Embracing Tradition, Encouraging Innovation: Mount Bachelor Academy Enters Third Decade of Serving Troubled Teens

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Having recently celebrated two decades as one of the nation's premiere therapeutic boarding schools, Mount Bachelor Academy remains focused on the challenges and opportunities that await future generations of students. As a leading provider of residential services for adolescents who are struggling with issues related to adoption, loss, or trauma, the academy employs a fully integrated therapeutic curriculum to reconnect students with their families, schools, and selves.

But we never lose sight of the need to hold fast to the original vision, philosophy and mission of this school community.

At Mount Bachelor Academy, a prestigious past is prelude to what the school's administrators, staff, and students believe will be the continued evolution and ongoing enhancement of one of the nation's premiere therapeutic boarding schools.

Twenty years after it was founded by visionary educators who embraced the concept of empowering students through a strong peer culture, rigorous academics, and an intense focus on the process of personal development, the academy celebrated two decades of successful service while keeping an eye firmly fixed on the challenges and opportunities that await future generations of MBA students.

A History of Successful Service:
"Mount Bachelor Academy is a school that has dared to grow and change, but has never lost its core," educational consultant Brooke Dudley said during the school's June 5 anniversary celebration. "There is an old Chinese proverb that says 'Jade that is not chiseled cannot become a gem.' Mount Bachelor Academy is a gem because it has changed without losing its core."

The core to which Dudley referred was established by a committed team of educational pioneers who, in the summer of 1988, opened an innovative academy for adolescents in crisis. Nestled in the Ochoco National Forest in central Oregon, Mount Bachelor Academy was designed to educate students academically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Through the ensuing two decades, the school has maintained its commitment to excellence by encouraging the development of innovative educational practices, all the while remaining true to its founding principles of offering comprehensive therapeutic and educational opportunities to its students.

"We continuously strive to ensure that Mount Bachelor Academy remains a vital and dynamic institution that evolves when and where it is warranted," said Sharon Bitz, the academy's executive director. "But we never lose sight of the need to hold fast to the original vision, philosophy and mission of this school community."

Preparing Today's Students for Tomorrow's Challenges:
At Mount Bachelor Academy, "challenge" has always been viewed as another term for "opportunity" - a philosophy that applies to the school's continued growth as well as to the educational opportunity and academic support that are offered to every student.

With the firm belief that many of the students who are at risk of failing in today's schools (or succumbing to unhealthy behaviors) are actually among our nation's most promising young people, the MBA faculty and staff work every day to ensure that our students receive a first-rate education that integrates personal growth with academic achievement.

Highlights of the Mount Bachelor experience include the following:

  • Upon enrollment, each student is tested for placement in an accredited curriculum in which science, math, humanities, social sciences, and a host of other subjects are integrated into a comprehensive whole.
  • Committed to their mission of rekindling students' passion for learning, MBA faculty members employ a wide range of strategies and techniques to capture students' interest, address their unique learning styles, and prepare them for the rigors of higher education.
  • Each student at Mount Bachelor Academy joins a supportive peer group of no more than 15 students who participate in a comprehensive curriculum comprised of six intensive values clarification workshops (called Lifesteps®), four academic seminars, four achievement seminars, three drug and alcohol workshops, and special gender workshops for boys and girls.
  • Mount Bachelor also offers an extensive drug and alcohol education program for students with a history of substance use, and all parents participate in a program designed for the families.
  • Mount Bachelor Academy offers both college preparatory and standard diplomas.

During their enrollment at Mount Bachelor Academy, students also follow unique, individually developed plans that involve earning their way through each step of a five-phase process of growth and development.

About Mount Bachelor Academy:
Mount Bachelor Academy is a therapeutic boarding school designed to address the unique academic, emotional, and mental health needs of students who have demonstrated oppositional behavior with a history of gradual (or perhaps sudden) decline resulting in a wide range of dangerous and unhealthy behaviors.

As a leading provider of residential services for adolescents who are struggling with issues related to adoption, loss, or trauma, Mount Bachelor employs a fully integrated therapeutic curriculum to reconnect students with their families, schools, and selves.

The academy's student body includes (but is not limited to) teenagers who have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Some students have learning disabilities, poor organizational skills, a history of disruptive behaviors in the classroom, and a lack of confidence and motivation.

Mount Bachelor Academy is a proud member of Aspen Education Group, the nation's largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs. Aspen Education Group offers professionals and families the opportunity to choose from a variety of therapeutic settings in order to best meet a student's unique academic and emotional needs. Aspen Education Group has been profiled by major news and television organizations around the world, including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and People magazine, as well as on CNN, ABC's 20/20 and Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show and Dateline NBC, National Public Radio, and the syndicated television show Dr. Phil. Aspen is a division of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest chemical dependency and related behavioral health organization.

For more information about Aspen Education Group, visit http://www.aspeneducation.com or call (888) 972-7736. For more information about Mount Bachelor Academy, visit http://www.mtba.com or call (888) 416-3665.

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Sharon Bitz
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