Berkeley High School Berkeley, CA
El Cerrito High School El Cerrito, CA
Encinal Junior & Senior High School Alameda, CA
Foothill High School Pleasanton, CA
Millennium High School Piedmont, CA
Oakland Technical High School Oakland, CA
Oakland School for the Arts Oakland, CA
Piedmont High School Piedmont, CA
Skyline High School Oakland, CA
The Athenian School Danville, CA
The Bay School of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
Bentley School Oakland/Lafayette, CA
Bishop O'Dowd High School Oakland, CA
Carondelet High School Concord, CA
The College Preparatory School Oakland, CA
De La Salle High School Concord, CA
Head-Royce School Oakland, CA
Holy Names High School Oakland, CA
Loyola High School Los Angeles, CA
Maybeck High School Berkeley, CA
Salesian College Preparatory Richmond, CA
Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School Alameda, CA
Saint Mary's College High School Berkeley, CA

Is there a limit to the number of AP classes I can take?

No. AP courses are more in-depth than regular courses, so require more teacher/student hours and homework. As with our regular classes, we use a mastery learning approach to proceed to the next chapter or concept, so students have an opportunity to achieve and demonstrate mastery up to 80% or higher prior to moving on to the next level. The final grade is not negatively affected by tests that fall below this level; we simply reteach the material that wasn’t fully understood, and retest. We also incorporate preparation for the AP exams into our course, so students are well-prepared to succeed when they take the exam in May.

How do I arrange to take courses with Tilden Preparatory School while remaining enrolled at my school?

We will provide you with a Concurrent Enrollment form to have signed by your school counselor or administrator. Many of the local schools already know us and regularly approve our courses. We are always available to assist with paperwork if necessary.

How will Tilden Preparatory School prepare me for college?

We offer a competitive college preparatory, honors, and AP curriculum. Our UC approved courses exceed California education standards and college entrance requirements. Our graduates are often admitted to UC and CSU programs as well as private colleges throughout the United States.

Beyond mastering the material, our students learn how to learn. Our teachers nurture the development of executive functioning and study skills, and encourage the self-directed learning that will carry a student through college.

We’re happy to meet with you to discuss your college options. We can inform you of the different requirements for eligibility to UC/CSU and private colleges, and will provide letters of recommendation.

Do I need to get approval from my school to take an AP course?

You only need approval if you are counting the AP course toward your high school graduation requirements. For example, if you take AP English with us instead of 12th grade English at your high school, you need to have your school sign a Concurrent Enrollment Form, indicating that they will accept the AP course toward your high school graduation requirements. If you are taking a course that is not required for high school graduation, your high school does not need to approve the course. For example, if you already took Biology, but want to take AP Biology with us, you do not need approval from your high school. We will provide a WASC-accredited transcript for all colleges to which you apply.

I received a “D” in English and now I am not eligible for UC/CSU. Can I repeat the course with you, and will I be eligible?

Yes, UC/CSU requires that all applicants complete their a-g requirements with a grade of “C” or better. If you received a lower grade than this in a course, they allow you to repeat the course at any accredited institution. Due to the mastery learning teaching method and one-to-one instruction we use at Tilden Preparatory School, you will have every opportunity to be successful. We offer all the a-g courses and they are all UC approved.

What kind of credentials does Tilden Prep staff have?

Shary Nunan, Ph.D.

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • 30 years experience working with children, teens and families
  • 15 years experience providing Special Education assessment

Gail Alter, M.A.

  • Master’s in Social Welfare
  • 30 years experience specializing in adolescent psychology
  • 10 years as an adjunct faculty member at JFK University

Rebecca Hobbs, M.A.

  • Master’s in Education
  • Over 10 years of experience teaching and mentoring middle school and high school students

Our teaching staff is comprised of credentialed and non-credentialed teachers who have subject matter expertise in the areas they teach, and an average of 8 years teaching experience.

What services does Tilden Preparatory School provide?

Full-time students receive a high school diploma.

For all students we provide:

  • Individual or small group instructions
  • Progress reports posted online after each class
  • Official transcripts
  • Curriculum supervision to ensure that state and college entrance requirements are met

What services does Tilden Prep have for Special Education students?

Rebecca Hawley, PhD has 20 years of experience in the field of Special Education, Karen Hobbs, Ph.D. has nine years of experience working in public schools assisting with Individualized Education Plans, and Shary Nunan, Ph.D. has 15 years of experience in providing assessments for children and teens with special learning needs. In addition, our Campus Directors and Heads of School have many years of experience working with students with learning differences. Between us, we ensure that each student with learning differences has an individualized program where their learning needs are met.
For all students, we begin with a questionnaire that provides information about their learning style and preferences, and use this information to individualize their course work or tutoring experience with us. We also pay particular attention to selecting teachers who can teach students with different learning styles.
Our Heads of School and Directors review progress reports and consult with teachers if a student has difficulty making expected progress, and Dr. Hawley is always available to consult in order to fine-tune helpful interventions. Staff is also available to attend IEP meetings (in person or by Zoom). All IEP recommendations are implemented by our teachers with support from our experienced administrative staff.

I am involved in an extra curricular activity (sports, dance, theater, etc.) that requires 20-30 hours of my time every week. I have a hard time fitting in a full school program. Can Tilden Preparatory School accommodate my practice schedule?

Yes, we can completely customize a schedule to fit your needs, and classes can be scheduled morning, afternoon, and/or evening, and on weekends.

Can I start at Tilden Preparatory School in the middle of the semester?

Yes, our one-to-one approach allows us to start a course at any time. If you have completed some coursework for the semester, we will contact your previous teacher(s) to determine what work you’ve completed, and where we should start the semester course with you.

Does Tilden Prep offer lab sciences?

Yes, we offer labs with Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry, AP Chemistry, Physics, Honors Physics, AP Physcis 1, AP Physics 2, AP Physics C: Mechanices, AP Phyics C: Electricity & Magnetism, AP Environmental Science, Sciences of the Earth, Geology, Marine Biology, and Anatomy and Physiology. All of our science courses are UC approved.

Does Tilden Prep offer summer school?

Yes, we offer summer school in all high school subject areas. We can arrange your summer school schedule around your work or vacation schedule.

How do I enroll in Tilden Preparatory School?

Since all academic coursework is individualized, you can enroll any time during the year. We will provide an assessment of your needs and make recommendations about how to make the best use of our services. To start the enrollment process, call 510-525-5506 for the Albany Campus or 925-933-5506 for the Walnut Creek Campus to arrange an informational interview.

Distance Learning FAQs

Does Tilden Prep offer distance learning?

Yes! Tilden has moved entirely online seamlessly. We are currently offering all of our courses online and our “one to one” coupled with the highest caliber instruction make Tilden an ideal distance learning choice.

Are Tilden Prep distance learning courses transferable to other high schools?

Yes! Tilden is a fully accredited WASC college prep school and all of our courses are UC approved and transferable to other middle and high schools. We do recommend that if you are currently enrolled with another school and are considering taking a single course with us that is required for high school graduation, you receive approval from your primary school’s counselor.

Are Tilden Prep distance learning courses approved by the UC/CSU systems?

All Tilden courses are currently approved for distance learning while schools are shut down. Tilden has been hard at work getting all of our courses approved as online options when schools re-open for both the UC and CSU systems. We are happy to report that the majority have been approved for our current and future Tilden students.

How does Tilden Prep do distance learning?

Tilden Prep’s one to one, mastery learning approach (please see above) invites students to engage in real time with one of our educators. Each class session lasting 55 minutes is hosted over Google Hangouts. Teachers and students remain online throughout the duration of the class ensuring that each session is geared towards the specific needs of your child.

What if my child has no experience with distance learning?

That’s no problem. Our students quickly adapt to the online format, and our teachers are ready to help.

What equipment does my student need?

Your student will need a computer with a working camera and a microphone in order to engage in distance learning along with a stable internet connection. Some students also find it is helpful to have a document camera.

“After two years at Tilden, our son is graduating with the knowledge that he is capable, intelligent, and has learned how to learn in a way that works for him. He's excited to attend college next year with renewed confidence.”
Tilden Parent