University of California at Berkeley

Building A Bridge for Future Scholars

Berkeley has been in the vanguard of outreach to K-12 schools since the 1960s. During the last decade, the campus's diverse student body can be largely attributed to these outreach programs and to statewide recruitment efforts.

Berkeley now has about 100 programs that:

  • Provide professional development to teachers,

  • Assist in strengthening and enriching K-12 curricula,

  • Supplement the education of underrepresented students, encouraging them to enroll in college prep courses and go on to college, and

  • Help underrepresented students succeed once they are accepted to Berkeley.

    In September 1995, in response to the Board of Regents decision to eliminate racial and gender preferences in admissions and to assure the future diversity of the student body, Chancellor Tien announced the Berkeley Pledge and committed $1 million to its first year of operation.

    A major thrust of the pledge is a strengthened partnership with California's schools.

    One year after launching the Berkeley Pledge, the campus unveiled a list of 25 K-12 pipeline schools that the campus will work with in a pilot project. Tien and other campus officials were joined by the superintendents of the four Bay Area school districts taking part in the project: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and West Contra Costa.

    The Berkeley Pledge Outreach Model will match Berkeley outreach services with each school's specific needs. Elementary, middle, and high schools are all part of the program, creating in each district an academically enriched "pipeline" for students to travel through as they prepare for college.

    The pilot project already has begun this fall in several schools, including Washington in Point Richmond, where 45 undergraduates are helping 90 fourth, fifth and sixth-graders improve their math skills.

    The chancellor also gave an update on other Berkeley Pledge goals and activities. Highlights included successful fund-raising efforts, increased recruitment of Southern California high school students and inauguration of the Berkeley Academy -- an outreach effort coordinated by UC Berkeley Extension that this past summer drew more than 2,000 K-12 students to a dozen campus programs, including Upward Bound, the Bay Area Writing Project, and MESA (Math, Engineering and Science Achievement).

    Berkeley will assist pipeline schools with advancing student learning and with strengthening college preparatory curriculum. The campus also will provide training for teachers and college information to students and parents. Nearly two dozen campus outreach groups will strengthen student performance in academic subjects.

    Interactive University

    Another part of the Berkeley Pledge is the "Interactive University," unveiled by school, city, campus and federal officials Oct. 15 at Phillip and Sala Burton High School in San Francisco.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce has provided a $650,000 grant for the ambitious project that will bring Berkeley faculty and students into K-12 schools via the Internet.

    The project represents collaboration among Berkeley, more than a dozen schools in Oakland and San Francisco, community groups, the city of Oakland, and corporate leaders IBM and Pacific Bell.

    "With this grant, and more than $4 million that participants will contribute in matching resources, we are building a new, invisible bridge across the bay -- a bridge between K-12 and higher education," said project coordinator, The Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol T. Christ.

    Through the Interactive University, K-12 students can capture images with the UC Santa Barbara Remotely Operated Telescope, have a Berkeley student serve as their personal tutor, do their math with data supplied by researchers operating a NASA satellite and go online to discuss world affairs with distinguished international visitors to the campus.

    All told, 30 campus departments and several hundred Berkeley professors, staff members, and students are expected to participate in the project.

    National Conference on K-12

    U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley joined more than 250 of the nation's leaders in education, private industry, and community in Berkeley Oct. 4 and 5 to chart new collaborative models for enriching K-12 education.

    The National Conference on Educational Collaboration and Excellence focused on "identifying cornerstones of collaboration" in educating today's children for the 21st century. The conference was sponsored by the campus and the Graduate School of Education in conjunction with the UC Office of the President.

    Eugene Garcia, dean of the Graduate School of Education and a former colleague of Riley's, said these partnerships are critical to the future of K-12.


    Copyright 1996, The Regents of the University of California.
    Produced and maintained by the Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
    Comments? E-mail