Portland Adventist Academy, founded in 1910, began its ESL program in 1995. While some students remain for just one semester, many choose to remain at PAA for several years and obtain a U.S. High School Diploma. Foreign students live with American host families and are assigned American student mentors to help with homework, go on outings, and plan parties. PAA is the only Portland area high school with a student mentor program.
Once at PAA, first-year students take five ESL courses and two regular classes. Advanced ESL students scoring 60 or more on the SLEP test take only one or two ESL classes. One can test out of the ESL program entirely by passing the TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) exam with a score of 71 or higher. By doing so, students pay a lower tuition rate. Those who enter the regular student curriculum and achieve a GPA of 3.25 or higher may apply for AP, Honor, and College Credit classes.
We have a wonderful music program, including band, choir program, strings orchestra, and small guitar classes taught by a professional musician, a recording studio, and music theory course. Our Science program’s award-winning teacher, Mr. Terry Verlo, ensures that each student reaches his or her potential. AP courses are being added to our curriculum in 08-09 for students who have tested out of the ESL program and have a high GPA. Extra-curricular activities include music, soccer, basketball, golf, worship programs, rock climbing, mountaineering, snowboarding, and skiing.
Recent graduates have been accepted at the State University of New York at Binghamton, Arizona State University, Sophia University, Portland State University, Portland Community College, and Pacific Union College. We are proud of the commitment students have shown to their studies and encourage all applicants to consider their college choices before graduating from PAA. Many graduates have obtained scholarships through private firms. The International Student Director is always available to help students with scholarship and college applications.
International Student Registration and Orientation is in mid-August. Classes begin in late August and continue through early June. Students interested in attending summer programs before or after their first year of study may contact local agencies directly (see Local Links under Application).