A key component of the Pre-Collegiate Academy program is the teacher-training project. Developed with the key assumption that teacher quality affects student achievement, the teacher-training aspect of the program comprises a one-week summer Teacher Institute, in which Oakland Unified School District mathematics and literacy teachers are trained in curriculum development. Experienced teachers are paired with prospective teachers - typically undergraduate students attending local universities- to work together to develop curriculum and strategies for teaching students.
After this initial week, both teachers and prospective teachers continue to develop the skills they have acquired by teaching mathematics or language arts to PCA students attending the four-week summer program. During the program, teachers and prospective teachers meet daily for two hours for additional training and reflection on teaching methods. The teacher-training component of the program is designed to provide teachers with access to a "laboratory" setting, in which they create a new curriculum and practice innovative instruction amidst motivated students who are enthusiastic about learning.
Collaboration with teachers from other Oakland schools promotes professional development among participating teachers, as well as fosters a support network that encourages teachers to not only stay in the profession, but to also to excel and to spread their enthusiasm for teaching and learning to others.