A | History (2 years)
B | English (4 years)
C | Mathematics (3 years)
D | Laboratory science (2 years)
E | Language other than English (2 years*) *or equivalent to the 2nd level of high school instruction
F | Visual and performing arts (1 year)
G | College-preparatory elective (1 year)
(chosen from the A-F subjects above and beyond the minimum required for the A-F areas, or a course approved by the university in subject area G specifically)
UC’s revised course criteria for area D
UC has issued updated area D course criteria, effective for the 2019-20 school year, for high school courses to be eligible for approval in the laboratory science subject area,including allowing for online labs.
As of February 1, 2019, courses submitted to UC in the laboratory science (D) subject area for the 2019‐20 school year and onwards must include a laboratory that can be classroom‐based, fully online, or a hybrid. Lab activities must still be supervised by a
teacher (synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the learning environment) and give students hands‐on learning opportunities (i.e., lab activities that demonstrate practical/real‐world applications).
For more information about area D course criteria and guidance, please see the A‐G Policy Resource Guide.
Updated laboratory science (area D) disciplines
UC introduced revised science discipline options for courses submitted under the laboratory science (D) subject area. These updated science disciplines align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for California public schools that many high schools across the state have been implementing.
a. One year of approved interdisciplinary or earth and space sciences coursework can meet one year of the requirement.
b. Computer Science, Engineering, Applied Science courses can be used in area D as an additional laboratory science (i.e., third year of science and beyond).
“If Computer Science earns D credit as a science by UC that does not impact appropriate assignment and the credential/authorization that is required. The curriculum/content of the course determines appropriate assignment. We have not at this juncture found a computer science course that aligns with any of the science credentials we currently issue. Generally speaking, it is not necessarily the type of credit offered for a course but the actual content being taught that drives the appropriate authorization for an assignment.
Educators appropriately authorized to teach computer science courses may hold a single subject credential in Math, Business or ITE (or a CS supplementary authorization added to another single subject authorization). A CTE teacher would not be appropriately assigned for such a course unless the course itself is identified as a CTE course. LEAs should be mindful of the fact that future monitoring will be based on the CALPADS state course code that is selected for the course, so the LEA will want to make sure they select the code that most accurately reflects the actual content being taught.
The reporting for computer science courses in CDE’s student data system CALPADS will be a determining factor in determining appropriate assignment next year. Computer science courses have their own course code sets now that there are content standards adopted by the State Board. Computer science courses will not be subsumed under Science as they have unique content standards. UCOP’s decision to award science credit would not be a factor when it comes to determining an appropriate assignment.”
There are some advantages to maintaining CS as an elective, especially as it relates to access. A G elective course is accessible to all students, plus G elective courses reinforce the notion that CS is for everyone, regardless of math or science interest and aptitude. Although California has awarded G elective credit for most computer science courses, expanding those options to include math and science increases the advantages and incentives for students to take computer science, especially because there are so many elective options.
A report from the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the National Research Center for College and University Admissions supports many students’ experiences at the school level. It states the ability to count a computer science course as a math or science credit was the primary factor in a student’s decision making with regard to taking computer science in high school. This was especially true among young women (45.1%), African American (35.1%), Latinx (34.7%), and American Indian (36.5%) students who are traditionally absent from these courses and the opportunities they provide.
Thank you to ACCESS and CSforCA, a multi-stakeholder coalition of computer science educators from Computer Science Teachers Association, CS advocates from code.org, researchers and CS professors from UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, UCLA, education advocates from Children Now, Kapor Center for Social Impact, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, industry representatives from Microsoft, Technet, and state leaders from CDE, CTC, UCOP, L Governor Newsom, and the State Board of Education for working together to increase accessand equity to computer science education that is rigorous, equitable and sustainable.
This FAQ was prepared by Julie Flapan, Executive Director, Alliance for California Computing for Students and Schools (ACCESS) www.access-ca.org and email firstname.lastname@example.org with special thanks to Monica Lin, University of California Office of the President.