by LYDIA COBB | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

California Gold Ribbon School

National University Academy is Recognized for Its Diversity of K-12 Academic Programs

All students are unique learners. That’s why National University System was founded in 2001 to meet the challenges of education in the 21st century. National University Academy (NUA) carries on this tradition with its focus on elementary, middle, and high school students. A 2015 recipient of the California Gold Ribbon School award and Title I Academic Achievement award, the academy consists of three public, tuition-free charter schools in 12 California locations. The schools provide an independent study curriculum with onsite and online programs that lead to a high school diploma while preparing the way for college.


“Our programs are accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students,” explained Kimberleigh Marro, interim executive director. NUA is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and has courses approved by the UC system, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. These approvals mean that students are prepared for college. Co-ed cross-country and track and field, and girl’s and boy’s basketball and golf provide sports experiences aligned with the Frontier League of the California Intercollegiate Federation (San Diego).

cs_nua2NUA is all about PRIDE, an acronym that encompasses productive learners, responsible citizens, independent thinkers, decision makers, and effective communicators. At the main campus in Vista, NUA offers the Dual Language Institute (DLI) program which fosters multicultural and multilingual education by providing an academic experience that facilitates competence in speaking, reading, and writing in both English and Spanish. Students receive direct instruction, participate in cooperative learning activities, projects, and individual learning assignments. Another program offered by NUA is the K-6 Waldorf-inspired Sparrow program in La Mesa, which focuses on social inclusion, non-punitive discipline, and experiential learning. In 1001 STEAM for grades 6-12, a Common Core Standards-based curriculum integrates science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Other options include K-8 Homeschool with resource centers in San Diego and Orange Counties, and the Independent Study program which serves students at campuses throughout San Diego and Riverside counties.

“Our programs are accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students.”

“Any student who struggles is referred to a Student Support Team which strategizes and puts interventions in place to help the student succeed,” added Kimberleigh, who has more than 24 years of experience in public, private and charter school education in her native California and Arizona. She added, “Our focus is on student achievement and the cycle of continuous improvement.” Enrollment is ongoing, so that students in traditional schools who are making a transition to NUA can join and stay ahead.


Name of Institution:
National University Academy

Owner/Manager: Kimberleigh Marro, Interim Executive Director
Years in Position: 3
Year of Establishment: 2008
705 Palomar Airport Rd., Carlsbad, CA 92011
660 Bay Blvd. Ste 110, Chula Vista, CA 91910
41870 Kalmia St., Murrieta, CA 92562
4000 E. Florida St. Ste 112, Hemet, CA 92544
Phone: 760-630-4080
Overview: National University Academy is a tuition-free California Gold Ribbon School offering challenging and relevant elementary, middle, and high school programs that prepare today’s students for college and a career. NUA’s Independent Study program in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Hemet and Murrieta are located on the National University campus and serves students in grades 6-12.