Pre-Collegiate Development Program (PCDP)

University of Colorado Boulder
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
College Prep


The primary goal of the Pre-Collegiate Development Program (PCDP) is to adequately prepare first-generation and minority students for a professional career and further expose them to their academic interests. As a first step, PCDP ensures that these students successfully complete their high school education on time and possess the academic and social skills necessary to enroll at a post-secondary institution.

Program Description

PCDP is designed to motivate first-generation students (grades 6-12) to pursue post-secondary education and provide their parents with the cultural and social capital necessary to facilitate the educational process. The program focuses on academics, but addresses other variables that influence college enrollment, for example, student and parent aspirations and access to information about college and financial aid application processes.


PCDP is both a high school and middle school program. Currently, there are more than 2,180 students participating in the high school program who come from 45 Colorado Front Range high schools and 4 high schools from rural communities on Colorado’s western slope. Latinos make up approximately 65% of the program's enrollment. The middle school program assists more than 1,150 students from 38 middle schools that are "feeders" to the programs’ target high schools. PCDP has placed 97% of the program's graduating seniors into higher education from 1988 to 2014. Further, 90% of these students pursued their post-secondary careers at four-year institutions, with the remaining 10% attending two-year institutions. Their graduation rate from the University of Colorado is about 82% in six years.

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