FRESNO, Calif (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno Unified School District will be the first district in California to partner with one of our country’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to help African American Students earn college credits while in high school.

According to Fresno Unified, the program is called the HBCU Step Up Pathways Program and is a partnership between Benedict College, an HBCU in Columbia, South Carolina, and Bullard, Edison, and Sunnyside high schools.

In this dual enrollment program, accepted students will have the opportunity to earn up to 12 free college units through live virtual classes with Benedict professors – all while being exposed to the academic and cultural experience of an HBCU.

Students who complete the HBCU Step Up program are guaranteed admission to Benedict College. As well as have access to an HBCU tour, college fairs, summer enrichment, additional academic support, and scholarship opportunities.

The program will be officially launched on Thursday.