FAQs

Where is your campus?

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 street 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). Our Marin campus is located at 1050 Bridgeway in Sausalito, just north of Downtown, near many Marin transit routes, the ferry to San Francisco, and Caledonia Street.

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.

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 your staff have?

Karen Hobbs, Ph.D.

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • 25 years experience working with teens
  • 9 years experience working with teens in a public school setting

Shary Nunan, Ph.D.

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
  • 25 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 do you have for Special Education students?

Shary Nunan, Ph.D. has 15 years of experience in providing assessments for children and teens with special learning needs, and Karen Hobbs, Ph.D. has nine years of experience working in public schools assisting with Individualized Education Plans. We also have a learning specialist who provides training to teachers as needed to address learning issues that arise.

We pay particular attention to selecting teachers who can teach students with different learning styles. For all students, we begin with a questionnaire that provides information about their learning style and preferences, and use this information to individualize their coursework or tutoring experience with us.

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.

Do you 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.

Do you have 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, 925-933-5506 for the Walnut Creek Campus, and (415) 944-2254 for the Marin campus to arrange an informational interview.

Distance Learning FAQs

Does Tilden 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 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 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 do “Distance Learning”?

Tilden’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