In 1991, the East Bay Consortium, in collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District and Merritt College (OUSD), instituted the Pre-Collegiate Academy (PCA), a program specifically designed for students in Oakland middle and secondary schools. The PCA was established to remedy the growing number of students from low socio-economic backgrounds who were not qualifying for admission to higher educational institutions. The PCA program aims to increase the numbers of middle school students who qualify for and pursue postsecondary studies, primarily by strengthening students' mathematical and literacy skills through summer enrichment courses and support services offered during the academic year.
Recognizing the important role of teachers in accomplishing its goal, the PCA includes a teacher-training component that is designed to encourage the professional development of teachers from OUSD schools, as well as encourage undergraduates attending local universities to pursue careers in teaching.
The Pre-Collegiate Academy is comprised of intensive 4-week summer sessions and year-round activities for students in the 7th grade and older. PCA programs include enhanced math, science, and writing activities, family programs, college advising, and Saturday programs.