FRESNO, California - 8th grade students in Fresno Unified have many options when they head to high school--from CTE programs, charter high schools to partnership academies.
5,600 8th graders with Fresno Unified came to together to get some guidance on the many pathways they have to their future.
Bringing together every 8th grader in the Fresno Unified School District, all 5,600 of them, to show them the many pathways to their future.
"We had some student focus groups and some parents focus groups who shared with us that their middle school kids had no idea what's available to them at the high school level," said Sally Fowler with College and Career Readiness.
The event, CTE Ticket to the Future, was the district's opportunity to showcase it's 29 different career technical education pathways, 7 state partnership academies and more than 100 CTE courses.
"It's very tangible and the experience is amazing. You can actually experience what's happening so instead of just reading about it and hearing what people are saying you can actually see it," said student Christopher Jones.
It was all on display; Hoover High's construction technology, Sunnyside's video production and Edison High schools biomedical and engineering pathways..
programs many students were exposed to for the first time.
"I'd never really heard about it but now I'm here to see it, experience and do it."
And after taking in all the programs offered at Duncan Polytechnical, Fresno Unified's premier career technical education high school, 13 year old Christopher, who was headed to his family's alma mater, is looking in a different direction.
"I'm reconsidering going to Duncan because of the programs they have there."
Making the right choices about their future that is what the event was about. High school students already enrolled in the programs were there to answer questions and share their enthusiasm for CTE.
"I like the way they greet you and they tell you about the school, I don't know it's something about the way it gets you more to know about the school," said student Aniya Valverde.
Fresno Unified's Office of College and Career Readiness sees this as a great way to better prepare students headed to high school…letting them know that along with college there are other alternatives. It's a message the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools has been pushing for years
The county office is hoping students with an interest in advanced manufacturing and commercial construction will consider one more option…CTEC, the career technical education charter high school opening next fall.
"I think that's part of our mission today is to educate our students. What career technical education stands for and what we offer for all students regardless of their middle school, where their high school is and what their post secondary dreams are," said Director,College and Career Readiness Kristen Boroski.
This was Fresno Unified's first Ticket to the Future.