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Academic Assistance Program
We at PHAA would like to welcome all of our International Students into our International Academic Assistance Program, or ISAAP. We’re excited to continue working with you in reaching your goals while here at PHAA. This is what we do to help and support your educational endeavors:
During the Admissions/Application Process we:
* get your documents I-20 – ready
* process your SEVIS documents to extend your stay in America
* cooperate with the recruiting agency that you may be working with now
* provide homestay services with known families in the area if you need them
When you arrive, we assist you with your:
* English acquisition needs
* homework organization
* specific Subject class requirements and offer you guidance
* need for improved/Increased communication with Teachers or school Staff/Administration
* College and Career Guidance specific to International Students
Your point of Contact and Resource Specialist
The ISAAP Coordinator will be your main contact while you attend PHAA. You will always find Ms. Carreón available and willing to assist you in whatever you need. She may also direct you to resources on or off campus should you require them. Keep in mind that you may also approach anybody else on campus as we are all here to help you. Don’t forget, your Homestay Family is also a great resource!
International students who sincerely desire a Christian education from a Seventh-day Adventist school may apply at PHAA. Students who live with qualified sponsors will be considered for admission. All international students accepted into PHAA must attend for a minimum of two (2) Academic years to be eligible for high school graduation. Students in lower grades (1st thru 6th) who desire admission as an international student will be considered only if they will be living with their parents or relatives – NOT guardians or sponsors. Students applying for entrance into Middle or High School (7th thru 12th) will be provided with homestay acommodations if needed.
First-Time International Students:
Once these steps are taken and the applicant is pre-accepted, the application will be processed. Final acceptance is based on current English command, the most current grades, attendance record and citizenship (behavior). Students will be notified of acceptance via email and the final acceptance letter will be mailed to the address listed on the application. The letter will also contain further instructions and deadlines.
Elementary/Middle School Students (Grades 1-6)
Younger than Middle and High School students are expected to live with their parent(s) since they are not eligible to participate in our Homestay Program. However, proof of parent relationship to the student will be required and requested during the admissions process. Nevertheless, the admissions process and requirements remain the same.
Middle and High School Students (Grades 7-12)
Students applying for any middle or high school grade (7th thru 12th), will be considered for Admissions whether or not they live with their parent(s), guardian(s) or a designated Homestay/Sponsor family. Any other living arrangements (i.e. – relatives, extended family, family friends, etc.) must be discussed with and approved of by the School Admissions and Administration. Students already living alone or independently from their family will not be accepted into PHAA.
PHAA is proud to introduce our International Students Academic Assistance (ISAAP) Homestay Program. Although our Homestay families have housed international students in previous years, we are now able to count on more of our PHAA families to share their homes and their families with our international guests.
The following quotes are from actual Homestay parents and were taken in contexts within conversations and comments throughout the year. Here’s what one of our Homestay parents has said, “It’s a wonderful experience to be a part of their [the student’s] life and help them in what they need! I’m happy to do what I do!”
And another: “It’s fun to interact with them [the students]; to answer their questions about our culture and to see them learn to enjoy what we enjoy! If it weren’t for sharing my home and family with them, I would never be able to proudly share my heritage as other Americans wouldn’t even ask about it!”
“I would like to house a female student close to my daughter’s age. She [my daughter] is an only child and I think they would be able share a lot and support each other while going to PHAA.”
And finally: “These kids leave their homes and families to pursue their dreams…why not help them in their journey by sharing my Faith, my Home, and my Family? We share this world; why not share a bond of respect and support too?”
There you have it. I have actually heard these comments myself. My name is Ms. Luz-Idalia Carreón. I help coordinate PHAA’s ISAAP department along with our Principal, Mr. Ally Emmerson. We are working to make our Homestay Program one-of-a-kind. Our focus is to provide a Christ-centered environment not only in school, but also within the family.
We believe in sharing our Faith by example. No, no one is perfect and nor do we expect you to be but God rewards our smallest efforts in big ways and sharing Him with others brings about big blessings. Thus, we have heard some comments made by international students about how they appreciate the kindness, sincerity, and learning about the strength of faith that we have as Christians. Suffice it to say that most of these students will be returning in the Fall and possibly staying with the same families!
How we choose our Homestay Families:
The families that host our international students are known within the PHAA community. They were chosen by our Principal because of their long and trustworthy history with our school. Their children attended our school at one time so these families know a lot about us and how we strive to help all of our students. Although the families are known to us, they are still screened carefully and must pass a background check in order to be considered for hosting an international student. Once approved, we visit their homes and review the Homestay Family Handbook with them and make sure they understand what their responsibilities will be for the coming year while our international guests remain with them.
We are proud to say that our Homestay Families have contributed so much to our students: supporting them, providing cultural experiences to them, and making learning the English language fun. Besides, these families have also witnessed their faith to the students by way of example and acts of kindness and generosity. This kind of support helps our international students to observe and learn from positive people in our community.
Our Homestay Program is known for boarding room or dormitory-style accommodations. If the homestay family lives in a single-family dwelling, there could be up to 2 international students per bedroom depending on the size of the bedroom(s) and the number of bathrooms within that dwelling. If the homestay dwelling is an apartment, usually there may be only one student per bedroom since the bedrooms may be significantly smaller than those in a regular house.
Although shared sleeping quarters are the norm for our community, this is not to say that single-occupancy bedrooms cannot be had. It just depends on availability and the number of international guests. Please be assured that no matter the living arrangements, our homestay families are characterized by their continuous practice of sharing: beginning with opening their hearts and their homes to you. They really want your experience in their home, at PHAA, and in California to be unforgettable!
Any changes in our students’ address/telephone or contact information must be reported immediately. It is imperative that student records are updated accordingly in case of an emergency, for the mailing of official transcripts and report cards and any other important contact that should take place during the school year. Students will notify all parties involved in their student life: PHAA Staff/Administration, Homestay parent(s), and/or Faculty. A letter from a parent or other guardian/sponsor will suffice as well.
In compliance with California State Law, medical and immunization forms must be completed and returned to the Administration Office prior to attending classes at PHAA. Immunization records must be in writing and signed by a physician. The following immunizations and tests are required:
Processing the I-20
One-half (1/2) of the year’s tuition must be paid in full prior to I-20 issuance. The remaining tuition balance will be due and payable prior to the following new semester. Once the I-20 is processed, it will be sent, along with a Final Letter of Acceptance, by FedEx to the address on the original application. It will include important information to be able to meet other admissions deadlines.
Extending F-1 Visa Status for Students
If you have met all of the criteria above and have paid tuition, your I-20 status will be updated here on the SEVIS website to facilitate extension of the F-1 visa.
Students join the PHAA family understanding that they knowingly and willfully pledge to observe and uphold all Academy rules and regulations (See school Bulletin) personally both on and off campus. We are a Christian Academy and our students are expected to observe those principles upon which PHAA is founded. Students will perform to the best of their ability all assigned duties and will fulfill those requirements imposed both by the PHAA Homestay family and School Administration.
PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL
You’ve had your visa appointment and were given the much expected “OK” to travel into the U.S.! You’re now excited and nervous as you begin packing; especially if it’s your first time travelling to the U.S. on your own. So many thoughts race through your head as you wonder about PHAA, where you’ll live, what are the students like, will you make any friends………
As you prepare to travel, your family may want to travel with you. Follow this link to some of the best accomodations in our area.
Rest assuredly that the PHAA Administration and Student body is one big family. We treat each other with respect and support each other through campus life. You will feel a little apprehensive at first, but our students will warm up to you. We will make you feel welcome – all the time.
So, you may already know who you’ll be living with. If you haven’t gotten any contact information, ask for it. You are welcome to reach out to your “new” family as you will be spending at least 4 months if not the whole year with this family. It’s a good idea to introduce yourself and get to know them a little if the Homestay family has not reached out to you first. (They, too, may be nervous and trying to make everything perfect for your arrival and stay!)
Continue navigating our website as information is being updated constantly. The pictures of our Faculty, Staff and Students are real whether they attend currently or have since graduated and moved on to higher education.
Contact us for more information or visit our Frequently Asked Questions section below.
Our promise to you: To help make your experience here at PHAA wonderfully fulfilling and fun!
PHAA & ISAAP 2013-2014 Term
Q1. Do you provide international students with host families?
A. PHAA does assist international students with finding homestay families with which to live during their attendance at our school.
Q2. What if I have a relative living nearby your school? Can I stay with h/her?
A. We cannot prevent you from living with your relative(s). However, because you are under our guardianship, it is in the interest of your safety that we screen your relative(s) to make sure of the following:
Q3. How late in the current school year do you accept international student applications for the next school year?
A. We can take applications as early as January of the current year for the Fall Semester of the next school year. For example, for the current school year 2012-2013: the Fall Semester starts August 15th, 2013 and will end May 26th, 2014. For the school year 2013-2014, we have begun taking inquiries as early as February, 2013 for Fall semester. Please contact us for more information or exceptions.
Q4. How do you select applicants?
A. There is a selection process based on three things: English proficiency (i.e. - TOEFL score), academic excellence (2 years’ worth of transcripts), and an interview with you (scheduled and completed with our school Principal).
Q5. Do you have dormitories for students? If not, do you assist students in finding a homestay arrangement?
A. No, we do not have dormitories on campus. Please see questions 1 and 2 above. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our International Students Academic Assistance Program Coordinator, Ms. Luz-Idalia Carreón or our Principal, Mr. Ally Emmerson.
Q6. What is the deadline to apply to your school? What IF I miss a deadline?
A. The deadline for all admissions applications is generally prior to Spring Break. For the 2013-2014 Academic Year, this would be Friday March 21st, 2014. However, we know that for whatever reason meeting a specific deadline can be challenging, especially from overseas. IF YOU THINK YOU MAY MISS A DEADLINE, PLEASE LET US KNOW (EVEN IF YOU DON’T MISS IT!) IMMEDIATELY. We will work with you to ensure a smooth admissions process but you MUST communicate your needs to us. We cannot guess why a document is late and/or missing nor will we assume there is a legitimate reason why it is.
Q7. Is there anything special about your school and/or its students?
A. We are proud to say that our school and our students are very special! We would proudly say that there are lots of special things about our academic program and our students. Let’s start with our academic program……
We are a college preparatory school even though we are a K-12 academy. Our students begin college preparation even in Kindergarten! That’s how strongly we believe that a good foundation is necessary to strengthen the individual and ultimately our society. Students are taught rigorous principles of writing, math, sciences, communication as well as leadership. We believe our calling as a college prep school is to also equip our students with the skills necessary to succeed as they go on to other universities in our country. We believe in our students and we invest our best in them.
Our students: are kind, generous, helpful, resourceful and driven to do great things in their lives. They come together as a family every school year, welcoming each other back for another year and also welcoming any students new to our school or our country! Our students make each other feel like they’re part of something special. When students graduate from PHAA, about 98% of them go on to colleges and universities and become professionals in their own chosen careers. We’d like to introduce to you the Class of 2013. We’ve had students go on to the University of California, Stanford, Cal State Universities as well as other public and private universities around the country. There’s so much more to say, but you have to see (and feel) it to believe it. We are a different bunch of people who love people and love what we do……
Q8. I am currently using a recruiting agency but I found PHAA on my own. What do you recommend?
A: With all due respect, we recommend that you tell your Agent you are interested in beginning the admissions process for PHAA and we will be happy to work with them! You can either send us your information and that of your Agent and we will surely get in contact with them; OR vice versa and have your Agent contact us. We can give you all of the information you need directly; however, if you are using a recruiting agency, the admissions process should begin with your Agent.
Q9. I was nervous during the online interview and feel that I “messed” up. I am confident that I CAN communicate. Would you allow me a second interview?
A: Of course! We understand that even an online interview can be daunting. Time permitting; we will schedule a second interview with either our School Principal or a designated Representative.