Design Science Middle College High School

Closing the gap

Opened in 2005, Design Science Middle College High School’s mission is to close the opportunity gap for those most underrepresented in post-secondary education through equitable access to rigorous academics.

Design Science Middle College High School creates a learning community that supports a positive college-going culture for students and their families. The learning environment focuses on elevated academic rigor and the development of self-efficacy. The school blends this cognitive challenge with positive and supportive student-to-teacher connections, which have proven to elicit student engagement in the learning process.

Students are selected through a lottery. There are no minimum qualifications to apply, but students must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 while they are in attendance.

The campus is located in the heart of central Fresno, and is in partnership with – and across the street from– our community college partners, Fresno City College. This unique partnership is vital to changing the narrative of poverty within our community. 

Design Science is part of the Middle College High School initiative sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and supported by the intermediary, Foundation for California Community Colleges. 

The Design Science Middle College High School program is designed to prepare students for the rigor of a four-year university. Our statistics demonstrate our progress.

Our Impact and Accomplishments:

86% of graduating seniors were first generation college students

Over 90% complete English 1A

100% have been admitted to four year universities, including top tier ivy league schools such as Caltech, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, USC and Johns Hopkins.

100% completion of A-G requirements

Average number of college units earned: 55

89% of the 2021 graduates earned an associate’s degree

Our Awards

Title 1 Academic Achievement Award 2009, 2010, 2011, 2017

CA Distinguished School Award 2009, 2013, 2021

CA Pivotal Practices Award 2022*

CA Gold Ribbon School 2017

CA Honor Roll, STEM Designation 2016, 2017,2019,2021

*CA Pivotal Practices Award replaced the CA Distinguished School Award in 2022

“As a mom of three daughters who have or are attending Design Science, I couldn’t be prouder of the work ethic and maturity they have gained through this unique program. Graduating from Design Science Middle College High School with an understanding of the college system that allows them to be prepared for the rigors of higher education and for them to advocate on their own behalf when needed. Each staff member of Design Science takes the time to know each student and their background allowing for the students to feel validated and heard. Graduates leave knowing they have been equipped with the skills to persevere and that they have a place to turn to with any questions or hurdles they may face.”

Misty Cruz

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