Visalia Unified School District is partnering with California State University, Fresno on a new guaranteed admissions program “Bulldog Bound” for high school students. This is the third partnership of its kind for Visalia Unified in less than six months.
Visalia Unified has been on a journey throughout the year creating access to the widest array of postsecondary options for students. Last year, over 92% of students were graduating from high school within the 4-year cohort and nearly half meeting A-G requirements upon graduation, only 15% of those students eligible for a 4-year university were accessing these institutions.
At the press conference, VUSD Superintendent Kirk Shrum stated, “We have many first-generation graduates who need support in learning about these opportunities and applying to schools. Through these partnerships, we want our community to know that we see you, we hear you, and we are doing everything possible to get your student into a post-secondary education.”
“When a student earns a college degree, they really change the trajectory of their entire family, because younger [and older] siblings see them…everybody starts to see that education is equitable and accessible…, said Kent Willis, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
The district has established similar partnerships with University of Merced, California in October 2022 and Fresno Pacific University in March 2023. Like Fresno State University, these MOUs provide guaranteed admissions for students who meet requirements as well as additional opportunities for students.
By participating in Bulldog Bound, students receive:
- Guaranteed admissions as early as ninth grade
- Pre-admission for 11th graders
- On-the-spot admissions for 12th graders
- Fresno State ID card, which will give students email and library access
- Help with career and academic major exploration
- Assistance with applications
- Early financial aid estimates
- Scholarship opportunities
- Campus life experience
- Summer student leadership opportunities
- Resources for parents/guardians