VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visalia Unified is offering an exciting new option for incoming high school students.
High School senior Aubrey Pierce is graduating from Visalia Technical Early College High School this semester, but instead of just receiving that high school diploma, she's already got several college courses completed as well.
"When they talked about the college classes, it was definitely a pro for me," said Pierce.
Aubrey transferred to VTEC as a sophomore, taking both high school and college courses right away.
"They also do a more hands-on experiences and the teachers can work with you one-on-one a lot more," continued Pierce.
Now VTEC wants to offer even more students the chance to get an early college experience. They're teaming up with College of the Sequoias to offer a new early college pathway for 8th graders preparing to enter high school.
"It shows students they can do it," said VTEC Principal Bill Davis. "A lot of students don't believe college is for them. It gives them an opportunity, with the support of their high school counselor, to take a college course."
Students will take several college courses each year, and after four years of high school, have valuable college credits they can put towards a degree at College of the Sequoias & most CSU or UC schools.
"You get to meet new people, you get to feel how it is in college, how it's going to be," said VTEC student Fatima Loya. "It kind of shows you what your work ethic is going to be like."
The program is free and open to any student in Tulare county.
For details on how to apply visit their website and click on the 9th Grade Interest form.
Visalia Unified offers new early college pathway for students