The University of California (UC) system will start offering free college courses next year to low-income high schools in the state through a collaboration with the National Education Equity Lab (NEEL).
NEEL is a national nonprofit organization focused on expanding social and economic mobility for high school students. The project helps students from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented communities prepare for college through rigorous curriculum and with academic support, allowing them to gain confidence in their ability to engage in college-level work and prepare for higher education.
The UC system plans to offer two courses in the winter/spring term of 2024 to Title I schools, or federally designated schools with low-income students.
High schools pay a fee to NEEL of $250 per student and colleges provide the faculty member, teaching fellows, and course curriculum. Faculty develop and co-facilitate courses with the high school teachers.
NEEL currently has partnerships with 12 universities across the country. Some offerings include Environmental Studies and Justice from Howard University, Introduction to Sociology from Arizona State University, Poetry in America from Harvard University, and Big Data for Big Policy Problems from Cornell University.
The UC system is the first public research university system to partner with NEEL.