As we begin the 2015-16 school year, we are entering a very exciting time for Career Technical Education (CTE). Across the State of California, educators are adopting a “work-based” or “project-based” learning approach allowing students the opportunity to participate in classrooms that are designed to simulate the workplace, as well as internships at the actual workplace.
South Coast ROP, in collaboration with Capistrano and Laguna Beach Unified School Districts, has made great technical advancements in the past few years, and developed courses that allow students to learn and practice technical skills that are “just like” the real workplace. As an example, the Dental Assistant course looks and feels like a dental office, and the Surgical Technologist course takes place in a classroom that has been converted into an operating room. Engineering Technology, Introduction to Architecture, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) courses all use the latest industry software such as Solidworks, Sketch-up and CADD. All ROP courses are developed in collaboration with our business, industrial, and educational partners to provide students with the most current information and practices. The work is integrated with academics in a rigorous and relevant curriculum and they are exciting to see in action. I’ve heard many students say that their ROP course is their favorite class, and that they feel they’ve found their “niche” through the hands-on training.
ROP teachers hold a valid teaching credential, are experts in the industry sector that they teach, and bring actual work experience into the classroom. Teachers work closely with industry partners to develop community classrooms, resulting in the opportunity for students to take the skills they’ve learned in class and apply them in an internship at a local business/hospital/medical facility.
Students then have the choice to continue on the career pathway into community college courses, straight into the UC/CSU four-year university system, or into an entry-level career. There are a variety of options. South Coast ROP has multiple articulations with the community colleges in the area, as well as courses that are approved to meet the UC a-g requirements.
Students that complete CTE courses in high school are more likely to graduate high school, more likely to attend college, more likely to graduate from college, and more likely to be hired in the field they’ve chosen. (cde.ca.gov CTE Fact Sheet)
At South Coast ROP we are proud to provide CTE for all students in 14 of the 15 industry sectors and 54 career pathways. All ROP courses follow the CTE Model Curriculum Standards developed by the California Department of Education that incorporate the Common Core State Standards.
Executive Director, CTE