Downtown College Prep

An Effective Practice


Downtown College Prep (DCP) prepares underachieving students who will be the first in their families to go to college to thrive at four-year universities.

The program opened in September 2000 as the first college prep school that explicitly targets underperforming students. DCP’s academic program helps students who have fallen behind to not only “catch up,” but to excel.

The school integrates their curriculum with a school culture that takes college aspirations seriously and specifically reaches out to students who will be the first in their families to go to college. The curriculum is a combination of: standards-based curriculum and assessment; rigorous college-prep work and time for practice, review and reflection.

In every classroom, students tackle complex problems, develop effective work habits and study skills and learn to read and write at the college level.

Goal / Mission

Downtown Colled Prep's mission is to prepare underachieving students—who will be the first in their families to go to college—to thrive at four-year universities.

Results / Accomplishments

Downtown Prep College served 1000 students since September 2000. The Class of 2010 has been accepted to over 40 four-year colleges and universities in California and nationally.

100% of DCP graduates complete the California A-G requirements for admission to the UC or CSU systems.

74% of alumni have graduated from a four-year university or are on track to earn a college degree.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Rita Castellanos
1460 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 271-1730
Education / Higher Education
Education / Student Performance K-12
Education / School Environment
Downtown College Prep
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Sep 2000
San Jose, CA
For more details
Target Audience