Due to a statewide program instituted by the University of California, K-12 students will soon gain free access to UC-approved online college prep courses and lessons.

The program, which will use the K-12 High Speed Network – an advanced statewide high-speed, high-bandwidth network – to make content easily accessible, is geared to help a larger number of students gain college eligibility, a press release said.

Over five million students and teachers can potentially benefit from the partnership between UC College Prep and the K-12 High Speed Network, a press release from the UC Office of the President said. The network’s Calaxy Web site includes access to a system that teaches for-credit courses which can be taken directly through the network at no cost.

College Prep and the K-12 Network administrators are currently building a content bank for the Web site. Courses can be licensed in the meantime through UCCP.

UCCP Executive Director Rafael Granados said that the system will not only help more students become eligible for college, but also enhance their academic achievement as well.

“We look forward to contributing new content to the network and expanding the partnership,” Granados said in a press release. “This is a perfect blending of quality online content with a sophisticated system and ready tools to make using that content workable for any California school.”

The arrangement between the UC and the K-12 Network is estimated to provide over $8 million worth of online courses and lessons to the state. An additional $5 million worth of content will be added to the network over the next couple of years, the press release said.

UCCP will also create a web portal on the same network offering math lessons and California High School Exit Exam resources. College Prep aspires to soon provide its entire college prep curriculum online.

Additionally, K12HSN Chief Executive Officer Todd Finnell said that he is thrilled that a partnership between UCCP and the HSN will better meet the educational needs of Californians.

“The ability to leverage the resources of each organization and coordinate our services will ensure students in all areas of the state have access to compelling content and learning opportunities.” Finnell said in a press release.

Another collaboration between UCCP and K12HSN is also in the works for a pilot program that will reach rural, underrepresented schools to help students and educators in need of Advanced Placement courses.

For more information, visit www.uccp.org or www.k12hsn.org.