MERCED, California (KGPE) – Over the last few years, there has been a statewide shift in the curriculum toward Career Technical Education (CTE).
Merced Union High School District has been at the forefront of this movement.
The district currently has more than 30 different CTE pathways throughout the district and more are being added each year.
On Monday the State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond checked out Atwater High School and looked at their many CTE programs. Those programs included welding, wood-shop, agriculture, and floral classes.
Alan Peterson is the Merced Union High School Superintendent. He said they offer students a hands-on way of learning.
“It’s important for our college-bound students,” said Peterson. “So they kind of understand and get a little exposure to industry before they go to college.”
Peterson said these classes ensure students get a variety of electives before college.
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond spoke to students about the benefits of these classes.
“Well, I love hearing about the demand for the number of students who want to be in the program,” said Thurmond. “Hearing very frank conversations that more funding is needed.”
The district wants more funding for new equipment and safety training.
Sophia Rhoades is a senior at Atwater High School. She said being involved in CTE courses sets students up for success.
“They are getting hands-on experience and they could say maybe this is what I want to do for a career or maybe I am not into animals maybe I want to try out shop or mechanics,” said Rhoades.
MUHSD said beginning with the class of 2020, all students are required to fulfill a CTE graduation requirement by completing at least two CTE courses, one of which must be a capstone course.