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The HBCU Step-Up program will provide a pathway to transformative learning opportunities for African-American students and other populations interested. Students will experience a dynamic array of post-secondary options by earning up to 10 to 13 transferable credits in partnership with Benedict College, an HBCU. HBCUs are known for their rich history of excellence contributed to a community of learners.

Program Criteria

Students are identified based on their grade point average (GPA) and recruited by College and Career Readiness, Step Up Counselors, Step Up Champions, A4, and other FUSD departments. If you are interested in more information or to get your student involved, please reach out directly to your school’s Step Up Counselor or Step Up Champion.

In order to participate in the Step-Up program, students must:

  • Maintain a C or above in the dual enrollment course(s) and in each high school semester grade course
  • Be on good academic and behavioral standing
  • Sign a code of conduct agreement
  • Complete all work as assigned by due dates
  • Participate in all the Step-Up extracurricular activities (the Kickoff Reception and Boot Camp are required)
  • Sign an agreement for your participation (If you play sports, your coach must allow you to attend class and support your participation and study time)
  • Participate in an HBCU nine-day excursion College Campus Tour (visit 8 to 10 colleges and universities on the east coast)
  • Participate in all College Ready Workshops (Scholarships, Admissions, and Financial Aid)
  • Participate in leadership conferences and activities

Benefits of Participation

  • Students are more likely to graduate from high school
  • Students gain early college experience
  • Students gain priority admission to Benedict College
  • Improved academic outcomes for students, particularly first-generation, low-income households, and underserved populations
  • Students are less likely to need to take basic skills courses in college
  • Dual Enrollment can decrease the amount of time a student will spend in college completing general education (GE) and/or prerequisite courses
  • Program is a cost-efficient way for students to accumulate college credits because courses are taken at no cost to the student through their high school
  • Program promotes specific pathways to HBCUs and other four-year colleges and universities, especially in high-demand subject areas
  • Potential scholarships for students who have above a 3.2 GPA

School Site Champions

School SiteSchool Site ChampionCounselor
BullardKari HollandVanessa Russell
EdisonChris FinleyKejhiana Beasley
SunnysideTasha HicksLanae Lopez


Parent and Student Testimonial

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