Aspire Richmond California College Preparatory Academy
ABOUT CAL PREP
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).