On June 25, Bakersfield College hosted the first group of McFarland High School students who will enter high school next year fully “dual-enrolled” as both McFarland High School and Bakersfield College students.
The participants had the opportunity to tour programs, meet faculty, speak to counselors and listen to various presenters, including Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian and retired state Sen. Jean Fuller, said Aaron Resendez, superintendent of the McFarland Unified School District.
Bakersfield College has also added a section to its website highlighting where McFarland stands in contrast to other programs in Kern County at www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/earlycollege?fbclid=IwAR3A-xX5pYU2UeqT5CYBPopOPAiv9gS8ccLygSBrMtSk7yaY-FTB6WT1k3A.
Back in February, the district announced the partnership with BC to a packed gymnasium of parents and future high school students.
The district will have 281 eighth-graders-incoming freshmen enrolling in high school this fall, Resendez said. Although many other schools offer dual-enrollment college classes, most are for advanced placement students only. In McFarland all students will be taking dual-enrollment classes.
Other high school students in BC Dual Enrollment performed at 90 percent or better success rate. The Early College Program expands on that concept by having freshmen complete a package of college courses throughout their four years, so that they complete a college certificate or associate’s degree by the time they graduate with their high school diploma.
Resendez said for the entire incoming 2019-20 freshmen class will get at least 12 college credits upon their graduation, but will have the opportunity to have much more because the McFarland Early College program will offer nine different pathways:
- Associates Degree for Transfer Pathway (60 units)
- General Education Certificates Pathway (30 units)
- Agriculture Business Pathway (12 units)
- Photography Pathway (12 units)
- Computer Studies (IT) Pathway (12 units)
- Business Pathway (12 units)
- Education Pathway (12 units)
- Welding Pathway (12 units)
- Individual Drawing Pathway (12 units)
Resendez also pointed out all BC classes will be free to students, including books.
Students will take their first BC college course, Career and Life Planning, their freshman year to explore which Early College Pathway is best for them and to create a personalized 10-year plan for their educational, career and life goals.
The McFarland High School program was designed by a collaborative team from MUSD and Bakersfield College, led by Principal Brian Bell, who worked to adapt the key elements of a comprehensive high school to those of the community college system, to serve all students, Resendez added.