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Education

San Diego Unified Hopes To Expand Access To College Courses

The outside of the Board of Education building for the San Diego Unified School District is shown in this photo, March 24, 2016.
Katie Schoolov
The outside of the Board of Education building for the San Diego Unified School District is shown in this photo, March 24, 2016.
San Diego Unified Hopes To Expand Access To College Courses
The district will add college courses so more students can earn college credit at no cost. The plan will be presented Tuesday to the school board, when district officials release the proposed fiscal 2017 budget.

San Diego Unified wants to expand the number of college courses it offers to high school students next year. The plan will be presented Tuesday to the school board, when district officials release the proposed fiscal 2017 budget.

The district is proposing to offer the courses to 3,500 students, up from about 2,000.

“It's always been available for the advanced students, because many of them will take calculus,” said board member Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, who proposed the expansion with trustee John Lee Evans. “Now all of a sudden, we're pushing that down so that others can take the courses.”

The classes will be offered on 19 campuses free of charge. They would include traditional prerequisites as well as electives on volcanoes and African-American and Chicano studies.

Whitehurst-Payne said the courses could help make college more affordable by giving students credits at no cost and by helping them begin to map out their route to a degree.

“We all know that college is an expensive proposition and increasing daily,” Whitehurst-Payne said. “So with this, students leave high school with some of their courses already met.”

The public can weigh in on the plan and the full budget through June 28.