A tech education model links pathways between K-8 schools, high schools and community colleges, universities, and employers. It’s a new way of conducting training that has been in traditional vocational schools, only now students can learn specific trade skills and receive an education.
In Northern California, the 22.2 million investment in North Bay Schools has paid off, or as Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torklason calls it, a “return on California’s investment” in STEM education
$22.2 million was invested in North Bay schools, funding career and technical education programs. These CTE programs are aligned with regional employers stated needs. The largest grant is $15 million. This will link educational pathways connecting K-8 elementary schools, high schools, community colleges, universities and employers. These links are throughout Sonoma, Marin, Napa, Solano, Mendocino, and Lake counties. The lead agency for this pathway alliance is the Sonoma County Department of Education.
Regional employers are looking for skills in the areas of tourism, agriculture, medical technology, manufacturing, and healthcare, to name a few. The programs teach these skills, but allow students to further their education and go to college rather than commit to one career path as in previous vocational programs.
Mr Torklason considers Pinar High School in Santa Rosa to be a model program for linking institutions and educational services, meeting the needs of students and their future employers. “The people of California invested in this, and our investment is paying off.”