Essays in Education


The discourse regarding affirmative action in California, stemming in recent years from the passing of SB 1 in 1995 and Proposition 209 in 1996, has major implications for African Americans’ struggle for higher education in California. This legislation signals a need to understand where African Americans are now and how to identify strategies and practices that are efficacious in improving access as well as preparing these students for competitive college eligibility. In an attempt to illuminate the current status of African American students in California, this article analyzes patterns and trends of academic preparation at the secondary level and undergraduate enrollment to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems. Intervention programs and policies and a range of strategies necessary to create a pipeline to college for students who are both disadvantaged and academically qualified are also discussed. Such efforts and continued research have become critically important due to recent reductions in outreach funding, which have forced California institutions to do more with fewer resources.

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