How Does TIA Help Their Students Consistently Score High on SAT Tests?

Tucson International Academy offers a tremendously successful business education program for middle and high school students. One of the most effective facets of this educational regimen is test preparation. Standardized tests, particularly the SATs, are a major cause for concern among students who hope to enter prestigious colleges and universities. Some schools have minimum SAT test score requirements for applicants and will not even consider approving entrance to a student with scores below these benchmarks. TIA’s SAT preparation program is the reason why TIA students consistently outscore other schools on the SAT tests.

How Does TIA’s Business Week Help?

Jonathan Basurto is an assistant principal at TIA and recently coordinated Business Week for TIA students, an annual event where TIA students dress professionally and interview with actual businesses in the area. Business Week is an integral part of TIA’s business curriculum, and Mr. Basurto believes that it offers a chance for students to gain some real-world experience of what entering the job force in business is really like.

Eleventh Grade Is Crucial for Business Sense Development

Business Week often leads to internships for students that provide valuable work experience, and most businesses are eager to offer job opportunities to TIA students, thanks to the robust curriculum and students’ consistently high SAT scores. Mr. Basurto believes that eleventh grade is often the most difficult for high school students, and the time they feel the most pressure to perform well on standardized tests like the SATs.

Preparing for the Future at TIA

The SAT preparation regimen at TIA lasts a full year, and students have the opportunity to take the SAT for the first time in eleventh grade. If they do not like their scores, they have the opportunity to retake the test and try to earn entrance into the colleges and universities of their choice. TIA graduates have been accepted to prestigious schools like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Harvard University.

What Makes TIA’s SAT Program Successful?

The TIA SAT program is successful because it offers thorough preparation all year long with multiple rounds of practice testing and has mandatory weekly SAT homework starting in eighth grade. This helps take the pressure off of students to perform at their best with just one chance at the SAT test. Each TIA student gets multiple opportunities to practice, which will lead to better scores when they take the actual test and therefore better their chances on applications to the schools of their choosing. Thanks to the tremendous success of the TIA SAT program for eleventh graders, TIA leaders plan to implement robust PSAT/SAT preparation courses for students starting in eighth grade. This essentially enables them to practice and prepare throughout their entire high school career and take the SAT with additional confidence. TIA does not simply prepare students for the SAT in hopes they pass; they empower them to score as highly as possible on the SATs which sets them up for success in their higher education.  

Enroll Today at TIA

SAT tests

Why Are Businesses Interviewing TIA Students During Business Week?

Business Week is a major part of the TIA Business Program. On Friday of Business Week, students 8-12 dress up in professional clothes and interview with local companies. We have Chef Mateo Otero from Rollies Mexican Patio, plus representatives from Raytheon, Pima County, nurses from local hospitals and clinics, and many others. This is the students’ best chance to practice an interview that may eventually lead to their dream careers. It’s an opportunity to identify and correct mistakes--much better than interviewing for a job with no practice at all. During these interviews, many of the local companies also offer internships to TIA students which is great work experience and can lead to college scholarships.

Jonathan Basurto, Vice Principal

“Every year we have students that are offered internships. The biggest ones at the beginning of the program were from Jim Click Automotive, where students would work as service managers and technicians. Then they would get scholarships from Jim Click to go to U of A or other schools. We just had a student get offered an awesome internship to the University of Arizona’s pharmacy program. This student wants to be a doctor in the research and development field. Several of our students are really getting into engineering. So we are trying to work as best we can with engineers to get them internships during the summertime.” 

Arthur Basurto - AZ Workforce Development/SER Youth Coordinator

“We’re here today to look for some interns. I’m looking for interviewing skills and, students with a good GPA. We look at the way they are dressed, how well they speak for themselves, and what type of vocabulary they have. We listen to their stories and where they came from and looking towards their future--where do they see themselves in the next 5 years. TIA is probably one of the best schools I’ve seen. Being a teacher for 35 years prior to what I’m doing now, I would come to TIA back then if I could be here to be part of this. This is a really good school. It’s a college-bound school. It’s a true career path school. ” 

Minette Mercado, TIA student

“I learned a lot of great things today! This helped me overcome my fear of doing interviews and gave me more experience. You learn how to ask good questions during the process to show that you’re interested.” 

Unice Reyes, Senior Class President

“Today we have interviews with the professions that we are interested in. Most of us got internships from one of the companies represented here today. This is a great opportunity for us to explore before we go off to college. I got an internship from the U of A for pharmacy. I’m excited because my future is just beginning. So this is a good opportunity for me to start that way.” 

Jose Diaz, TIA student

“Today I was offered a potential internship for mechanical engineering at Raytheon.” 

Luan Ojeda, TIA student

“Today we are doing our interviews. I had an interview with Raytheon. The career I’d like to have is an aeronautical engineer. The potential internship I have is at Raytheon for aeronautical and mechanical. The most important thing to learn today was that you could get over your fears of talking to people and things will get easier. ” 

Ray Donovan, Raytheon

“There’s a lot of opportunities. You’ve got a lot of runway ahead of you. Raytheon is going to focus on the best and brightest. They are on the right path. This is a group that is really putting in a lot of effort. This is my fourth year here. It’s been really really fun to watch and see the progression of skills. If you want to be competitive, you want to intern at Raytheon. There’s a lot of benefits. I did it for a couple of years. You will get paid much better than you will sitting in one of the areas at the university that you are going to. You will get skills and networking. But you have to keep that GPA up. I don’t care at all if you fail at something. In fact, failing is usually a big plus. Engineering is all about trying something, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and reiterating until you get something that works. We need the best and brightest. And we’ve got some of the best and brightest here. The key is to make sure they are aware of the skills and decisions they can make tomorrow that will help them work with us in the future.”   

Enroll Today at TIA

TIA Business Week - Student Interviews

TIA Grad Cristian Navaro Talks About Owning A Business

Cristian Navaro went to TIA for 4 years of high school, graduating in 2017. He is currently attending Pima Community College and will transfer to the U of A for a business degree.  He talks about owning a business now, thanks to TIA and YEA. Cristian says, “I’ve been into business ever since I was young. The thought of owning a business and being my own boss seems to be for me.” Dr. Jennifer Hererra remembers when Cristian came to TIA in 9th grade.  She says he’s always been a student that stood out because of his intense interest in owning a business. He always went after the unique contribution that he could make through a business.

Project Kickz

Cristian says, “I wanted to get into business now so that I can make a little extra money to help out with college, food and gas and stuff like that. The business I started is called Project Kickz, which is a sneaker shop that buys, sells and trades shoes and also customizes and restores shoes. I have here a pair of soccer cleats I restored. The benefit of restoring shoes is because they are special editions like a Jordan 3 which came out in 2017 and won’t be re-released again until maybe 2020. They are collectors items and more valuable to restore. So if it’s a shoe that someone wears a lot, they bring it to me and I can make it look like it’s new again. I can tape up parts of the shoes to protect the black suede part of the shoe while I use acetone to clean and stripe the paint on the other parts and then repaint it. Some shoes, like the Yeezy by Kanye West made by Adidas, only have so many pairs that are made. I was lucky enough to get a pair but I re-sold them for $1500! The Business Program at TIA is actually how I got my idea for Project Kickz.” Dr. Hererra remembers when Cristian began his business Project Kickz. He found out there was a Young Entrepreneur’s Academy offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and it was there that he wrote a business plan. That’s when his business really took off.

TIA High School Business Class & YEA

Cristian says he was when he was in the TIA Business class during his junior year in high school, and came up with his idea for the project that became his business. In his senior year of high school (2017), he heard about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) offered by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Tucson, Arizona. There they really taught him how to run a business and the steps he needed to accomplish the goal of owning his own business. He had to create a full business plan, so he has a really thick binder with all the details of that plan. Another thing Cristian learned in YEA was to always be respectful of who you’re dealing with, even if the other person gets mad at you or even throws punches at you, to stay respectful because maybe you can help one another later on.

What is a Sneakerhead?

Cristian feels he can tell a lot about a person just by looking at their shoes; each person’s choice of shoes gives them their own personality. People love to express themselves through their shoes. That’s what Sneakerheads mostly do. Sneakerheads are people that love to collect shoes and everything about shoes. They are people who will go wait in line for a new shoe to drop or people that buy multiple pairs of shoes so that they wear one and stock one. To stock one means you would store a pair away to keep it in perfect condition. When Cristian customizes a shoe for someone, he is letting them express who they are and giving them a uniqueness because that’s really them. People will say, “Oh that’s a dope shoe! Where did you get that?” and they say, “Project Kickz!”

Enroll your child at TIA today! Where excellence in teaching is the standard.

TIA Grad Cristian Navaro Talks About Owning A Business