The University of California released a “major expansion” of UC Scout, a new online program designed to provide high school students with free access to Advanced Placement (AP) and “A-G” subject requirements required for competitive college admissions.

UC Scout now offers 65 online courses, and 26 of which are AP classes, thanks to $4 million in state funding from the 2016-17 state budget, which allowed the program to add and improve “dozens of free online courses, from world history and law to engineering and 3-D design.”

Currently 47 public high schools in California don’t offer full “A-G” requirements for admission to CSU and UC schools. Access to AP classes also varies; eight percent of students attend high schools with no AP offerings, and another three percent attend schools with four or less AP courses, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics and the College Board.

“Through UC Scout, students can work through  online course materials at no charge under direction of a teacher or counselor at their school, or for a fee, they can take a premium course lead by a UC Scout instructor,” reads a University of California press release. “Schools can also use the platform and materials as a way to offer classes they might not otherwise have the resources to provide.” All course offerings are UC accredited and approved.

“We want to ensure that all students with the potential to succeed in AP coursework are able to take advantage of those opportunities. We applaud the recent expansion of the UC Scout Program, which will help even more college California students prepare for college and career success,” said Scott Hill, vice president for the western region at the College Board.

In 2016-17, 259 schools participated in the UC Scout program with 1,992 students enrolling in 3,672 courses, according to the press release. Students came from a variety of educational settings and diverse social backgrounds. The program will be a “critical tool booster” to bolster college eligibility among California residents, especially,  said  Janet Napolitano, those who attend high schools with limited educational resources. AP classes like those offered by the program are proven to make students more college-ready.  

“We are grateful for the state’s support of UC and hope even more students will take advantage of the opportunities afforded by this easily accessible program.”

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