California High School Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California “a-g” Admission Requirements for

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California High School Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California “a-g” Admission Requirements for


Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division

California Department of Education

December 1, 2009
The primary purpose of this report is to determine how many career technical education (CTE) courses meet University of California (UC) “a-g” admission requirements. The author utilized the UC Web site and reviewed 1,193 comprehensive high schools’ “a-g” admission lists. The findings in this report should provide significant guidance to key audiences including policy makers, district administrators, school site personnel, UC staff, California Department of Education (CDE) staff, and students of “raising expectations and increasing rigor and relevance” through the integration of core academics with career technical education courses.
One of the major obstacles encountered by the researcher was trying to determine whether or not a specific course was actually taught by a CTE teacher. In the areas of Agriculture Education and Home Economics Careers and Technology, courses are tracked by those disciplines within the CDE and, therefore, are by-and-large taught by CTE teachers. However, in the areas of Art, Media and Entertainment, Business Education, Health Careers, Industrial and Technology Education, and Other Industry Sectors no such tracking occurs via course titles. The researcher relied on CTE subject matter consultants within the CDE to determine if a CTE teacher could teach a given course found in this report.
Special thanks to the CDE consultants and administrators who provided technical support and assistance to this report:
Agriculture Education Jack Havens (909) 869-4496

Art, Media and Entertainment Jack Mitchell (916) 319-0504

Business Education Kay Ferrier (916) 323-4747

Health Careers Cindy Beck (916) 319-0470

Home Economics Careers and Technology Janice DeBenedetti (916) 323-5025

Industrial and Technology Education Clay Mitchell (916) 445-5568

ROC/P’s Dr. Dennis Guido (916) 327-6367

Intersegmental Relations Office Penni Hansen (916) 323-6134

Intersegmental Relations Office Joe Radding (916) 323-5635

Office of the Director Irene Castorena-Krueger (916) 327-5055

Lastly, special acknowledgement to: Jack O’Connell, State Superintendent of Public Instruction; Deborah Sigman, CDE Deputy Superintendent of the Curriculum, Learning, and Accountability Branch; Dr. Patrick Ainsworth, CDE Assistant Superintendent and Director of the Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division; Sue Wilbur, UC Director of Undergraduate Admissions; Don Daves-Rougeaux, UC Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Articulation and Eligibility; Nina Costales, UC Articulation Analyst; and Jeanne Hargrove, UC “a-g” Guide Coordinator; for their efforts in encouraging and promoting the practice of “raising academic expectations” through rigorous and innovative CTE courses.
Any inquiries about this report should be directed to Dr. Lloyd McCabe, Policy Consultant, Secondary, Career, and Adult Learning Division at (916) 445-1710 or by e-mail at

Evolution of Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California Admission Requirements
The genesis of CTE courses meeting UC admission requirements started with the passage of Senate Bill 813 (The Educational Reform Act of 1983). This educational legislation ignited a flurry of reform within the high school educational community by mandating specific graduation requirements in English, history, science, mathematics, fine arts/or foreign language, and physical education. Unfortunately, CTE courses were not part of the high school graduation requirement reform movement. However, the Legislature provided a provision within the California Education Code (EC) that stipulated Local Education Agencies (LEAs) were to provide alternative methods for students to meet mandated graduation requirements. EC Section 51225.3(b) states:
“The governing board, with the active involvement of parents, administrators, teachers, and pupils, shall adopt alternative means for students to complete the prescribed course of study which may include practical demonstration of skills and competencies, supervised work experience or other outside school experience, career technical education classes offered in high schools, courses offered by regional occupational centers or programs, interdisciplinary study, independent study, and credit earned at a postsecondary institution. Requirements for graduation and specified alternative modes for completing the prescribed course of study shall be made available to pupils, parents, and the public.”
The passage of this EC Section allowed CTE educators to design integrated courses that could meet graduation requirements in many of these mandated academic areas. During the same timeframe, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig called on all educators to “raise academic expectations” within their curriculum. This clarion call to action by Superintendent Honig solidified the notion within the vocational educational community that CTE teachers should infuse and reinforce academics within their respective courses. In 1990, with the reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, academic integration of CTE courses would become a cornerstone of this federal initiative.
While the record is not entirely clear, the first known CTE courses to meet UC admission requirements came from two agriculture programs located in the San Joaquin Valley. Exeter High School submitted a Plant & Animal Physiology course that was approved to meet the "d” or laboratory science requirement in 1983. Chowchilla Union High School submitted three courses in Agriculture & Physical Science, Plant Botany, and Animal Physiology, which were approved to meet the "F" or elective admission requirement in 1985.
In 2003, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell became the first state official to openly urge CTE educators to develop rigorous, standards-based CTE courses that could meet UC admission requirements. Superintendent O’Connell’s encouragement has led to the dramatic increases of CTE courses meeting UC “a-g” admission requirements that have been witnessed at this time.
University of California’s Role in Fostering Innovative Career Technical Education Courses that Meet University of California Admission Requirements
In 1999, the Governor’s School-to-Career Advisory Council commissioned the a-g Interactive Guide Project to underscore the importance of simultaneously preparing high school students both for careers and postsecondary education. With approval from the Interagency Partners the initial phase of the project was funded through a contract awarded to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) by the School-to-Career fiscal agent of the Employment Development Department (EDD). A few years later, with the sunset of School-to-Career funds, the project became funded by the CDE using Carl Perkins funds. These funds were the primary funding source for the project, up until 2008. Presently, the Project is funded with SB 70 CTE funds until 2013.
The a-g Guide Project was originally designed to make the “a-g” course approval process more transparent and efficient by clarifying criteria and offering a variety of tools, resources, support, and assistance to California high school educators who seek “a-g” approval for their courses. After many years of operation, the project has proved its value and has received strong endorsements from secondary schools, UC admissions staff, the UC Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools (BOARS) and CDE. The project continues to operate, keeping the a-g Guide Web site current with changing information, adding resources in new areas of development and/or school reform, providing targeted workshops to those seeking assistance, and more.
More recently, the state has embarked on an ambitious agenda to support and expand the development of career technical education opportunities within schools. Initiatives such as workforce innovation partnerships, the expansion of California Partnership Academies, ROC/Ps and Tech Prep programs, the adoption of State Board of Education approved CTE standards (2005) and curriculum framework (2007), and CTE-related legislation (i.e. SB 1543, SB 70, AB 2648 and others) have combined to place greater attention on issues related to the development and expansion of “a-g” courses that include an academically rigorous CTE component.
Since the 2001-02 year, the number of CTE courses accepted for “a-g” approval has increased dramatically. In 2001, UC had approved just 258 CTE courses. Today, over 7,600 CTE courses are approved to meet UC “a-g” Admission requirements or about 32.4 percent of the 23,600 CTE courses offered in California schools. Moreover, it is expected that the number of approved CTE courses will continue to climb. Pursuant to SB 1543 (2006), UC has developed model uniform academic standards for CTE courses to provide more guidance to teachers and administrators who want their CTE courses approved by UC.
The long range goal of the Project is to continue to operate and keep the a-g Guide Web site current by adding resources to strengthen and communicate the course review process. In addition, UC is utilizing a multi-pronged approach to more fully integrate academically rich and rigorous career technical education courses into the classroom. This three-part strategy includes: (1) expanding the availability of academically rigorous CTE curriculum by developing industry-specific model courses for statewide use that meet “a-g” admission requirements; (2) providing workshops, web-based tools and other forms of assistance, such as the Curriculum Integration Pilot Program and the Cadre of Experts, to those seeking help related to the development and submission of courses for “a-g” approval; and (3) ensuring rapid and consistent approvals of academically rich CTE courses so that more CTE classes meet the approval of the University for its “a-g” admission requirements in all explicable academic subject areas.
The Trend of Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California Admission Requirements
The California Department of Education has been tracking the number of CTE courses that meet UC admission requirements over the last nine years. Based on this tracking, there has been a dramatic increase of the number of CTE courses meeting UC “a-g” admission requirements. The data below supports this assertion:
School Year A2 = AG BUS HC HE IT OT AE
2009-10 7650 = 1049 854 847 234 508 686 3472

2008-09 6509 = 908 707 783 180 452 341 3138

2007-08 5614 = 842 532 709 182 397 198 2754

2006-07 4705 = 781 491 629 148 365 10 2281

2005-06 4021 = 667 408 575 120 314 03 1934

2004-05 3336 = 544 358 522 99 1813* NR NR

    1. 1984 = 449 257 277 57 944* NR NR

    1. 340** = 340 NR NR NR NR NR NR

    1. 289** = 289 NR NR NR NR NR NR

    1. 258** = 258 NR NR NR NR NR NR

In relationship to all UC approved courses and all academic and CTE courses available in the comprehensive high school, the following trends emerge:

School Year A2 B2 C2 D2 E2 F2
2009-10 7650 23,600 32.4% 588,069 255,447 43.4%

2008-09 6509 25,752*** 25.3% 596,128 252,348 42.3%

2007-08 5614 25,752*** 21.8% 690,649 249,708 36.1%

2006-07 4705 24,580*** 19.1% 722,440 219,708 30.4%

2005-06 4021 24,370*** 16.5% 697,121 215,569 30.9%

    1. 3336 25,410*** 13.1% 685,707 216,793 31.6%

    1. 984 26,291*** 07.5% 670,466 215,272 32.1%

    1. 340** 32,456*** 01.0% 693,394 205,338 29.6%

    1. 289** 29,768 00.9% 662,732 187,424 28.2%

    1. 258** 29,461 00.8% 641,887 187,517 29.2%

An analysis of the above data reveals a dramatic percentage increase over the number of CTE courses that have been approved to meet UC “a-g” admission requirements.

A2 = Total number of CTE courses that meet UC “a-g” admission requirements during that year

B2 = Total number of CTE courses taught during that year in high schools

C2 = Percent of all CTE courses that are UC approved

D2 = Total number of academic, specialized, and CTE courses taught during that year

E2 = Total number of UC approved courses in all subject areas in high schools

F2 = Percent of all high school courses that are UC approved

NA= Not Available

NR= Not Recorded

AG = Number of UC Approved Agriculture Education Courses

BUS = Number of UC Approved Business Education Courses

HC = Number of UC Approved Health Career Courses

HE = Number of UC Approved Home Economics Careers & Technology Courses

IT = Number of UC Approved Industrial & Technology Education Courses

AE = Number of UC Approved Arts, Media & Entertainment Courses

OT = Number of UC Approved Other CTE Sector Courses
* IT & AE courses were combined

** Only agriculture courses were tracked during those years

*** Does not include all CTE courses in the industry sector of Arts, Media & Entertainment

Summary of California High School Career Technical Education Courses Meeting University of California

A-G Admission Requirements from 2009-10
Categories AG BUS HC HE IT AE OT Totals
Number of Schools with 327 455 578 168 277 847 376 ---

UC Approved CTE Courses

Number of CTE Courses 26 06 02 00 00 00 07 41

Meeting the A –

History/Social Science
Number of CTE Courses 04 08 05 00 00 01 00 18

Meeting the B – English
Number of CTE Courses 00 07 00 00 00 01 00 08

Meeting the C – Mathematics
Number of CTE Courses 325 00 586 01 21 00 162 1,095

Meeting the D –

Laboratory Science
Number of CTE Courses 00 00 00 00 00 00 310 310

Meeting the E –

Language Other Than English
Number of CTE Courses 72 32 00 54 193 3,346 00 3,697

Meeting the F –

Visual Performing Arts
Number of CTE Courses 622 801 254 179 294 124 207 2,481

Meeting the G – College

Preparatory Elective
Total Number of UC 1,049 854 847 234 508 3,472 686 7,650

Approved CTE Courses

Number of Schools with No --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 152

UC Approved Career-

Technical Courses Offered
Number of Schools Unable --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 018

to Retrieve Information or New School – No Listing

Number of Schools with UC Approved CTE Courses 1,023
Total High Schools Reviewed --- --- --- --- --- --- --- 1,193

2009 Analysis of Agriculture Education
Statewide Analysis
The number of UC approved secondary Agriculture Education courses statewide increased from 908 to 1,049 courses or an increase of 13.4% compared to last year. Reportedly, 93.7% of all agriculture programs statewide have one or more UC approved agriculture courses. Of the 1,193 comprehensive high schools in California, 327 or 27.4% have one or more UC approved agriculture courses. Presently, there are 2,317 agriculture education courses offered statewide of which 45.2% meet UC “a-g” admission requirements.
UC A-G Requirements
In analyzing the “a-g” admission requirements, agriculture courses have been approved for all areas except “C-Mathematics” and “E-Language Other Than English.” There was a substantial increase from the previous year in courses approved in the F or Visual Performing Arts admission area. In terms of courses approved by admission category, listed below are the figures:
Admission Category Courses % of Total
A-History/Social Science 26 02.48%

B-English 04 00.38%

C-Mathematics 00 00.00%

D-Laboratory Science 325 30.98%

E-Language Other Than English 00 00.00%

F-Visual Performing Arts 72 06.86%

G-College Preparatory Elective 622 59.30%

Totals 1,049 100%
In terms of specific courses approved, listed below are the top 15 Agriculture Education courses approved by the UC system for admission purposes:
1. Integrated and/or Agricultural Biology 249

2. Veterinary Science 103

3. Floral Design 71

4. Agriculture Science I 47

5. Animal Science 47

6. Environmental Horticulture Science 45

7. Agriculture Science II 43

8. Agricultural Economics 37

9. Plant & Soil Science 35

10. Agriculture Earth Science 34

11. Agriculture Business & Economics 29

12. Animal Physiology & Anatomy 19

13. Agriculture & Natural Resources 18

14. Integrated Animal Science 16

15. Agricultural Chemistry 14

Listing of Different Types of Agriculture Education Courses that Meet University of California A-G Admission Requirements
As of November 1, 2009, the below listed 99 course titles can be verified by accessing the University of California’s Web site at
Course Title Example of High School Admission Number of

Classification Ag Courses
Advanced Natural Resource Lassen-Susanville G 01


Agribusiness Issues Mt. Whitney-Visalia G 01

Agricultural Biology/Integrated Chowchilla & Galt D or G 249

Agricultural Biology

Agricultural Biology (Advanced) Hilmar D 02

Agricultural Biology: Animal West Covina D 01


Agricultural Biology (Applied) Kingsburg D 01

Agricultural Biology Lab Salinas D 01

Agricultural Chemistry Central East-Fresno D 14

Agricultural Earth & Physical Indio G 01


Agricultural Economics Golden West-Visalia G 37

Agricultural Engineering II AB Clovis East G 04

Agricultural Environmental Science Colusa D or G 04

Agricultural Government/Policy Delta A 05

Agricultural Physical Science Tomales G 10

Agricultural Physical Science Holtville G 01


Agricultural Physics Merrill West-Tracy D 01

Agricultural Resources North-Bakersfield G 03

Agricultural Scientific Academy Tracy D 01

Agriculture American Government Chowchilla A 01

Agriculture & Natural Resources Red Bluff D or G 18

Agriculture Business Riverdale G 01

Agriculture Business & Economics Santa Ynez Valley G 29

Agriculture Business Management Orestimba-Newman G 07

Agriculture Business & Marketing Sobrato-Morgan Hill G 01

Agriculture Communications Le Grand G 01

Agriculture Civics Warner A or G 02

Agriculture Earth & Environmental Manteca G 04


Agriculture Earth Science Sutter G 34

Agriculture Food Science & Colusa G 01


Agriculture Government & Oakdale A or G 12

Economics or Policy

Agriculture Government Central East-Fresno A or G 12

Agriculture Science Upper Lake D or G 04

Agriculture Science I Laton G 47

Agriculture Science II Anderson D or G 43

Agriculture Science III Madera G 04

Agriculture Science I-II Grace Davis-Modesto G 01

Agriculture Science III-IV Grace Davis-Modesto G 02

Agriscience Arroyo Grande G 02

Aquaculture/Advanced Biology Chester D 01

American Economics-Agriculture Righetti-Santa Maria G 03

Animal Behavior North Hollywood G 03

Animal Physiology Brawley G 02

Animal Physiology & Anatomy Livingston D or G 19

Animal & Plant Physiology Indio D or G 10

Animal & Plant Science Perris G 05

Animal & Plant Science (Advanced) Washington Union G 01

Animal Science Atascadero D or G 47

Animal Science (Advanced) Elk Grove G 01

Animal Vertebrate Biology Saugus D 01

Applied General Science-Agriculture Elk Grove G 03

Applied Physics & Agriculture Watsonville G 01


Aquaculture San Lorenzo Valley G 01

Botany Chico D or G 04

Biological Approach to Agriculture Oakdale D 01

Biology of Veterinary Science Escondido G 01

Companion Animal Care & Dixon G 01


Earth Science in Agriculture Firebaugh G 05

Ecology Elk Grove G 01

Economics in Agriculture Elk Grove G 06

Environmental Agriculture Science Atwater G 01

Environmental Horticulture & Hayfork D 01

Native Plants

Environmental Horticulture Science Live Oak-Morgan Hill G 45

Environmental Science Clovis D or G 11

Environmental Science Field Studies Clovis G 04

Environmental Science & Tech Clovis D or G 07

Environmental Systems I Tracy D 01

Environmental Systems II Tracy D 01

Floral Design Lompoc F 71

Floral Design, Advanced Central Valley F 01

Food Science Gustine G 01

Forest Ecology Edison-Stockton G 01

Forestry & Natural Resources Placer-Auburn G 04

Fundamentals of Animal Studies North Hollywood D 02

General Biology-Agricultural Based Redlands D 01

Greenhouse Tulelake G 01

Horticulture Science Petaluma G 01

Integrated Agriculture Science 1 San Luis Obispo D or G 06

Integrated Agriculture Science 1-2 Grace Davis-Modesto D or G 11

Integrated Agriculture Science 3-4 Modesto D or G 06

Integrated Animal Science Bear River D or G 16

Introduction Agribusiness Littlerock G 01

Introduction to Agriculture Calipatria/Caruthers G 02

Introduction to Ag Technology Oakdale G 01

Landscape & Environmental Design Grant G 01

Large Animal Veterinary Science Lakeside-El Capitan G 03

Natural Resources Hoopa-Hoopa Valley G 01

Ornamental Horticulture Livermore G 06

Physics & Technology in Ag Merced G 02

Plant Biology/Plant Science Serrano G 01

Plant/Botany Science Lompoc G 01

Plant Science Riverdale G 02

Plant Science (Advanced) Laton G 01

Plant & Soil Science Canoga Park D or G 35

Veterinary Science Fullerton G 103

Veterinary Science (Pre-) Sutter G 01

Veterinarian Technician Horizon Academy-Lincoln D 01

Viticulture Vintage-Napa G 01

Viticulture & Environmental St. Helena G 01


Virtual Enterprise/Horticulture Foothill-Bakersfield G 01


Other UC Approved Ag Courses 11
Total Agriculture Courses Meeting UC Admission Requirements 1,049

2009 Analysis of Business Education
Statewide Analysis
The number of UC approved secondary Business Education courses statewide increased from 707 to 854 courses or an increase of 17.2% compared to last year. Of the 1,193 comprehensive high schools in California, 455 or 38.1% have one or more UC approved Business Education courses. Presently, there are 135,102 Business Education courses offered statewide of which 0.6% meet University of California “a-g” admission requirements..
UC A-G Requirements
In analyzing the “a-g” admission requirements, Business Education courses have been approved in the A, B, C, F, and G Admission requirement areas. There were substantial increases from the previous year in courses approved in the G – College Preparatory Elective (19.9%) admission area. In terms of courses approved by admission category, listed below are the figures:

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