The City of Fresno and its Department of Education recognizes the fact that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. Education opportunities in Fresno are abundant. The area offers quality schools of choice, including public, private and charter schools, vocational and technical training programs and access to some of the finest colleges and universities in the nation.
Fresno Unified School District, the fourth largest school district in California, strives to provide a rich academic experience and meet the educational needs of more than 73,000 students at 110 different schools. The district also boasts an extremely diverse student population, with more than 75 different languages represented, and it offers continuing education for more than 25,000 adults.
The district’s main goal is to prepare career ready graduates by sustaining its commitment to high-quality instruction, strong leadership, providing a safe, secure learning environment, and engaging parents and the Fresno community. Because of this strong commitment, the academic performance of Fresno Unified students has steadily increased as a result of dedicated district leadership, and teachers and all employees maintaining the core belief that all students can learn. Graduation rates continue to steadily rise, and the number of chronically absent students has significantly dropped.
Fresno Unified has a number of academic programs that help meet the needs of the diverse student population. This year, the district continued to increase the number of available preschool spaces, providing the district’s youngest students a jump start before entering kindergarten. Specialty offerings such as Cooper Academy, that recently received the prestigious designation as a National International Baccalaureate school, Baird Middle School’s Environmental Science magnet program, the award-winning Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART) high school program, and the esteemed Manchester GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) program, that engages students who want to pursue a rigorous course study. These programs challenge students to reach their potential and prepare them for success beyond high school.
Central Unified School District is the population growth center for the City of Fresno. Its 88-square-mile area spans the entire western fringe of the city. It serves nearly 16,000 students with programs serving preschool, 14 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high school campuses, a continuation school, two community day schools, and an adult school. Central Unified is the fastest growing school district in Fresno City and County. Its vision is succinct – Every Student will be prepared for College, Career and Community.
Central Unified leads the Fresno metropolitan area schools with a 1:1 initiative tablet, one for every child, with 4G access to ensure equity of opportunity. It continues to enhance expansion of the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA). Community partnerships are integral to the VAPA growth. Vocal and instrumental music, theatre productions, art displays and showcases at all grade levels, including elementary schools, are offered. They have also expanded their elementary academic competitions to include Odyssey of the Mind, Science Fair and Science Olympiad, Robotics, History Day, Young Authors’ Faire, Peach Blossom, Spelling Bee, etc.. Central continues to host and compete in the Fresno County Academic Decathlon annual competition. Central High School has greatly expanded its offerings of Career Technical Education (Vocational Education) classes through several site-specific academies. Central Unified looks to the future with a commitment to connect, engage and provide ample opportunities for students to achieve at their highest potential. More information is available at centralunified.org.
Clovis Unified School District (CUSD) is a K-12 public school system that serves the cities of Clovis and Fresno as well as some unincorporated areas of Fresno County and the rural community of Friant. The district covers approximately 198 square miles and has a student population of more than 42,000. The district includes much of the northwest area of the City of Fresno, with just over 40 percent of the district’s student population living within Fresno city limits.
Educational efforts in the school district go well beyond the basics and focus on meeting every student’s academic needs, raising expectations for all students, operating with increased efficiency and effectiveness, and developing a quality workforce. Clovis Unified emphasizes developing students to their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Services to students include a rigorous curriculum; access to a wide variety of athletic, academic and performing arts opportunities; and an emphasis on the development of good character. CUSD students and schools have been the recipients of numerous local, state, national and international awards in academics and athletics, as well as National Blue Ribbon School awards, State Distinguished School awards and Title I Academic Achievement awards over the course of the district’s 50-plus year history. For more information about Clovis Unified, visit cusd.com.
Those here in Fresno who wish to continue their education are fortunate to have an abundance of excellent institutions close to home.
Serving the Central Valley since 1973, Alliant International University attracts students from around the world and prepares them for professional careers of service and leadership. Located across from Fresno’s Yosemite International Airport, Alliant offers master’s and doctoral degree programs, as well as certificate programs and credentials. Programs include: clinical psychology and counseling, applied criminology, business administration, infant-preschooler mental health, organizational psychology, school counseling, and school psychology. Alliant is home of the renowned California School of Professional Psychology and the exceptional Kauffman Library that has been carefully planned to meet the special curricular and research needs of its students.
California State University, Fresno is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University system and serves Central California’s diverse, growing population. With an enrollment of more than 23,000 students, Fresno State is designated by U.S. Department of Education as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution and an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The University offers 63 undergraduate degree programs and 43 master’s degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional disciplines emphasizing agriculture, business, engineering and technology, health and human services, and education; and doctoral programs in educational leadership, physical therapy and nursing.
Fresno City College (FCC), California’s first community college, was established in 1910. FCC is a comprehensive two-year college that provides a vast array of services to assist students in achieving their educational goals. The college offers a wide range of academic programs that award associate degrees and certificates. It is dedicated to working collaboratively with the community to enhance the academic, economic and social development of the region.
Fresno Pacific University is known for academic rigor, outstanding faculty and degrees that lead to jobs. Nonprofit, independent and Christian, FPU serves about 3,500 traditional undergraduate, adult degree completion, graduate and seminary students at the main campus in Southeast Fresno and regional campusesm in North Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield and Merced. Founded in 1944, Fresno Pacific University (FPU) has always welcomed first-generation students, while building the region’s highest four-year graduation rate. To make excellence accessible, FPU offers financial aid to more than 98 percent of traditional undergraduates, as well as a four-year graduation guarantee to qualified students. A Hispanic-Serving Institution, FPU is among the nation’s top 10 HSIs for highest Hispanic graduation rates, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report also ranks FPU in the top tier in its category. At FPU, education centers on faculty. More than 80 percent hold doctorates and all are committed to teaching and scholarship. Small classes and contact beyond the classroom build lifelong student-faculty relationships. Five schools offer programs for all interests. The School of Business attracts the largest number of students, while the School of Natural Sciences focuses on careers in medicine and science. The School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences has respected programs in psychology and peace studies, and graduates of the School of Education are sought by school districts. Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary provides churches and other ministries with pastors, biblical scholars and marriage and family therapists.
Another educational option is The Institute of Technology, Inc. (IOT). Since the original opening of IOT in 1986, it has partnered with the Fresno community to produce employable graduates in their chosen fields of study. IOT provides students with an affordable, career-focused education in a variety of programs in the medical, business, culinary, criminology and technical fields. In as little as nine months, IOT students are armed with the skill set, knowledge and work ethic to succeed in their career of choice. IOT is proud to be a provider of productive employees to Fresno’s business community. To learn more about IOT, visit iot.edu or call the Clovis campus at (559) 297-4500.
Students can also choose ITT Technical Institute to further their education. This is an institution committed to helping men and women develop the skills and knowledge to pursue many opportunities in today’s fastest-growing career fields, including electronics, computer programming, computer networking, computer drafting and design and criminal justice. Most ITT Technical Institute programs of study blend traditional academic content with applied learning concepts, with a significant portion devoted to practical study in a lab environment. Advisory committees, comprised of representatives of local businesses and employers, help each ITT Technical Institute periodically assess and update curricula, equipment and laboratory design. Students attend classes year-round with convenient breaks provided throughout the year. Classes are typically available in the morning, afternoon and evening, depending on student enrollment, and offers students flexibility to pursue part-time employment opportunities. For more information about ITT Technical Institute in Clovis, visit itt-tech.edu.
National University (NU) is the second-largest, WASC-accredited, private, nonprofit institution of higher learning in California, and is one of only three WASC-accredited, four-year universities in Fresno. NU originated in San Diego in 1971, and has grown to over 33,000 students, and over 140,000 alumni, among 27 campuses in CA and NV. The Fresno Campus, located on the corner of Friant and Fresno streets, opened in 1985 and enrolls approximately 1,200 new students every year. NU consists of five academic schools and one college, including: the Schools of Business and Management, Education, Engineering/Media, Health and Human Services, Professional Studies, and the College of Letters and Sciences. In each School, students are assured a quality and diverse education that will equip them with the skills needed to become a successful member of the Fresno community. The Fresno Campus includes state-of-the-art laboratories in Nursing Simulation, Nurse Anesthesia, Clinical Lab Science and a Nursing Bed Lab. The largest programs at the Fresno Campus are Teacher Education, Nursing, Psychology and Business. For more information , visit nu.edu.
University of Phoenix prepares working adults to compete and thrive in the changing global economy. Its Central Valley Campus offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in a host of areas including Nursing, Education and Business. Students can choose to study online or at three convenient locations in Fresno, Bakersfield and Visalia.
San Joaquin College of Law (SJCL) is a nonprofit law school founded in 1969 to provide quality legal education to those wishing to become effective, successful, and community-minded attorneys. SJCL alumni include more than 30 judges, commissioners, and administrative law judges, along with the current State Secretary of Health and Human Services and the District Attorneys for Fresno and Kings counties for Fresno, Kings, and Madera counties. In addition to the New American Legal Clinic, which offers students an opportunity to assist legal residents seeking citizenship, SJCL also offers internships ranging from the District Attorney and Public Defender’s Offices to a multitude of private practices. Many of these develop into job offers following passage of the Bar. Student organizations include the Student Bar Association, LawSUIT (Law Students United in Tolerence), and Delta Theta Phi. SJCL offers both a full-time, three-year Day Division and a part-time, four-year Evening Division. A bachelor’s degree in any major satisfies educational prerequisites for admission. The Law School is housed in the historic Clovis High School building in Old Town Clovis. For more information, visit SJCL.edu.