As our college access, vacation-based USAP program evolved, we realized that our students, though bright and determined, had some gaps in their learning and experiences. Although they excel in Ordinary and Advanced level exams, their reading, writing, computer and critical thinking skills need improvement and they do not have the opportunities to apply their learning or engage in research. They require a holistic education to adequately prepare them to hit the ground running as they integrate into global higher learning institutions, to tackle the complex problems of our society, and to exponentially increase their impact in our communities.
The USAP community school will teach as much through the curriculum it offers as the principles it is run by. We envision a diverse faculty – USAP alumni prominent among them – that embody the values of integrity, equity and service that the school will strive to instill in its students. Students will benefit from a holistic education aimed at developing critical thinking, communication and analytical skills, and computer literacy – all important for a successful transition into a demanding university education. Alongside their GCE A’levels, students will participate in an intensive reading and writing English core and a school culture that honors and celebrates the equal dignity of every person and embraces difference as an opportunity for growth. The school will promote environmental consciousness and sustainable living, offering a holistic education that includes project-based learning, arts and community service engagement. We aim to help students think through not what do they want to be as a result of their education, but what problem here in Zimbabwe do they want to solve.