Today’s rigorous and relevant Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers. The Grossmont Union High School District Career and Technical Education program is a major focus of our overall instructional program. The CTE focus transforms high schools by providing programs of study that give students the technical, academic, and employability skills they will need for their future. For thousands of students, CTE provides motivation for attending and staying in school.
The Grossmont Union High School District continues to support and expand quality programs to ensure that students are both college and career ready when they graduate. Currently, we offer over 40 Career Technical Education Pathways in high-wage, high-demand Industry Sectors.
Our CTE pathways serve over 4,000 students and include two to four year sequences of classes in an industry sector. We also have over 2,000 students participating in our Healthcare Pathways supported by the Grossmont Healthcare District. In addition, some of our pathways are implementing a Linked Learning approach where the students’ CTE and academic classes are coordinated to have a unique career-themed, learning experience with additional student support from their teacher team. Students in all pathways learn industry-current technical skills and incorporate their academic standards in an applied and relevant project-based learning environment with authentic audiences.
- Work-based learning integrated at each level (industry tours, guest speakers, community projects, teacher job shadows and externships)
- Exposure to a full range of post-secondary options: entry-level jobs, apprenticeships, military, two- or four-year colleges
- Articulation and alignment with post-secondary institutions and industry level certifications
The Grossmont Union High School District is partnering with other high school and post-secondary districts as well as with private organizations and business partners to implement and expand this work at a local and regional level.
Following are two examples of the great opportunities available to students in our pathways programs.
Health-Careers Exploration Summer Institute
During the summer months, 15 Health Career Pathway students from Granite Hills, Mount Miguel, Valhalla, Santana and West Hills served as hospital interns, gaining skills working at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. The Health-Careers Exploration Summer Institute (HESI) program began with an intense month of preparatory homework leading up to the program start date and four rigorous training days.
Next, the interns spent the month of July rotating through nearly 20 hospital departments. Students spent over seven hours a day with medical professionals and spent their evenings researching and writing case studies and reflecting on their personal growth. Additionally, students generated e-portfolios. These digital spaces house the students’ CVs, resumes, evidence of scientific writing competency, and transcribed interviews with healthcare professionals, which can all be used by the students long after their attendance in the HESI program.
The departments that hosted our students welcomed them and taught them about their careers, medical procedures and technology, and patient. Most importantly, these mentors provided them with life lessons and insights that will alter the course of their lives. In this way, students benefitted from incredible career exposure, learned about the value of finding a career they will be passionate about, practiced work readiness and communication skills, and applied knowledge from their Health Career Pathway courses to a “real-world” setting.
The rigorous internship program concluded with individual final student presentations at the Grossmont Healthcare District Conference Center to a crowd of nearly 90 guests including families, Grossmont Healthcare District Board Members and CEO Barry Jantz, Sharp Grossmont Hospital staff, GUHSD Governing Board Members, and several members of my management team.
Our students did a superb job in sharing their transformative experiences and afterward officially graduated from the program. Photos from the event are available here.
Inaugural Solar Energy Academy
Also over the summer, GUHSD-CTE partnered with SunPower Energy, Vital Link and Cuyamaca College to offer interested juniors and seniors an opportunity to participate in the SunPower Solar Energy Academy.
The intense, five-day event, was hosted by Cuyamaca College. It provided students with an in-depth working knowledge of residential photovoltaic system design and installation.
In collaborative teams, students learned how to design a residential solar system, calculate financing and present the benefits of solar energy in a high-quality presentation. This week also included lectures from solar professionals, hands-on activities and a visit to the impressive SDG&E Energy Innovation Center. GUHSD Program Managers Dena Johnson and Lindsey Emerson also outlined their role in the Valhalla Solar Project.
CTE teachers Joe Cota (El Capitan) and Todd Myers (IDEA Center), with support from SunPower and Vital Link consultants, provided a great opportunity for students to:
- receive hands-on experience and training
- acquire valuable technical and professional skills
- build teamwork and problem-solving skills with like-minded students
- expand their resume, career portfolio and college application content
Students from the following programs participated:
- Building and Construction Trades: El Capitan and IDEA
- Advanced Manufacturing: Santana and West Hills
- Engineering: Santana
- Transportation: Monte Vista
- Business & Marketing: Mount Miguel
The week culminated with student presentations held at the Energy Innovation Center. Business panelists were very impressed with the quality of the content and presentation skills displayed by the students.
I thank the following panelists for contributing their valuable time for our students:
- Lindsay Boyd, Project Coordinator, Sea World
- Tisha Tumangan, Senior Human Resources Representative, Sea World
- Samuel Lindsey, District 21 Director, American Welding Society
- Rich Nagel, ASI Heating and Air
- Carmen Contreras, Business Development Specialist, Point Loma Credit Union
These are but two examples of the many experiences GUHSD students may benefit from on the way to college and careers.
Labor Day Send-off
In closing, I wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. Classes will resume on Tuesday, September 6.
Dr. Tim Glover