Students study on the Brooklyn College campus
Two different school locations; not many sports
Brooklyn College Academy is a small high school with a long history of preparing kids for college. In fact, it was one of the first schools in the city to allow students to take college courses on a college campus, combining two years of high school with two years of college.
In 9th grade, students take a pre-college class to gradually introduce them to the rigors of college work. One of the first college-credit-bearing courses is Introduction to Theater Arts, given in-house to 10th graders, along with other choices such as speech or music. By the time seniors are ready to graduate, they will have earned anywhere from six to 45 college credits along with their high school diploma. The wide range of college courses offered includes calculus, sociology, physiology, psychology, business and forensics.
Established in February 1986 by the New York City Board of Education in collaboration with the City University of New York, the Academy started as a middle and high school for teens at risk of dropping out. It has evolved into a screened high school for high achievers. Today, only roughly half of the students are from low-income families, says parent coordinator Suhadie Lajara-Rivas.
The Academy is housed at two locations and admits students from throughout Brooklyn who meet the criteria. The Lower and High School (grades 9-10) is located in a renovated warehouse at 350 Coney Island Ave. The Upper Institute (grades 11-12) is at Brooklyn College.
In addition to the perks of a college campus, the Academy has unique homegrown features, such as a mindfulness room with mood lighting and cushioned seats. Girls, who make up the majority of students, may join a mentoring program called SmHEARTGirls!. A respected and well-known world music ensemble is run by a passionate and innovative teacher. “It gives kids an outlet,” says Lajara-Rivas, because the school is “so academically driven.” Although the school does not offer much in the way of sports or clubs, teens may sing in a gospel choir, join student government, or play basketball or volleyball, she adds.
Longtime principal Nicholas Mazzarella is a respected and trusted leader. On school surveys, teachers report he has a clear vision, and most of them would recommend the school to other families.
Students at the Lower and High School annex wear a uniform, but 11th and 12th graders do not, allowing them to blend in more easily with the college students on campus. They share many of the privileges of college students, such as access to the college library, but they are not allowed to access the pool or anyplace college students must pay extra to use.
One downside of the annex location is its small auditorium/gym. However, the school has use of Prospect Park across the street in good weather, as well as a gym at Brooklyn College.
The school is noted for a small inclusion program for District 75 called PS 77 (there are four sites under this name), for high school students with autism. They take classes with Academy students and receive extra help with academics and social skills. On campus, 11th- and 12th-grade autistic students meet in advisory sessions and trade advice on how to deal with social situations. The school has a peer support program at the annex to help children become more engaged in classroom social activities.
The Academy is “very hands-on” with the college application process, says Lajara-Rivas. Most graduates go to college, although most do not attend Brooklyn College because they have already spent two years on that campus. Popular choices include City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) schools, in addition to top-tier schools like Harvard and Cornell.
ADMISSIONS: The school admits students in 9th and 10th grades, based on standardized state test scores, report card grades, attendance and lateness. Students who attend an open house, which is recommended by the parent coordinator, take an optional assessment on math and reading, and write an essay about themselves. (Lydie Raschka, DOE data, interview, February 2018)
Safety & Vibe
Faculty & Staff
CalculusNot offered in 2019-20
Computer ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Advanced Foreign LanguageNot offered in 2019-20
AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science
AP/IB Math or ScienceNot offered in 2019-20
Programs & AdmissionsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Brooklyn College Academy
Brooklyn College Academy High School is an Early College School that provides a challenging high school curriculum in addition to a rigorous college program at Brooklyn College. Brooklyn College Academy students receive a substantial head start when applying to college, by graduating with a minimum of 12 to 50 college credits. This opportunity is maximized by students spending their last two years of high school on Brooklyn College Campus where they enjoy an actual college experience.
OfferingsFrom the 2021 High School Directory
Advanced Placement (AP) courses
AP United States History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Literature and Composition, AP World History: Modern
Boys PSAL teams
Girls PSAL teams
Contact & Location
350 Coney Island Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11218
Trains: , to Church Ave; , to Fort Hamilton Parkway
Buses: B103, B16, B35, B67, B68, B69, BM3, BM4
This school is in its own building.