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College Express for All

Burton School District, Tulare, California
Burton School District
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In the small farming town of Tulare, many students and parents don’t know how to navigate the college system—which often leads to students failing to seek higher ed options.

To solve the challenge, Burton’s administrators created College Express Pathway, where students, before earning their high school diploma, can earn up to 68 units of college credit and a degree in business administration, a general education requirement after high school and a transfer degree at nearby Porterville College, which ensures that students can transfer to any California State University.

The district works closely with the school counselor on the Pathway, holds meetings with the charter director and superintendent, and talks with the dean of instruction and the department chair for the business department at Porterville College. Together, this team works through challenges to find solutions that best serve student needs.

For additional support, district counselors work one-on-one with students and their families to discuss course sequence, career planning, scholarship resources and financial aid.

To start your own program:

  • Define what you want, such as providing college options to high school students, and why you are doing this work.
  • Create a detailed plan and a team willing to do whatever it takes to be successful.