UC Attempts To Diversify AP Class Enrollment

University of California administrators recently announced plans to partner with the College Board in order to implement a new campaign designed to eliminate academic barriers for low-income and underrepresented high school students. An internal meeting between UCSD’s Early Academic Outreach Program and the College Board on the “All In” campaign, which will target prospective UC students with potential for taking advanced-level high school courses, is set to take place on Nov. 10.

The University of California’s EAOP will work with the College Board’s Western Regional Office to better prepare these students for college admission. 

The proposed methods include increasing the number of students who take the PSAT/NMSQT — the SAT practice exam. Using the exam results, the All In campaign organizers hope to identify students who show the potential to partake in more rigorous high school courses, such as Advanced Placement courses, and encourage them to enroll. 

The All In campaign will also attempt to bring awareness, training and advising to both students and parents on the importance of taking the PSAT/NMSQT and following up with advanced-level high school courses.

In the Class of 2014, 49 percent of California high school students sat for the PSAT/NMSQT. Of these test takers, 39 percent scored high enough, according to the College Board’s standards, to demonstrate potential to excel in one or more AP classes. However, only 31 percent of those who reached the College Board benchmark did enroll in recommended AP courses.

Rafeael Hernandez, the director for University of California, San Diego’s EAOP, is helping to implement the campaign’s strategies within the San Diego Unified School District. Other cities with targeted districts include Fresno, cities within the Inland Empire, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and Sacramento.

“It is our hope to identify students who show such potential and increase the number of them who are UC eligible,” Hernandez said. 

However, the purpose of the program is not necessarily to increase the number of students going into the University of California system, but to further encourage students to pursue higher education in general.

The University of California’s involvement with the All In campaign is a part of a much wider mission to diversify UC campuses. 

Other new UC initiatives that aim to increase the diversity of college campuses include the Puente Project, a program focused on increasing the literacy development of high school and community college students hoping to enroll in four-year colleges and universities, and Scout, a program that allows middle and high school students to take college prep, AP, Honors, International Baccalaureate and recovery courses online.

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