Fresno Unified School District, California’s fourth largest, covers a 65-square-mile geographical area and serves more than 73,000 students. Of this population, 88 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and approximately 21 percent are English language learners. The district has identified expanding the pipeline of college and career ready students as a key area for improvement.
In partnership with the University of California, Merced, Fresno has used continuous improvement approaches to steadily increase the number of students who graduate college and career ready. For example, graduation rates have risen from 69 percent to 85.4 percent, while college eligibility rates—as measured by California’s A-G completion rates, which are required for admission to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU)—have risen from 25.9 percent to 49 percent. Most recently, Fresno integrated research from college-match data to increase the number of students applying to more competitive colleges by 50 percent.