The ORCA online application is now available. ORCA is now located in a state of the art facility on the Everett Waterfront at the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Center (click to check current weather conditions). With a generous grant from the National Science Foundation, ORCA was able to build an oceanographic research lab for students. Complete with a 120 gallon seawater aquarium, fume hood, and fully equipped student islands, the lab was designed for collaborative and independent research. Contact Ardi to come visit us at 1205 Craftsman Way, Suite 203, Everett, WA 98201
The Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA) is an early college high school academy, one of the first in Washington State. ORCA is the only early college in the nation that uses the local marine environment as the unifying theme to integrate the core academic disciplines. Funded initially by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ORCA seeks to provide opportunities for all students to engage in active inquiry and in-depth study in a supportive environment.
Read about ORCA in the news
"I began ORCA seeking its smaller learning community environment and doing college work with other high school students who have similar interests and goals. I continued ORCA because of its amazing faculty, challenging coursework, preparation for my future, and the opportunity that it provides to maximize my ability to grow as a learner. I not only gained experience in science and writing to prepare me for medical school, but I also learned to appreciate the humanities which helped me grow as a conceptual thinker and person." Tajanna Stinn, ORCA graduate 2009
ORCA is a unique opportunity for high school students. By using the framework of the Running Start program and the resources of Everett Community College, there is no tuition for high school students. ORCA offers students a full-time college experience that satisfies all requirements for an Associate’s degree and most requirements for a high school diploma.
Using an innovative, project-based approach in a small "learning community" environment, students enjoy the challenge of designing and implementing their own learning experiences under the guidance of talented college faculty. While marine science provides the focus for interdisciplinary projects, students receive a rich education in all of the core subjects, with outstanding faculty members working with the students for two years.
Adjoining the lab are three instructional classrooms, a common room, lunchroom and faculty offices. The core vision of ORCA resonates in the new space. Students grow as active, responsible, inquisitive learners by collaborating with other students and faculty, conducting scientific research of their own design and applying critical thinking skills from all academic disciplines. The proximity to the water is ideal for students, enabling opportunities for daily monitoring and independent research projects. The facility complements the State of Possession Sound research at ORCA, facilitating student development of a sense of place and understanding of the complexities of the marine ecosystem.