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California Schools Get Access to A-G-Approved Courses

A California university program has received the seal of approval for its K-12 and college STEM-related courses, allowing students to use the grades they earn in those classes to help prove they've fulfilled some of the admission requirements for the University of California. The C-STEM Center at U California Davis was awarded "A-G Program Status" by UC's Office of the President.

A-G approval refers to the seven areas of requirements the UC system mandates for its applicants. These can be attained by earning a specific grade in an approved high school course or by completing college courses or earning specific scores on assessment exams, such as SAT or Advanced Placement.

The Center for Integrated Computing and STEM Education (C-STEM) now offers curriculum for six high school courses with A-G approval as well as four middle school courses. The pre-approval means that high schools can offer the courses without having to go through the university approval process themselves.

Approved high school courses available for 2014-2015 encompass:

  • Algebra I with Computing;
  • Algebra I with Robotics and Computing;
  • Integrated Math I with Computing;
  • Integrated Math I with Robotics and Computing;
  • Introduction to Computer Programming with C; and
  • Computing with Robotics.

The middle school courses are:

  • Math 7 with Computing;
  • Math 8 with Computing;
  • Computer Programming with Ch; and
  • Robotics.

"This is a milestone for the C-STEM Center," said center director Harry Cheng, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UC Davis. "It means that high schools can now readily adopt our research-based curriculum to help close the achievement gap and prepare students ready for career and college. We are very pleased that our research and outreach will have broad impact on the K-12 talent pipeline and workforce development."

Currently, the curriculum and related programs from C-STEM are in use in 80 schools around the state. Shortly, the center will host a STEM education conference at UC Davis to bring together teachers, researchers and others to share their experiences and best practices for STEM education.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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