There are multiple reasons to consider military schools in California.
Military schools incorporate discipline and structure to help frame the core qualities of patience, hard work, and perseverance.
Also, military schools in California are not always last-resort options for troubled students.
While some schools focus on academics and helping kids get back on track, there are other reasons to consider military schools in California.
Many of the programs have a comprehensive program that includes academics, athletics, leadership opportunities, and other extracurricular activities to round out the experience.
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#1 – California Military Institute
- Location: 755 North A Street Perris, CA 92570
- Founded: 2003
- Grades: 5-12
- # of Students: 1,023
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 26 to 1
- Official Website: cmicharter.org
Located in Perris, California, the California Military Institute is a publicly-funded charter school. Also, the institute is part of the Perris Union High School District.
The California Military Institute has an affiliation with the JROTC program through the California National Guard’s California Cadet Corps (CaCC).
Also, the CaCC designed the Military Science curriculum for the California Military Institute.
The minority enrollment is 97%, and 91% of the student population is considered economically disadvantaged.
However, the cadets at this school outperform other students in their school district, and the graduation rate is 100%.
The California Military Institute has a mission focused on educational equality that builds students who strive for setting and achieving goals.
Also, the institute works to educate students academically and prepare them for careers and higher education.
The school also strives to create a safe and caring environment where students can grow and build connections within their school, home, and communities.
Because the demand is so high for this school, there is a waiting list for cadets and a lottery system in place for fairness.
Furthermore, to remain in the program, cadets must maintain a 2.0 GPA and not display any serious behavioral problems.
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#2 – Army and Navy Academy
- Location: 2605 Carlsbad Blvd. Carlsbad, CA 92008
- Founded: 1910
- Grades: 7-12
- # of Students: 240
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 8 to 1
- Official Website: armyandnavyacademy.org
The Army and Navy Academy is a private military boarding school for boys.
Because this is a private school, there is tuition. However, the Army and Navy Academy have financial assistance based on family need.
Also, there is a rank structure at this academy that mimics the Army’s. Students move up in their grades as well as their rank and duty positions.
Furthermore, the Army and Navy Academy hold accreditations from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and the California Association of Independent Schools.
Also, the Army and Navy Academy’s graduation rate is 100 percent, and many graduates go on to college.
Moreover, many graduates also decide to go into ROTC universities, top public universities, or military service academies.
To create college-ready students, the academy works hard to engage students.
Therefore, the Army and Navy Academy engage students by keeping their days structured with plenty of personal choices. When students have a choice, they remain motivated and goal-orientated.
Also, the academy physically designed classrooms with active boys in mind.
Lastly, the teacher-to-student ratio is low enough for teachers to use learning approaches that work best for each of their students.
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#3 – North Valley Military Institute
- Location: 12105 Allegheny Street Sun Valley, CA 91352
- Founded: 2013
- Grades: 6-12
- # of Students: 717
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 20 to 1
- Official Website: www.novamil.org
North Valley Military Institute (NVMI) is a charter college preparatory school that is part of the public school system.
The graduation rate is 90 percent, which is a little below the state average.
Also, the student population is mainly disadvantaged. There is a historical rate of 50 percent for a graduation rate among this population. Therefore, a graduation rate of 90 percent might be below state averages, but it shows the community’s commitment to supporting these students.
To apply, parents must fill out an application.
NVMI, like many military schools in California, relies on discipline and structure to develop core values and a sense of responsibility.
This school is not designed for students with behavior problems because student success relies on student behavior and commitment.
However, the rigor of the program is sure to help students avoid behavior issues.
Along with academics, NVMI includes athletics as a part of the experience at the school. The Institute believes personal wellness comes from a commitment to athletics and competition.
Also, NVMI works on leadership opportunities that work to develop citizenship as well.
Moreover, the goal is to create well-rounded individuals willing to have a positive impact on communities.
NVMI prepares its students for an education beyond high school. Other than their core academics, NVMI has an early college program.
The early college program means students are earning both college credit and high school credit at the same time.
Therefore, this program gives students a chance to explore their potential in a variety of fields.
Also, it saves money on college expenses because the credits are earned as part of high school.
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#4 – Oakland Military Institute
- Location: 3877 Lusk Street, Oakland, CA 94608
- Founded: 2001
- Grades: 6 – 12
- # of Students: 544
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 19 to 1
- Official Website: www.oakmil.org
Oakland Military Institute is a public charter school that believes in developing leaders by working academics, leadership, athletics, and citizenship into their program.
The goal is for students to graduate ready for college and be productive and kind members of society.
Also, the Oakland Military Institute offers a 92% graduation rate.
Oakland Military Institute’s student population is diverse and is co-ed.
Also, the school has different pathways to gear students toward careers.
For instance, the pathways include engineering, information communication technologies, performing arts, visual and media arts, and design.
Also, Oakland Military Institute has a Career Technical Education (CTE) program. CTE programs incorporate academic learning with the knowledge a person needs for a potential vocational career after high school.
However, potential students must fill out an application, and there is a lottery for all new incoming students.
Priority goes to siblings of current or graduated students, followed by children of staff. Next for consideration are those in the school district, followed by those who live outside the district.
Oakland Military Institute is a charter school, so it is a public military school.
#5 – Southwestern Academy
- Location: 2800 Monterey Road San Marino, California 91108
- Founded: 1924
- Grades: 6-12
- # of Students: 75
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 4-1
- Official Website: www.southwesternacademy.edu
Southwestern Academy is a school designed to prepare students for college.
This school is a non-profit co-ed college preparatory school.
The school looks for students who do well with academics and who are motivated.
Also, the school wants students who can positively contribute to a diverse group of students.
The Southwestern Academy believes in diversity and having a culturally rich group of students. This belief extends to economic and social backgrounds, too.
The student-to-teacher ratio is remarkably low, making it a lot easier for instructors to individualize learning for each student.
The students are also in groups and classes based on their abilities, rather than an age group. This way, students are striving to achieve more.
The graduation rate is 100%, and all graduating students attend a four-year college or university after high school.
To apply, students must have letters of recommendation, transcripts, and updated records. Also, there is an interview.
However, acceptance into this school is very competitive.
The Southwestern Academy is a small school, and many students live on campus.
There are, however, day students.
The day students have access to the same classes and teachers as those who stay on campus.
Also, the sports programs and extracurriculars are the same, as well as access to lunch.
Related Article – Military Schools for Boys
#6 – St. Catherine’s Academy
- Location: 215 N. Harbor Blvd. Anaheim California 92805
- Founded: 1889
- Grades: K-8
- # of Students: 142
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 9 to 1
- Official Website: https://www.stcatherinesacademy.org
St. Catherine’s Academy is a Catholic military school and a great consideration out of all the military schools in California.
Furthermore, the academy is a nonprofit private school that offers financial assistance based on need.
The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose founded the school from the very beginning.
The school is both a day school and a boarding school serving boys from kindergarten to 8th grade.
The academy focuses on ministry, prayer, community, and academics as its academic foundation.
The goal is for cadets to grow into well-rounded cadets who are firm in their faith.
St. Catherine’s military tradition promotes teamwork, leadership, and the ability to persevere even in the face of challenges.
The academics at the academy are based on individualized learning, which is possible due to the small class size.
Also, since the school is an all-boys school, there is a focus on boy-centered teaching. The school is structured, and the staff model good character and citizenship.
The school is competitive, and you must fill out an application and send in transcripts for admissions. Also, there is an interview before consideration.
#7 – La Sierra Charter School
- Location: 1735 E. Houston Ave., Visalia, CA 93292
- Founded: 2000
- Grades: 7-12
- # of Students: 223
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 15 to 1
- Official Website: www.tcoe.org
The La Sierra Military Academy is a charter public school that pairs academics with a military environment.
Also, the academy is one of only 11 schools in the state of California to earn the CAPP Model School Program grant.
La Sierra Military Academy’s mission is the core values of respect, camaraderie, disciple, and character. These core values develop with community service, leadership opportunities, and academics.
The student-to-teacher ratio is 15 to 1, and classes range from 12 to 14 students.
The graduation rate of La Sierra Military Academy is 96 percent compared to the state average of 82.7 percent.
Also, this school’s demographics indicate it is primarily socioeconomically disadvantaged students, and 100 percent of the students who fell into this category graduated in 2017.
For consideration for admission, there is an application process.
After filling out an application, there is a general information meeting.
There is a waitlist, and the waitlist does not carry over from year to year.
Therefore, students must reapply every year for consideration.
If more people apply than there are available spots at the school, there is a lottery.
#8 – Summit Leadership Academy High Desert
- Location: 12850 Muscatel Street, Hesperia, CA 92345
- Founded: 2004
- Grades: 7 – 12
- # of Students: 252
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 18 to 1
- Official Website: www.slahd.com
The Summit Leadership Academy High Desert is a public charter school dedicated to offering courses focusing on law, military, and fire sciences.
Also, this military school in California has a strong academic focus.
The students choose the academy they prefer by the 9th grade and work through their specific courses for the rest of their high school career.
Summit Leadership Academy High Desert’s vision is to create lifelong learners who continue to have the motivation for success.
Furthermore, the academy hopes they make global citizens who strive for a positive impact.
The academic expects students to meet educational, grooming, and behavioral standards. Also, the staff encourages students to participate in community service and extracurriculars.
The school accomplishes this vision with strong academics coupled with public service.
The graduation rate range is between 77 to 79 percent.
To apply, you first must fill out an interest form. After sending the form, you receive a call to discuss enrollment.
#9 – Discovery Challenge Academy
- Location: 700 East Roth Rd. Lathrop, CA 95330
- Founded: 1993
- Grades: ages 16-18
- # of Students: N/A
- Student / Teacher Ratio: N/A
- Official Website: iamdiscovery.org
The Discovery Challenge Academy is a military-style residential program that is five and a half months in length.
The California National Guard runs the program in conjunction with the Joaquin County Office of Education.
The program’s goal includes having a strong academic program where students earn 65 credits needed for high school. At the same time, students learn job skills and develop leadership abilities.
Also, there is a focus on the students’ sense of pride and confidence.
Another unique feature of this program is after graduation, are that students have a mentor for a year to ensure continued success.
This is a voluntary program for those who are 16-18 years of age.
Also, the student must be a legal resident of the United States and the state of California.
This program is for those who might not graduate from high school or who do not have enough credits to graduate on time.
While this program is for those at risk, students cannot have felony charges or any pending court proceedings.
The Discovery Challenge Academy has two cycles a year, and the number of students fluctuates. There can easily be 150 students for each cycle. Therefore, the student-to-teacher ratio changes.
The first step to applying is filling out an application and attending an orientation.
After filling out a full application, there is a personal interview.
Lastly, 75 percent of Discovery Challenge Academy graduates receive their high school diploma, return to school, or earn their GED. An average of 34% pursue higher education.
#10 – California Maritime Academy
- Location: 200 Maritime Academy Drive Vallejo, CA 94590
- Founded: 1929
- Grades: University
- # of Students:907
- Student / Teacher Ratio: 14 to 1
- Official Website: https://www.csum.edu/
The California Maritime Academy is a public university in California. It is a part of the California State University system and is proud to call itself the only maritime academy on the west coast.
It is a relatively small university, and the acceptance rate is approximately 82 percent.
However, the acceptance rate changes each year.
There are several degree plans available, including Global Studies and Maritime Affairs, Oceanography, and Marine Transportation, to name a few.
While students, referred to as cadets, wear a uniform, there is no direct obligation to the military; therefore, after graduation, students pursue their chosen careers.
Despite the lack of a link to the military, the California Maritime Academy does have Navy and Air Force ROTC programs.
Also, there is a Coast Guard Officer Program and a Strategic Sealift Officer Program.
California Maritime Academy’s goal is to shape leaders who remain fully invested in their education.
The academy works with cadets to support and ensure they are successful in graduating on time to enter their careers.
Applying is similar to other universities. Incoming students should have at least a 2.50 GPA from high school, and transcripts are sent along with the admissions application.
With so many military schools in California, it may take a while to find the best fit for you.
Some schools have different program tracks to best prepare your child for what comes after secondary school, but schools that focus on leadership qualities and academics are sure to help your student reach excellence.
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