Princeton ArcPrep

Program Director
Mónica Ponce de León, Dean, Princeton School of Architecture

Program Instructor
Katie Zaeh '10, Architectural Design Fellow, Princeton School of Architecture

Admission to the Program
Open to sophomores at Trenton Central High School with good academic standing and interest in architecture. 

Funding and Partners
Trenton Public Education Foundation (TPEF) has raised $18,500 to support the program with the help of LENNAR - We Care Foundation, NJM Foundation, West Windsor Gardens, Sharbell Development Corporation, Eckert Seamans Charitable Foundation, and Mary Jo and James C. Hedden.

Program Information
In Fall 2018, Princeton School of Architecture, in collaboration with Trenton Central High School, launched Princeton ArcPrep, a program introducing Trenton high school students to the discipline of architecture through an immersive, semester-long course on architecture, urbanism, and integrated design studio practices. Unlike other architecture high school programs, ArcPrep’s studio instruction is not an extra-curricular activity; it’s embedded within the high school curriculum and the daily schedule of participating students.

Architecture is a discipline that constructs culture and designs the built environment all around us. While our communities are diverse, architecture lacks diverse representation and a diverse voice. Of all registered architects in the United States, less than 2% are African American and only 3% are Latino (American Institute of Architects 2014). Princeton ArcPrep aims to diversify the field of architecture by providing comprehensive support, guidance, and academic and cultural enrichment to students who are typically underrepresented in American architecture schools and thus the profession of architecture. A rigorous academic program, Princeton ArcPrep helps participating students develop skills, knowledge and awareness related to careers in architecture and to aid in college readiness. ArcPrep students are selected for their academic standing and interest in architecture.

Princeton ArcPrep students spend three hours a day, four days a week in studio with Program Instructor Katie Zaeh at Trenton Central High School studying architecture through a project-based learning curriculum. On the fifth day, they participate in either a career exposure module learning from guest speakers and going on site visits with architecture firms, or in a career counseling module in which they are mentored and work on preparing for interviews and presentations, creating resumes and design portfolios, and prepare for the college application process and financial aid and scholarships. Creating the design portfolios opens up new possibilities since they are critical for college admittance in design and architecture fields. 

Recent Press: 

"ArcPrep Program Launches at Trenton Central High School" from TrentonDaily
"ArcPrep Program Encourages Trenton Students to Think Like Architects" from Princeton Alumni Weekly
"Trenton Students Wow Attendees at ArcPrep Portfolio Day" from TrentonDaily
"University Launches Architecture Program for Trenton Central HS Sophomores" from Town Topics
"Princeton ArcPrep launched at Trenton High" from Community News
"Princeton University's New Program Aims to Diversify the Architecture Field" from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

Interested in being Princeton's next Architectural Design Fellow?

Apply here by May 15, 2019