MCFARLAND, Calif. — Bakersfield College is launching its Early College Program at McFarland High School. Incoming freshmen for the 2019-20 school year will be the first to experience the program.
They will be given a chance to choose between nine pathways, including certificates in specific subjects all the way up a two year Associate's Degree.
ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE FOR TRANSFER- 60 UNITS
GENERAL EDUCATION CERTIFICATE - 30 UNITS
AGRICULTURE BUSINESS – 12 UNITS
PHOTOGRAPHY – 12 UNITS
COMPUTER STUDIES – 12 UNITS
BUSINESS – 17 UNITS
EDUCATION – 12 UNITS
WELDING – 14 UNITS
INDUSTRIAL DRAWING – 12 UNITS
“They’ll be able to earn college credit as well as earn credit towards graduation," said Romeo Agbalog. "So upon their four years of high school, they’ll not only have an opportunity to walk away with a four-year high school diploma, but also a two-year college degree."
No matter which pathway is chosen, the classes are mapped out so students can complete them as part of their regular high school schedule.
“Not only are you going to save money, but for those students who want to transfer, you’re transferring as a junior," said Agbalog. "But, if you're not wanting to go to college, you can also go into the work force with relevant skills to sustain yourself and your family."
The program is also free to students.
"Did I say it was tuition free?," said Dr. Jean Fuller. "Which is amazing. And it saves transformation to and from BC. "It saves lodging, if they have to move to town once they graduated from high school and the 3,000 dollars of student tuition,"
The program also hopes to increase college attendance and graduation rates. Less than 22% of Kern County residents 25 years or older hold an Associate's Degree compared to California's average of %39.