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TUSD partners with university to jump-start college educations

Following the Turlock Unified School District’s success with the program during the previous two school years, the district is once again partnering with Stanislaus State in order to better prepare its students for college.

The joint partnership provides one, three-unit lower division college course per semester at Pitman High School, Turlock High School and Roselawn High School, designed for students who have demonstrated the ability for college-level work and want to get ahead on their college education. Tuition and material fees are covered for the courses which are taught by university professors, allowing students to establish a Stanislaus State transcript during their junior or senior years of high school.

In the program’s first year, the courses were offered at PHS and THS. Last year, a partnership between Roselawn and Stanislaus State was implemented for the first time, and now all three sites will provide college courses during the 2016-17 school year.

“This program provides our students a valuable opportunity to not only earn college credits while still in high school, but also experience what it is like to be a college student,” said Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Heidi Lawler.


During the sites’ fall and spring semesters, one three-unit lower division course will be provided during A period at PHS and THS, and one will be offered at Roselawn. In the fall, Art Appreciation, Introduction to Communication Studies and Creative Writing will be offered, and spring courses will be decided at a later date.


At THS and PHS, there are 30 seats available in the offered course, and at Roselawn, 25 seats are available. According to Lawler, many students take interest in enrolling in the college courses, and are informed of them through a variety of means, such as daily bulletins, teacher or counselor notifications and school websites. Students sign up for the courses when scheduling their classes, and in determining the final class roster for the courses, sites consider various factors, including the student’s grade level and grade point average.


“Over the past two years, student participation and parent interest has increased and we continue to have waiting lists at both comprehensive sites,” said Lawler.


The partnership between the district and university aligns to TUSD’s Local Control Accountability Plan. Collected community input from LCAP stakeholder surveys originally led to the offering of the college courses, and according to Lawler, the program continues to produce a large amount of positive feedback from both parents and students.


“Through this experience students are able to matriculate from TUSD high schools even better prepared for the rigor of post-secondary education,” she said.