Bulldog Bound: Breaking down barriers to college admission

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Breaking down barriers to college admission
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College applications can cause a lot of stress, but a new guaranteed admission program at Fresno State is providing a little relief and plenty of guidance to students and their fam

REEDLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- College applications can cause a lot of stress, but a new guaranteed admission program at Fresno State is providing a little relief and plenty of guidance to students and their families in Central California.

Senior year of high school can take a lot of energy as students look ahead to their futures and make some big decisions.

"I know I want to go into the medical field," said Jocelyne Chavez, Reedley High School Senior. "I'm looking into the nursing program at Fresno State, but I'm also looking into the Smittcamp. Over the summer, I did a biomedical internship. And so the doctor I work with has really motivated me to apply for the Smittcamp And try to get into that because I know it's very competitive."

Jocelyne Chavez is a busy student while the Reedley High School senior weighs what program to pick or if she'll apply for the Smittcamp Family Honors College there's one thing she doesn't have to worry about admission to Fresno State.

This fall Kings Canyon Unified School District is teaming up with Fresno State University for the Bulldog Bound program giving students as early as 9th grade guaranteed admission to the university who meet the minimum California State University requirements. Kings Canyon joins several districts in Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare counties. Those requirements include earning a C or higher in college-preparatory classes and maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Educators want to ensure students know those requirements as soon as they enter high school -- to give them the best shot at acceptance.

"Getting the message out to students earlier means that they have the opportunity to prepare themselves," said Dr. Kent Willis, Fresno State. "And the better GPA they have, the more engaged they are in the community, the better profile they have, which increases the likelihood of being able to get scholarships and be able to make their college dreams a reality."

The program goes beyond acceptance students receive guidance every step of the way.

"They have all of the services that they need in order to apply for scholarships, take the right classes, get the right grades in order to get to Fresno State," said Amanda Lopez Doerksen, Orange Cove High School Principal.

With admission off her mind, Jocelyn can direct her focus on the other activities helping her achieve her goals.

"I also have been taking many medical courses here on campus," said Chavez. "I'm taking a CNA class, and I'm also taking sports medicine and helping with football field and first aid."

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