Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy

Background image: Student reading paper
Image credit:
UC Office of the President


The Richmond Aspire California College Preparatory Academy (Cal Prep) is a public charter and early college secondary school, co-founded by University of California, Berkeley and Aspire Public Schools in August, 2005 to propel under-served low-income and first-generation to college students with access to and success in higher education.

The school serves approximately 540 students in grades 6-12, with 80% of the students from racial and ethnic groups under-represented in higher education. The student body is 13% African American, 74% Latino/Hispanic, 9% Asian (including Filipino and East Indian students), 4% Multi-ethnic/Caucasian; 16% are English Language Learners, 69% are eligible for free or reduced lunch, and 75% will be first in their families to graduate from college.

A UC Berkeley multi-disciplinary committee of faculty and staff, together with Aspire and Cal Prep leadership, work to create a school with high expectations for student achievement—offering a non-tracked college preparatory and early college curriculum—and a culture of support.

This collaboration yields just over 50 graduates each year, all headed to a variety of college opportunities.

The tale of the partnership, knowledge gleaned from research and practice, and lessons learned can be found in Achieving College Dreams: How a University-Charter District Partnership Created an Early College High School, a book edited by Rhona S. Weinstein and Frank C. Worrell and published by Oxford University Press (2016). 


Frank C. Worrell, Professor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education, Faculty Director,

Tatiana Lim-Breitbart, Principal, CAL Prep,

Jennifer Green, Interim Superintendent, Aspire Bay Area Region,