About Us » FAQs


What is YouthBuild Charter School of California?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is a WASC accredited public charter high school that empowers young people, ages 16-24, who have been pushed out of traditional high school to earn a high school diploma through social justice work and community action projects.

Why is there a need for this type of school?
In California, over 43,000 young people drop out of high school each year, and students in low-income neighborhoods are six times more likely to drop out. YouthBuild Charter School of California helps re-engage those students so they can earn a high school diploma, gain job training, and experience post-secondary success.

Where is YouthBuild Charter School of California located?
YouthBuild Charter School of California (YCSC) has 17 school sites throughout Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego and Fresno Counties. For a complete list of our sites, see “Site Locations.” 

What are the requirements to enroll at YouthBuild Charter School of California?
Before you can enroll at YouthBuild Charter, you must first be accepted into one of our partner YouthBuild programs (see “YouthBuild Partners.”) Visit a site near you to pick up an enrollment packet. Age requirements vary by site, but most enroll students ages 16-24.

The following documents are required for enrollment of students:
-Completed and signed Student Registration Form
-Identification card reflecting current address
-Official School Transcripts 
-Special Education Documents (IEP)/504 Plan – and/or Opt Out Letter
-IEP verified with SEIS (Student Education Information System) (YCSC Staff)
-Birth Certificate
-Utility Bill
-Signed Student Release Form
-Immunization Records, Blue Card (TDAP is a requirement). Student has 30 days to obtain TDAP shot and will be exited if not obtained. Parents can opt out, but it must be documented. (Required for applicants under age 18 only)
**NOTE: Additional documents may be required at certain school sites depending on the YouthBuild program

Is YouthBuild Charter School of California an accredited school?
Yes, YouthBuild Charter School of California is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC.) Click here to view our most recent WASC accreditation letter

How is YouthBuild Charter School of California different from other Adult Education programs or GED programs?
Unlike most adult schools or GED prep programs, YouthBuild Charter School of California offers its students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. In today’s economy, having a high school diploma is becoming increasingly valuable. Those with only a GED have a more difficult time joining the military, going to college, or even applying for entry-level jobs. By offering students the opportunity to earn a diploma instead of taking the GED test, we are opening the door to a wider array of post-secondary options. In addition, whereas most adult schools and GED prep programs are independent study and packet-based, our school is classroom-based and uses community action projects to make learning relevant to students, while meeting the state requirements for graduation. 

Is YouthBuild Charter School of California an independent studies school?
No, YouthBuild Charter is a classroom-based school environment that features hands-on, project-based learning. Our class sizes are smaller than at a traditional school, so students are able to receive more one on one attention from teachers. The classroom-based setting allows our students to recover credits faster than they would in an independent studies model, while also receiving a wealth of other services, including job training, college and career counseling, and leadership development. However, we do have a limited number of independent studies slots available at each of our 18 school sites reserved for students who are pregnant or parenting young children, have a medical emergency or other health-related issue, or who have a full-time work schedule. If you are interested in an independent studies option at YouthBuild Charter, please contact the school site directly to inquire about openings.

How long will it take me to graduate from YouthBuild Charter School of California?
It depends how many credits you come in with and how many classes you take, so it’s different for everyone. It takes the average student 1.3 years to earn their high school diploma at YCSC.  YouthBuild Charter students earned an average of 46.5 credits during the 2018-19 school year (1.7x more credits than these same students earned at the previous schools they attended). Motivated students who take a full course load and complete all assignments can earn around 30 credits per trimester or 90 credits per year. 

How many credits do I need to graduate?
In order to graduate, students need to complete 200 credits in the following areas: 30 credits of English, 10 credits of Algebra, 10 credits of Math, 5 credits of Government, 5 credits of Economics, 10 credits of Art/Foreign Language, 10 credits of Biology/Life Science, 10 credits of Physical Science, 10 credits of U.S. History, 10 credits of World History, 10 credits of Technology, 5 credits of Health, 5 credits of Life Skills, 5 credits of Community Service, and 65 credits of Electives. When a student enrolls at YouthBuild Charter, a counselor will assess their transcripts to see which credits they have already earned at previous schools so that they are not enrolled in classes where they have already earned the required amount of credits. Learn more on our Graduation Requirements page. 

What are Community Action Projects?
Community Action Projects are long-term commitments to the neighborhoods where we are based. They take place in the local community and seek to address an inequity that exists in the neighborhood. Each trimester, students and teachers brainstorm issues in their community that they wish to address. Some examples of these issues include, income inequality, lack of access to healthy foods, drug abuse, police brutality, and racial profiling. All learning in the classroom, whether it is in a science, economics or art class, will reflect on the community issue that the students and teachers have chosen. Then, at the end of each trimester, students work on Community Action Projects alongside their teachers, community members, and other local non-profits in an effort to actively address the issue they chose to focus on and help to transform their community. Examples of past Community Action Projects include a Health Fair, a Rock the Vote Campaign and Voter Registration Drive, a Town Hall event and organized protests against sheriff violence in L.A. jails, and adding locally grown fruits and vegetables to a corner liquor store. 

What is YouthBuild?
YouthBuild is a non-profit organization which provides education, counseling, and job skills to low-income young people between the ages of 16 to 24 who have dropped out of high school. The YouthBuild program has five components: construction, education, counseling, leadership, and graduate opportunity. There are currently over 270 YouthBuild programs in the United States. YouthBuild Charter School of California partners with 18 YouthBuild programs to provide an education component. 

Do I have to pay to attend YouthBuild Charter School of California?
No. As a public charter school, we are funded by the state and our school is free to attend. There is absolutely no cost to earn your diploma here. 

I’m over 18 and aged out of high school. How can I still earn a diploma?
YouthBuild Charter School of California is able to enroll and offer a high school diploma to students between the ages of 16 to 24. This means that even if you turned 18 and were too old to remain at your old high school, you can enroll at our school and earn a high school diploma with us. How is this possible? California Department of Education Code Section 47610-47615 allows for this age exemption for charter schools that work with YouthBuild and Conservation Corps programs; click for full text of the California Ed. Code. 

I’m a former YouthBuild Charter School of California student and I need a copy of my transcript. How can I get my records?
The best thing to do is to contact the YouthBuild site you previously attended (all contact information can be found here) and speak to the counselor there to request your transcripts. If no one is available at your YouthBuild site or if the site has moved or closed, you can fill out a transcript request form here.

Where can I see copies of the YouthBuild Charter School of California Board Meeting minutes?
We keep all of our Board documents on Google Drive. Click here to view them.