Thursday, January 17, 2002
University of California Office of the President
UC Educational Outreach Programs Make Progress
The University of California's educational outreach and K-14
improvement programs are making progress despite facing a
number of challenges, the Board of Regents was told today
(Jan. 17, 2002).
In the UC administration's annual presentation to the Regents
on the status of outreach programs, UC Irvine vice chancellor
and former interim vice president for educational outreach
Manuel N. Gómez, said the number of students participating
in UC outreach programs has increased substantially, the programs
are reaching students earlier in their school careers, historically
distinct programs have converged to maximize their impact
on schools, and tens of thousands of teachers are now getting
professional development services through UC programs.
"UC is now more deeply involved with K-14 education
than at any time in the university's history, and our depth
of engagement is unprecedented in American higher education,"
Gómez said. "We face a tremendously complex set
of challenges in California's schools, but we are on the right
track. I must emphasize, though, that these are long-term
efforts, and our ultimate success depends upon maintaining
support for educational outreach in the coming years."
Gómez' successor as vice president for educational
outreach, Winston C. Doby, was introduced to the Regents at
the meeting. Doby served as vice chancellor for student affairs
at UCLA for 20 years; he assumed his new post on Jan. 2.
"Enhancing diversity on our campuses and improving our
public schools are critical, interrelated challenges, and
I look forward to investing my energies in helping the University
to address them," Doby said.
UC's educational outreach and K-14 improvement efforts are
aimed at bolstering academic performance in California's schools
and better preparing students for college. They encompass
a vast array of programs, including (1) student-centered programs
that provide tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, college
counseling and other services directly to K-12 students; (2)
school partnerships that offer curriculum development, direct
instruction, community engagement and other assistance to
many of California's lowest-performing schools; (3) professional
development programs to increase the skills and effectiveness
of teachers and administrators; and (4) programs that help
community college students plan for transfer and advise students
about graduate and professional school study.
These programs have expanded dramatically in recent years,
thanks to the support of Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature.
State support for the programs now totals $177.4 million per
year, with $93.5 million of that figure devoted to the professional
The outreach effort faces substantial challenges, in part
because it focuses largely on students in California's lowest-performing
schools. The challenges include the availability of resources
and qualified teachers in these schools, the socioeconomic
and educational disadvantages affecting many students in the
schools, and the complexities of implementing university programs
in a manner that comports with the local school's own needs
Gómez and Doby made several points to the Regents
about the current status of the programs, including:
- Participation in outreach and K-14 improvement programs
has grown substantially. More than 97,000 students participate
in UC-led student-centered programs, nearly 100,000 teachers
are served by the professional development programs, and
UC-school partnerships now extend to 256 California schools,
up from 192 in 1998-99.
- Outreach programs are successfully reaching students earlier
in their academic careers, with the goal of improving academic
performance and college preparation over the duration of
their school years. More than half of UC's partner schools
are now elementary schools, and more than one-fourth of
all students participating in UC outreach programs are below
the ninth grade.
- Outreach programs that previously were distinct in funding
and organization are now "converging" to maximize
their impact on individual schools. Almost all of UC's partner
high schools are now also sites where UC student-centered
outreach programs - such as MESA, Puente and the Early Academic
Outreach Program (EAOP) - are also operating. Nearly all
of UC's partner schools, from elementary to high schools,
are also participating in UC's teacher professional development
- Participants in UC outreach programs now account for 30
percent of African American UC freshmen and 33 percent of
Latino UC freshmen.
- Increases in UC eligibility for outreach program participants
are modest so far. UC-eligible participants from MESA, Puente
and EAOP increased from 4,208 in 1998-99 to 4,947 in 1999-2000,
the most recent year for which data are available. UC-eligible
students from partner schools decreased from 3,095 to 2,996
over the same period, though there was an increase for underrepresented
minorities from 1,378 to 1,451 during that time. Gómez
cautioned that at least another year's worth of data is
needed before drawing any conclusions about the programs'
effects on eligibility, noting that the data so far cover
years in which the infrastructure of the programs was still
being developed. The original goal for these programs was
to double UC eligibility rates of student participants over
a five-year period.
- However, they also noted that the results of educational
outreach cannot be measured in terms of UC eligibility gains
alone, but also in terms of college preparation generally.
Also, results about improvements in student attainment of
"benchmarks" at earlier ages - such as completing
algebra coursework in the ninth grade - are important. The
university is in the process of collecting data on these
other important performance indicators.
A written report on the status of UC's educational outreach
and K-14 improvement programs is also available. An update
of the outreach programs with 2001 data will be available
in the spring.
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