By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Most high school students aren’t college-ready
• Central Valley, Whitmore Charter students better prepared
A-G requirements
Courses needed beyond graduation requirements to meet A-G

Most California high school students aren’t eligible to attend the public universities – and students in the Valley are among the most impacted, according to a recent report by the news outlet Ed Source.

The report focuses on what are known as “A-G requirements,” which are classes needed for undergraduate student admission into a University of California or California State University campus.

The requirement involves completing a specific number of college-preparatory courses in subjects like foreign language, English and math. Some requirements include four years in English, two years of laboratory science and a college prep elective.

Ed Source analyzed data, obtained by the California Department of Education, which showed less than half (44%) of the state’s high school graduates fulfilled their A-G requirement last year.

Black and Latino students had higher instances of graduating without the requirement, at 68% and 64% of respectively. Fewer white students graduated without the requirement – or 48% – compared to 26% for Asian students.

At Ceres High School, 64.76 percent of students lack A-G courses while things were much better at Central Valley High School where 41.88 percent were lacking.

Students at Whitmore Charter High School were better posed to enter college as 48.57 percent of students there were lacking A-G courses.

At Endeavor High School, 95.89 percent of students were reported to be deficient in college readiness courses.

At Hughson High School in Hughson, 69.83 percent of students were lacking A-G courses.

Counties in the Valley ranked among the lowest in the state for meeting the college requirement, with many high schools graduating less than a quarter of their students with these requirements.

During a recent roundtable discussion hosted by EdSource, high school leaders said solutions to the problem may include raising awareness for parents and students and more attention to disadvantaged groups.

Aleka Jackson-Jarrell, who operates a college preparatory program, Heritage, at Adelanto High School in San Bernardino, said her program specifically encourages Black students and their parents to learn about A-G, after finding Black students showed disparities in their completion rates.

“We have to look at it through an equity lens because there are so many systemic barriers that keep African-American and Latino students from college,” Jackson-Jarrell said. “We have to hone in on counties encountering some of those barriers such as the educational barriers; just the lack of information of parents not understanding what A-G even is. Our students (are) not understanding what A-G is.”

Michael McCormick, superintendent of the Val Verde Unified School District, which operates in Moreno Valley near Riverside, said state policies could help challenge schools to focus on the requirement.

“If we can, through a policy solution or the stroke of the governor’s pen decide that we need to teach cursive writing, why can we not do some sort of a policy solution for A-G?” McCormick said. “It seems like a viable path is there.”

— Rachel Livinal reports on higher education for KVPR through a partnership with the Central Valley Journalism Collaborative. Jeff Benziger also contributed to this report.