UC Requirement or staying with EC?

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<p>The Cal Polys and other CSUs do have a-g subject requirements similar to the UCs:</p>

<p>CSUMentor</a> - Plan for College - High School Students - High School Subject Requirements</p>

<p>Note that Cal Poly San Luis Obispo recommends (presumably meaning favors for admissions purposes) more course work in some subjects than the baseline CSU a-g requirements:</p>

<p>How</a> to Apply - Admissions - Cal Poly</p>

<p>You can look up which courses at your California (public or some private) high school fulfill each a-g subject requirement here:</p>

<p><a href="https://doorways.ucop.edu/list%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://doorways.ucop.edu/list&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>(Yes, music courses can count for the VAPA requirement; check the list to be sure.)</p>

<p>Summer school throughout the school district, not community college, is what worked for our kids. Neighbors were sometimes able to find the right classes through nearby school districts if they applied too late for our district.</p>

<p>I live in California, our school requires 2 years of PE. All 3 of my kids were in a sport so took four years. It was the last period of the day. We knocked out the fine arts requirement freshman year (2 took drama and one took ceramics). Our school now switched to block scheduling (8 periods, basically go to 4 a day), so fitting everything in has become much easier. But D1 and S2 had a really hard time fitting in Health, which is not A-G, but a California (or maybe just our school district) requirement. Both ended up taking it online. Due to budget cuts our school district only has summer school for remediation. Also, I think journalism counts as an A-G, under either English or Other.</p>

<p>My D2012 ran into a similar problem, wanting to leave room in her HS schedule for 4 years of Orchestra and 4 years of Latin. Traditional summer school didn't work with her schedule -- it conflicted with late-June Orchestra commitments and National Latin Convention in mid-July. </p>

<p>We were able to find UC-approved asynchronous online courses to fulfill requirements in Health (through BYU Online), Economics and AP Government (through Laurel Springs Online). National University and K12 academy also have many UC-approved offerings, and there may be other schools too. UC is working to expand their approved list. </p>

<p>You can check to see what offerings are UC-approved by looking up schools on the UC</a> Doorways website.</p>

<p>Your D may also be able to work out something through her own HS. At our HS, a couple of kids were approved for independent study in music. All they had to do was practice on their own, meet weekly with the music teacher before school, and show up for school concerts two evenings per semester -- so they fulfilled their VAPA requirement without taking up a class period. My D didn't want to do that, though, because for her working daily with the other kids in orchestra class is a part of the fun.</p>

<p>I really appreciate all your ideas. I had just gotten stuck thinking about this. It is frustrating when I hear about schools where kids can take so many more classes. Here it is 6 periods period. I think my D and I need to sit down, look at the list, brainstorm possibilities for each variation and then talk with the guidance counselor. HS Summer school offerings are limited, and it is very difficult to get into community college classes here, but UCR is near enough and offers summer enrollment to HS students easily. I also need to check about online classes through the HS. I know that US History is available, I'm not sure about anything else. Independent PE is limited to students who are "training for state-level competition" which ends up basically being swimmers and gymnasts around here.</p>

<p>This D has really blossomed during HS. As a freshman I forced her to pick an elective where she would be working with other people, and not being musical she went for journalism. It's been a great thing for her so I'd like her to continue. At the least, she could knock out one semester of PE this summer (3 hrs a day for 3 weeks, weird, I know) and then drop the journalism class the last semester -- I pretty sure the adviser would allow her to stay on the staff that last semester without the class.</p>

<p>Aside from the journalism class, freshman PE, and health taken in the summer after freshman year, D's transcript is all academic classes -- math through APCalcBC, 4 lab sciences, 3 AP social studies, she hasn't been slacking, this just snuck up on us somehow. I guess I didn't expect the desire for 4 yrs of French! So maybe that will have to give. We'll see. Thanks again for letting me process this out loud!</p>

<p>If you're stuck at a school with the goofy 2.5 years of PE, thus totally messing up the schedule, then she can probably take a PE class at a CC in the summer to fulfill that extra half year. Some have courses like learning to golf or even just doing workouts (need to sign in/out) in the workout center which is not a bad thing to do in the summer anyway.</p>

<p>Check the list I linked for acceptable courses to fulfill the VAPA requirement but also check with the staff at the particular HS since the particular course as taught at that school has to be 'approved' by the UC as meeting their requirements - you don't want to guess at this.</p>

<p>Consider also why the UCs have the A-G requirements in the first place - it's because they want to see a certain minimum number of a well rounded collection of courses. Many other colleges also want to see a certain minimum of a well rounded collection of courses even if it's not exactly the UC A-G so consider that aspect.</p>

<p>Don't take on the surface the hype that it's impossible to get classes and to graduate in 4 years at a UC since it really depends on the individual, the major, the load they're willing to take, the flexibility the student has (like taking an 8am course if needed), the incoming AP credits accepted within their major, perhaps the specific UC, etc. A lot of students graduate in 4 years or less. But I don't mean to take this thread into this debate direction - I'm just saying to not accept the blanket statement on the surface and unduly rule them out on that basis.</p>

<p>My HS D takes classes at our local Ca CC. High School students register last at our CC and by the time her registration time comes around many classes are full. What has worked now for the past 5 semesters is to register for something and just keep checking the CC course availability several times a day. When something opens up you need to grab it quick. The same goes for wait list spots. We have found that if you have several options of classes to take you can usually get what you want. It takes time and work to check the schedule several times a day but it pays off.
Aside from taking the art at the CC it helps to be flexible. Think about taking the French at the CC. Another option many kids take here is to take College Composition at the CC instead of English 12 or AP English. In that case if your D attends a Ca public college she has one class out of the way.</p>

<p>Keep in mind, too, that colleges are looking for the most rigorous schedule at YOUR school, not at everyone else's school. The college sends a school profile along with the applications and that shows that they only had 6 periods/day and what your local and state graduation requirements are. Colleges understand this so don't put too much emphasis on that your DD could only fit in 5 AP classes where other' can fit in 8. That doesn't matter all that much as long as she took those AP classes (assuming she is applying to more selective schools).</p>

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<p>Indeed, 4 year graduation rates have been rising at UCs from 1991-2009, according to [url=<a href="http://statfinder.ucop.edu%5DUniversity"&gt;http://statfinder.ucop.edu]University&lt;/a> of California: StatFinder<a href="unfortunately,%20no%20updates%20since%202009">/url</a>.</p>

<p>As long as we are on the subject, D1 is at an "impacted" Cal State and is graduating on time, without going to summer school, despite changing her major 3 times and coming in with only 9 AP units. S2 is at a UC and on track to easily graduate on time. In fact his UC is very strict about ECP (expected cumulative progress) and will put a hold on your registration if you aren't keeping up, and AP credits don't count towards those. At the parent orientation at both schools, they said they didn't want kids hanging around past 4 years and they do everything they can to get them to graduate on time. They said, which we found to be true, that you can't always get the classes you want, at the times you want, but if you are willing to take a class before 10 AM or on a Friday, it is easy to get all the classes you need.</p>

<p>I take graduation rates at state schools, any state school, with a grain of salt. There are a LOT of people that attend state schools with no intention on graduating in 4 years, on purpose. Many only take a class or two each semester, with the intention of eventually getting a degree, but maybe over 6 years or more. Yes, you get your fair share of slackers or dropouts but for a serious student, it means very little.</p>

<p>Both my son and my daughter ran into the "fine art" issue for the UC system. They were varsity athletes which ate up 1 class a year. The fine art class was not required by their high schools.</p>

<p>They both took a photography class at the local community college. For both, it was a Saturday morning class during the normal school year so their summers were open. A one semester class at the CC is equivalent to the one year HS requirement. </p>

<p>The photography classes were somewhat hard to get into. They were full when the CC allowed the HS students to register. They enrolled in a ceramics class (which my daughter would have taken if she didn't into the photography class) to get into the CC system. They attended the first session of the photography class and the prof let them in (different prof for the two). They told the prof their situation and he figured (correctly) that the drop rate is usually at least a couple. They dropped the ceramics class and added the photography class (with the prof's signature).</p>

<p>My son went to a California school so the class was used as the prerequisit. Daughter ended up going to a private school and got them to give her credit for it, so it wasn't wasted for her.</p>

<p>Maybe this was stated somewhere but does the "class" that kids take for being in a sport count as their PE credit or is there another PE credit they have to take. What if you are in 3 sports, is that 3 classes each year you give up?</p>

<p>It seems like it does take 5 years to get your BS at the CA state schools these days. Class availability seems to be the big issue. Of my son's roommates, one graduated after 4 years and 2 quarters, my son and the ohter two roomies all took the full 5 years. He did know a cuple of students that did make it out in 4, but they were the definite minority.</p>

<p>My son started off with 12 units of AP credit. There would be a series of classes that he needed and getting into the first of the series was hard. These classes were then prerequisits for other higher level classes, so he would get stalled in certain required tracks. He ended up one required class short to start his senior project, which was a 3 quarter sequence that had to start in the fall quater. Hence the 5 years.</p>

<p>He took a either a full load or nearly so each quarter, so ended up with a lot of extra credits when he did graduate. Where he got behind was about his sophomore year. He was an engineering major and the extra classes were all engineering classes (he wound up taking most if not all classes in a group where one would normally choose/take a couple). I believe that the extra knowledge he gathered helped him get his job after graduating.</p>

<p>The department head stated once that only 15% students graduated on time where 85% graduated in 5 years. Sounds about right as far as I can see.</p>

<p>PE for a sports team does count as PE credit. If you played 3 sports you would just have "Advanced PE" all year and move from coach to coach as the seasons changed. Most of the coaches like the kids to train all year during PE even if they only play one sport, but you can work it out only to have the PE class during the season of your sport. There are very few semester classes, however, so it doesn't help much to free up just one semester!</p>

<p>Priorities here -- explore the CC opportunities for art! Sounds like that would be the best if it works out.</p>

<p>And realistically would would all probably sleep better next year if we knew commuting to UCR was a sure fall back choice!</p>

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I'm starting to be really thankful we don't live in California, lol. S and D not having had to deal with any of this. Course, our taxes are probably rather higher here than there...</p>

<p>Regarding art at a Ca CC. My D took Art last semester at the local CC. Her art teacher taught at 2 different CColleges. She told her class that the other CC was eliminating all Art classes for the Summer 2012 term and reducing the offerings for Spring. Just a heads up to not totally counting on the CC for art over the summer. Also sounds like you are in Southern Ca and might be able to look into several CC for classes if your D drives.</p>

<p>Not sure that taking PE at a juco is even possible for high schoolers anymore. If I recall, the state changed the law ~3 years ago due to some coaches's issues at the juco. But as others have noted, planning on taking an art this summer is also questionable. High schoolers will receive last registration priority, and classes maybe full.</p>

<p>So the local CC has suspended the concurrent enrollment program for HS students. Sigh. Looks like no French 4, summer school PE, an online class, or a UCR summer class are the options. We should be able to make something work.</p>

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[quote]
It seems like it does take 5 years to get your BS at the CA state schools these days.

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A few points -
- Not all 'CA state schools' are the same. There's a wide ranging number from UCB to UCM, from CalPoly-SLO to SDSU to Sonoma to other CSUs that all have their own attributes in this regard.</p>

<ul>
<li><p>The graduation time can vary with the major - ex: most engineering majors need to take more courses than most humanities majors and the courses are difficult and one needs to take care to manage the schedule to try to not pack one quarter full of the most difficult courses so engineering majors can take longer to graduate than humanities majors (as an example).</p></li>
<li><p>Beware of putting too much into a limited number of anecdotes from both those who've experienced the difficulty of classes and long grad times and those who haven't. It's best to know the details including the particular Uni as well as the specific issues.</p></li>
</ul>