Hoping to give underserved kids a head-start on college, UC Davis joined Sacramento City College and the Washington Unified School District in West Sacramento to launch an innovative charter school in 2007. Students at West Sacramento Early College Prep can graduate with both a high school diploma and as many as 30 college credits, or the equivalent of two years of college.
West Sacramento Early College Prep opened its doors on August 22, 2007, to about 120 6th- and 7th-graders. The school adds one grade level each year, with the first high school class starting in fall 2009. By 2012, it will enroll as many as 630 students in grades 6 through 12.
Engaging students is a fundamental goal of the school, which focuses on project-based learning methods that encourage students to pursue their interests. “If students are not honored for what they know, they will lose interest and often drop out,” says Paul Heckman, professor and associate dean of the UC Davis School of Education.
The School believes this unique partnership and approach to teaching and learning will be a breakthrough model for other communities seeking a way to engage students at-risk for dropping out.
Read some of the initial media coverage of the school’s opening:
On June 4, 2014, six students from West Sac Early College Prep were recognized for their work in helping to build small business websites as part of a pilot project, Future Ready, launched by Mayor Christopher Cabaldon and the City of West Sacramento to make West Sacramento businesses more visible online and improve their online presence in order to reach more customers.