McFarland Unified School District partners with BC to offer early college program

October 3, 2021 /

The McFarland Unified School District is partnering with Bakersfield College to offer students an early college program.

This program will launch a new Bachelor’s Degree program and Industrial Automation Pathways. The first students to take advantage of this opportunity will be the 281 eighth-graders at McFarland Junior High who will enroll in McFarland High School this fall.

“McFarland High School students have been uniquely blessed with tremendous opportunities for college credit and BC access at no cost,” said McFarland High Principal Dario Diaz.

The Industrial Automation Pathway program will help students experience career and technical education.

Diaz said it is phenomenal that there are more than 60 percent of the student body enrolled in college. He also said that it is McFarland’s district vision to ensure that the students are college and career ready.

“We have BC professors and high school teachers that are collaborating together on a range of subjects and grade levels to facilitate student learning,” said Diaz.

Jill Jimenez, Bakersfield College counselor for pathways and dual enrollment classes, said that with this new program, students will get to experience technical and professional classes.

According to the BC website, all incoming 9th grade students will be on a pathway to complete between 12 and 60 college units counting towards Career and Technical Education Certificates, General Education Certificates, and/or Associate Degrees by the time they graduate from high school.

Students will take their first BC college course, STDV B3 Career and Life Planning, during their freshman year to explore which Early College pathway is best for them and to create a personalized 10-year plan of their educational, career, and life goals.

“We had a dream many, many years ago, to have college classes at McFarland High School, and we were able to achieve that,” said McFarland District Superintendent Aaron Resendez. “We had another dream, to bring a two-year college degree/pathway to McFarland High School.”

Resendez also said this was not happening anywhere else in the country where your child is going to achieve a bachelor’s degree in just one additional year at BC. He said all students will complete a minimum of 12 college credits during their high school career and up to an Associate of Arts degree, whether they are AP or not. With the support of both high school and BC staff, all students will take dual-enrollment courses.

BC President Sonya Christian said Bakersfield College’s Early College Program gives students a clear, guided pathway.

“For students in rural communities who struggle with transportation to the college, the program opens doors to education and facilitates student success in an unprecedented way,” said Christian.

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)