Rafael Granados named executive director of UC College Prep program

Rafael Granados

Rafael Granados, a leading educational technologist in online course development, has been selected to serve as executive director of UC College Prep Online (UCCP), a statewide program that produces and distributes online courses to benefit California K-12 students. Granados assumed the position on December 17, 2007, after a national recruitment.

As executive director of UCCP, Granados will oversee the statewide program's strategic plan to make its online high school courses more widely available while developing groundbreaking new online courses to bolster college eligibility and academic achievement among California students. Granados brings to the work a passion for providing equity in access to quality educational materials across California. He has spearheaded UCCP's efforts to make its content available to underserved students and English language learners, and to develop modular mobile knowledge objects that students can access on cell phones and other mobile platforms.

"I am excited about the opportunity to lead an organization that I believe is poised to make enormous strides in the development and use of top-quality college prep curriculum and resources," Granados said. "As California education integrates online technology, UCCP can be a great resource for students, teachers and administrators everywhere."

"I'm looking forward to working with Rafael in his new capacity as executive director," said Michelle Whittingham, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "Rafael is a very methodical and strategic leader who will launch the mission of UCCP to the next level, leveraging innovative technologies and the creativity and expertise within the University of California to develop open-access, online, high-quality educational materials that students want to use."

UCCP has been housed in UCSC Student Affairs since its inception in 1999 and currently reports to the Enrollment Management Unit. UCCP is also part of a suite of services comprising the UC Office of the President's publishing and strategic initiatives and is funded through the Student Academic Preparation and Educational Partnerships (SAPEP) budget category.

Granados, who previously served as UCCP's director of educational technology, guided the development of many of UCCP's most popular multimedia high school courses, developed the program's open-access web interface, and created its award-winning CyberTutor program. Granados has served as an instructional designer and educator, and previously directed an Academic Excellence Program at UCSC. In 2006, Granados was selected as a Hispanic Development Corporation Portrait of Success Honoree. Granados is also a UC Santa Cruz alumnus with a master's degree in education and a B.A. in computer science and education.

UCCP provides a core curriculum of online courses that meet the University of California's "a-g" requirements for admission. Since 1999, it has served over 100,000 California students in 56 California counties by providing online courses, instruction, tutoring, academic preparation, and college planning services.

Earlier this year, UCCP shifted its focus from being a provider of online instruction of its high school courses back to its origins of creating the finest course content available. The online organization has already posted its 18 UC-developed courses for students and educators to use at no cost through its web site. The program plans to develop three to five new courses and recently inaugurated an Advisory Board consisting of expert UC, CSU, and community college faculty and staff, educational technologists, business and industry leaders, and K-12 administrators to oversee and approve its content development.