Award Year: 2014

University High School

2611 East Matoian M/S UH134
Fresno, CA, 93740-8010

(559) 278-8263

Dr. James Bushman, Principal at time of Nomination

Charter School

Fresno Unified

School Website


University High School is a small 9-12th grade Liberal Arts high school on the campus of California State University Fresno where ALL students receive an accelerated college preparatory program including the full inclusion of music theory and performance.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 5%
  • White: 44%
  • Hispanic: 23%
  • Asian: 27%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %
University High's Magic of the Arts, an all school variety show

University High's "Magic of the Arts", an all school variety show

University High School is not your “normal” college-preparatory public high school. The charter school resides on a major four-year university. All students must take the same 4-year high school program that includes classes taught at the university, Advanced Placement classes and classes taught by UHS staff. All graduating students leave the school with at least a year of college already completed. The school requires a full complement of college prep classes but the centerpiece of the curriculum is music. All students take music theory AND play or sing in a performing group for all four years. Additionally, at the end of each semester ALL students take an intercession class. These intercession classes are designed as exploratory classes to expose students to areas of interest not taught during the typical semester. Computer networking, printmaking, engineering, cooking, painting, ceramics, digital photography, sailing and the production of a musical are a few of the more than 20 offerings students can choose.

But while the school structure is different, so too are many of the practices the school uses. Teachers are ‘at will’ employees that serve without tenure. Teacher evaluations are based on multiple-measures including student feedback/evaluations. Technology plays a key role in the curriculum delivery as does the school’s Code of Character that has shaped the student friendly environment and made students unafraid to express themselves in all school areas. USC in its "School Performance Dashboard for 2013," named UHS the number two charter high school in the State of California.