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K-12 Experiences and Pre-Collegiate Academic Preparation
To ensure students' long-term educational and professional success, academic preparation and a pathway to college are essential. For a majority of African American and Latino students, who historically have come from under-resourced communities, it is essential that a college going culture be embedded within students' very first experience of school and continue on throughout the K-12 years. Recognizing that such preparation is the foundation for success later in life, the Choices Project identifies the factors that enable African American and Latino students to achieve, and also seeks to understand what circumstances impede their success.

As Choices Project researchers, our focus is on determining whether schools have sufficient educational resources, qualified teachers, and adequate facilities to support students during their education. We reach into the communities we serve to talk directly to students, teachers, and administrators.

During our inquiry and research process, we learn about schools' successes and challenges, relations with parents and the community, teacher training, development, and experience as well as many other criteria essential to students' success. Because the likelihood of college attendance and graduation is established early on during the K-12 years, we examine and assess a number of critical factors, including:

Overall K-12 student curricula
Courses that enable students to meet University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) qualifications
Teacher qualifications
The relationship between students and teachers
The relationship between schools, parents, and the community
Students' own evaluations of schools
How schools influence student college choice

We invite K-12 teachers and administrators to participate as co-researchers, and we report back to schools on research findings, as well.The Choices Project includes K-12 schools in several districts in the Los Angeles basin, Bay Area, and Sacramento, California.


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