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VALLEY FOCUS | Valley Glen

UCLA Acceptance Is Aim of 'Early Start'

July 21, 1998|MICHAEL BAKER

Valley College, UCLA and a Sun Valley magnet school have joined forces in an attempt to help minorities gain access to higher education through the Early Start program, college officials announced Monday.

Francis Polytechnic Mathematics, Science and Technology Magnet will begin allowing ninth- and 10th-graders to take free classes at Valley College to prepare them for the rigors of higher education.

Forty-one magnet students have been selected for the Early Start program. Valley College is trying to reach agreements with other San Fernando Valley high schools wishing to participate in the program, said Sherry Matthews, an assistant to the dean of student services.

"With affirmative action gone, it's often more of a problem for some to gain admittance to UCLA because you have to be in the top 1% tier," Matthews said. "We are hoping to help get them to that stage."

The program will be specifically geared toward helping students gain admission to UCLA by providing enrichment courses in English and mathematics, Valley College spokeswoman Shannon Stack said.

Once those courses are completed, students will be able to enter the Early Start program in 11th grade.

In Valley College's Early Start program, students complete a series of 13 college courses along with their regular high school requirements, Stack said.

Because UCLA has agreed that the earned college credits are transferable, Early Start students who gain admission to the university could enter as sophomores, Stack said.

The program is aimed at economically deprived students who demonstrate high critical-thinking skills but may lack an academic foundation, Stack said.

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