Cougar walk

Promoting Education

Azusa Pacific University works to dispel the misconception that education is designed for a select few and must fit into a particular mold. In fact, education can assume many different forms and is not confined to the four walls of a classroom.

Azusa Reads, Writes, and Counts

Azusa Pacific University, the Azusa Unified School District (AUSD), and the Azusa City Library have joined forces to help elementary school children who struggle with reading. Azusa Reads provides free tutoring from 20 APU students to more than 200 first through sixth graders. Students from Azusa Unified School District can take advantage of this opportunity by making half-hour appointments with trained tutors up to twice a week. During these sessions, tutors encourage students to use their imagination and learn to enjoy reading, literature, writing, and math.

Azusa Reads, funded by the Department of Education’s Federal Work Study Program, meets in the Azusa City Library, Monday-Wednesday, 3-7 p.m., and Thursday, 3-5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Michelle McDonald in Academic Service-Learning at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2827.

College Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.)

Every semester, hundreds of fourth graders invade the APU campus to experience the trials and triumphs of a typical college student. The College Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.) program, created as a partnership between APU and the Azusa Unified School District, motivates students to seek a college education.

APU’s Academic Service-Learning works in conjunction with the upper-division Diversity in the Classrooms course1, matching an Azusa Pacific student with a small group of fourth-grade students from neighboring elementary schools. These groups meet on a weekly basis throughout the semester to talk about their future dreams and goals of going to college.

While on campus, participants walk through the process of filling out admission, housing, and financial aid applications. They also spend time exploring classrooms as well as career options.

A graduation ceremony marks the program’s finale, where students are honored for their hard work with a diploma. Their C.H.A.M.P. buddies, as well as their parents, attend the concluding event to affirm the goals these young students have begun to establish. For more information on the C.H.A.M.P. program, contact Academic Service-Learning at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2823, or visit the C.H.A.M.P. website.

Cougar Pals

This yearlong one-on-one mentoring program pairs social work students with at-risk sixth and seventh graders at Foothill Middle School, supporting them academically and providing encouragement for positive life goals and achievement. For more information, contact Academic Service-Learning at (626) 815-6000, Ext. 2823.

Financial Aid Nights

APU’s Office of Student Financial Services presents three to four financial aid nights a year at Azusa and Gladstone high schools. Financial aid officers review the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for parents and students, as well as sit on panels in regard to College Nights. Representatives also attend special parent meetings at Azusa Unified School District to speak with parents of College Headed and Mighty Proud (C.H.A.M.P.) and Gifted and Talented Education (G.A.T.E.) students about financial aid for the future.

Gifted and Talented Education (G.A.T.E.)

APU partners with the Azusa Unified School District G.A.T.E. Program for a spring conference and summer school. The annual spring conference is designed and implemented by APU business majors for middle school G.A.T.E. students and their parents to introduce them to the advantages and possibilities for pursuing higher education.

This summer school program, which began in 2002, runs each year in June and July. Participants are G.A.T.E. students, grades 4 through 12, from Azusa Unified School District. Elementary and middle school students enroll in enrichment classes taught by district teachers, and high school students enroll in courses taught by university faculty for college credit. Approximately 200 students attend this summer program.

Homework House

Homework House is a nonprofit organization that offers free after-school tutoring for children K-12. The program pairs local community volunteers with school-aged children, who come from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds. To become involved in the Homework House or for further information, email [email protected] or call the Spiritual Life at (626) 815-3855.

LA 101

LA 101 is a four-day trip to Los Angeles where students “plunge” into urban life. Through this immersion experience we seek to establish a biblical understanding of justice and to educate APU students of the social realities of diverse communities within the urban context of Los Angeles. This experience aids in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the world around us, and examine the implications of the privilege or disadvantage that social position provides.

Mini Courses

This program enables APU students in various academic courses—including science, math, physical education, and English—to prepare and teach lessons to students in local private and public elementary, middle, and high school classes.

Peach Factory

The Peach Factory has been a part of the Azusa community for more than 30 years. Held at Slauson Park, this after-school ministry targets children from the Lee Elementary School area. Peach Factory volunteers interact with the children through arts, crafts, sports, and other enjoyable activities. A guiding philosophy for the staff is to create a safe, nurturing environment charged with fun and creativity. For more information, contact Chantal Frank at [email protected] or call the Spiritual Life at (626) 815-3855.

Presidential Signatures Project

This project partners students in upper-division history classes at APU with Advanced Placement (AP) high school history students to research and document the eras surrounding the U.S. Presidents. Lessons created are piloted in local fifth grade classrooms. The project is creating the foundation for a proposed “Encounter with History,” a fifth-grade interactive field trip based on the Presidential Signatures collection at APU.

Social Work Practicum III—Groups

This is a service-learning component for an upper-division social work class. APU students work in pairs leading a treatment or task group in an organization or agency. Groups are facilitated in a variety of settings, from local school districts to support groups for stroke survivors.

T.A.P. (Teacher Assistant Program)

This 10-week program places approximately 100 upper-division liberal studies and teacher education majors per semester in classrooms to serve as teacher’s assistants. Students are currently serving throughout Azusa Unified School District, as well as schools in the Covina Valley, Duarte, and Glendora school districts.

UEMPOWER — University Students Educating Middle School Students

This program is the service-learning component of a section of the senior seminar course for liberal studies and teacher education majors. APU students work with educationally challenged students (sixth to eighth grade special education) using curriculum designed by the teachers and students focused on developing relationships, understanding strengths, and making a difference in the world.

W.A.Y. Ministries (Walking with Azusa’s Youth)

This ministry connects APU students with Azusa middle and high school students for one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. By connecting with mentors, Azusa students benefit from academic assistance and accountability for their studies, as well as relationships with APU students. For more information, contact the Spiritual Life at (626) 815-3855.

X-Treme PE

Through this program, physical education and athletic training majors design and implement theme-based field days for up to 200 fourth and fifth graders in local elementary schools. Students provide all physical education classes for Sonrise Christian School, concluding the year with a theme-based field day on the school’s campus.

  1. Learn more about the programs that APU’s School of Education offers.