CART Program Set to Stay in Clovis Unified

The Center for Advanced Research and Technology (CART). (Photo courtesy of CUSD)

February 9, 2024 – CART, the Center for Advanced Research and Technology, is a joint program between both Clovis Unified and Fresno Unified School Districts.

Used as a half-day program, CART gives students in both school districts the opportunity to perform activities related to academic science, social science, and with technology based labs, providing for them the full CART experience. 

Rick Watson, CEO and proverbial Principal of CART, says that the CART Program began in 1997, when then CUSD Superintendent Walt Buster desired to bring some sort of technology based “center” for students to be able to go to and receive that technology based experience of learning.

He says that Buster then had the trouble of passing this idea past Clovis Unified, but saw that Fresno Unified School District was interested in the same idea, hence the pairing of school districts that lasts till this day. 

Over the next few years, both school districts then worked to get the community and certain pioneers on the business side of the Clovis and Fresno on board with the idea to back and fund the program.

After a few years of this building of the program, the CART program was opened in 2000. 

From that moment until now, the CART program has changed immensely, and currently houses upwards of 1400 students from both Fresno and Clovis Unified.

Located behind the Sierra Vista Mall, these students get the chance to have a technology based learning and hope to fulfill their dreams of one day finding a full-time job in the tech industry. 

“We’re always working on recruitment, we open our application period in December, and working on recruitment is an important job, we’re always working on recruitment for CART,” says Watson. “We’re looking to expand our lab offerings, we look at what students are interested in in terms of drawing them here.”

Watson says that CART also hopes to expand partnerships in the community to help provide the opportunities afforded to them in the past.

A number of the partnerships include working with real life employees of the tech sector and giving students real life working conditions. 

CART does it’s best to emphasize the business opportunities and relationships, as having those relationships turn into a sort of life blood to the program itself. 

“We really want to make sure that our partnerships with our school districts are always functioning well…Really it’s about our partnerships and bringing in more community folks to work alongside our kids and to provide opportunities for our kids, mentors and opportunities for them to get real world experience.” 

The Center for Advanced Technology and Research can be found at 2555 Clovis Avenue in Clovis. The facility itself is about 75,000 square feet and continues to offer classes related to professional sciences, engineering, advanced communications, and global economics. To enroll your student in the CART program, please visit 

JT is a recent college grad with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. He is mainly interested in sports and entertainment but covers a wide array of subjects. He currently writes for the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club. JT looks forward to continuing his career at the Clovis Roundup and is excited to be working closely with a community that is very proud of its people.