Princeton ArcPrep




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

Program Instructor
Jorge Orozco Gonzalez '11, 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

The Trenton Public Education Foundation (TPEF) has raised over $57,000 to support the program through the generous support of donors.


LENNAR We Care Foundation

NJM Foundation

PNC Foundation/Greater Trenton

The Rothman Foundation

Mary Jo and James Hedden

Eckert Seamans Charitable Foundation.

The Homasote Foundation

American Properties

West Windsor Gardens

Dr. Carol Bentel

John Heyburn

Dr. Arnold Rabsoen



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 in their Sophomore year 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 Latinx (American Institute of Architects, 2015). 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 the Program Instructor 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. 


Previous Program Instructors:

Katie Zaeh '10



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