Harlem Prep

Step by Step ~ A Retrospective ~ 1967–1975

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A Way Out of No Way:
Harlem Prep: Transforming Dropouts into Scholars, 1967–1977

By Hussein Ahdieh &
Hillary Chapman

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Harlem Preperatory School: An Alternative by Hussein Ahdieh (Dissertation, PDF, 7.4 MB)


Teachers had very diverse professional backgrounds. Their educational achievements ranged for bachelors’ degrees to doctorates. Experience levels ran the gamut from novice teachers in their 20s to 20-plus--year veterans in their 50s.

All of the teachers were knowledgeable about their subject areas. But in selecting teachers, Harlem Prep placed the greatest emphasis on interest in the students and the ability to relate course content to the students’ lives and experiences. Teachers also had to be effective, flexible decision makers.

Approximately 700 applications and resumes from prospective teachers were received per year. As a part of the selection process, the teaching candidate actually taught with pay for up to two weeks. Inputs from faculty, students and administrators were weighed in deciding whether to extend an offer.

Left to right, Dr. Ed Carpenter, Dr. Ann Carpenter, Dr. Hussein Ahdieh
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