Publications & Resources

How Are High School Students Faring in the College Prep Curriculum? A Look at Benchmark Data for UC Partner High Schools in the University of California’s School/University Partnership Program

Dec 2002

Denise D. Quigley and Seth Leon

Policymakers and educators are committed to increasing the competitive eligibility of high school students applying to the University of California (UC) and to increasing the representation of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students on UC campuses. A core element of the University of California’s strategy to accomplish these goals is the School/University Partnership Program (S/UP) with its supportive academic development student programs. Increasing UC eligibility by increasing students’ ability to complete UC preparatory coursework is both a key programmatic strategy and a primary goal of the Partnerships. The overarching motivation of the School/University Partnership Program is to advance the rate at which students graduate from high school with a comprehensive educational background that makes them eligible for the University of California. Completion of the A-G required course pattern is the single best indicator of the accomplishment of this objective. This report establishes the A-G course completion rates and course-taking patterns for a group of urban UC School/University Partnership schools in a large urban school district in California. These data clarify the nature of the problems that must be systematically addressed and begin to identify actual baseline trends against which future goals can be realistically established. These data are crucial for Partnership, Partner school, and school district staff in understanding the basic issues and potential solutions for increasing UC eligibility and increasing UC preparatory course taking. We found that a large majority of the students in the UC Partner schools were not successfully completing the college prep curriculum. These data reveal that mobility and not taking or completing the A-G courses have resulted in very small percentages of students staying on track and attaining A-G completion by the end of 12th grade. The course-taking patterns outlined in this report provide a first step in setting the stage for gaining a set of diagnostic tools to be used both to increase the number of students on track and to keep students on track towards achieving A-G eligibility by the end of 12th grade.

Quigley D. D., & Leon, S. (2002). How are high school students faring in the college prep curriculum? A look at benchmark data for UC partner high schools in the University of California’s School/University Partnership Program (CSE Report 584). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).