CSU California Academic Partnership Program

CAPP's Early Years

(A Brief History, Continued)

CAPP first began supporting school/college collaborative efforts in 1984. Twenty grants of up to three years were awarded to support joint curriculum improvement in subjects required for admission to college. Three projects were funded to develop diagnostic tests to help students and teachers understand how well students were meeting college entry-level expectations in writing and mathematics. Taken together, these partnerships directly or indirectly served nearly half a million secondary students.

In CAPP's early years the partnerships focused primarily on improving curriculum and academic support programs. A variety of curricular enhancements resulted from these efforts and several successful collaborative professional development and student support services models were introduced. The creation of real, durable, and effective partnerships was generally of secondary concern in the 1984-87 grant cycle.

Perhaps the most remarkable achievement of this early phase was the gradual emergence of a distinct CAPP community or culture; that is, the evolution of a shared vision of what CAPP could and should be, and of the personal commitment of advisory committee members to its attainment. The people who found themselves charged with accomplishing CAPP's mission quickly set about forging new relationships. Strain and conflict were not infrequent as these new leaders struggled to meet the high expectations of the program's creators while working with strangers in an unfamiliar and undefined environment.

The notion of an "educational community" refers to what in fact are many different communities, all with their own traditions, beliefs and seemingly mutually unintelligible languages. The "seamless educational web" they are supposed to provide for young Californians is so elusive because its weavers are working from different starting points without a common pattern.

The first major accomplishment of the California Academic Partnership Program was the creation of a new intersegmental entity focused on the educational continuum rather than the interests of it's constituent institutions. The CAPP Advisory Committee grew to model the true spirit of the CAPP partnerships; that is, the will to put institutional habits and agendas aside to find ways to enable individual students to attain their maximum educational potential. The committee became the leading force behind program design and operation.

As the committee's understanding of its responsibilities and authority matured, its relations with the CSU chancellor's office grew more tense. The appointment of central system administration staff to liaison membership on the committee resolved these conflicts in an extraordinarily productive way. Liaison relationships with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU), and the Intersegmental Coordinating Council (ICC) quickly followed. The addition of representatives from the partnerships themselves and, most recently, from the California Educational Partnership Consortium (CPEC), expanded advisory committee membership from twelve to twenty. The participation of liaison members has been a major factor in the committee's effectiveness.

The Evolution of CAPP »


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Last Updated: January 11, 2005