High school is a time of exploration. What activities will you join? Which sports will you play? And, most importantly, what path will you take for the future.
At Desert Sands Unified School District we offer students the opportunity to explore a variety of possibilities that include college as well as careers that require certification and post-secondary professional training, but may not require a bachelor’s degree. We call these CTE programs (Career and Technical Education) and they are available at five of our seven high schools and are open to every one of our students. As the DSUSD mission states: inspire and nurture every student…one opportunity at a time. Career and technical education throughout the district showcases the myriad of opportunities available.
Throughout the summer, this column will feature a different CTE program each week. Students and parents are encouraged to reach out for additional information to the schools offering these unique pathways. A list of programs can be found below along with the school where they are housed. Information can also be found at the school websites available on the district website www.dsusd.us/schools. Look for CTE under the academic programs list on each school’s website.
Animal Science (Indio High School)
Automotive Systems, Diagnostics, and Repairs (Amistad High School)
Aztec Arts Academy including Professional Dance, Music, and Theatre (Palm Desert High School)
Building and Construction Trades (Amistad High School)
Cadet Corps/Air Force Junior ROTC (Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert, Shadow Hills high schools)
Culinary Arts (La Quinta High School)
Computer Networking (Indio and La Quinta high schools)
Computer Software Systems and Development (Palm Desert and Shadow Hills high schools)
Emergency Management (Shadow Hills High School)
Engineering (Indio and Palm Desert high schools)
Environmental Resources (Shadow Hills High School)
Film and Broadcasting (Palm Desert High School)
IMPACT Digital Media (Indio High School)
Medical Health (Indio, La Quinta, Palm Desert high schools)
Ornamental Horticulture (Indio High School)
Public Service Academy (La Quinta High School)
Technology, Landscape, and Management (Shadow Hills High School)
Each program incorporates both academic and CTE standards that are specific to the industry sector. Students participate in a sequence of courses with some programs providing certificates that lead directly into employment in that trade or industry. Community partnerships, including OneFuture Coachella Valley, have been developed and continue to grow as industry professionals make up advisory committees that inform program development at all levels. Some CTE programs provide certification exams at the end of the course of study and many work with the community to provide work-based learning including internships. Several programs also participate in career technical student organizations that hold annual competitions nationwide. These organizations also provide career support like interview and resume skills.
Teachers hold a specific CTE credential that recognizes their experience in the industry sector. Some CTE teachers also hold a single subject teaching credential in a core subject like science, English, or mathematics. Many CTE teachers are also adjunct professors with College of the Desert. Their programs offer college credit courses where students earn both college and high school credit upon completion. They also provide a direct connection and head start into similar CTE programs on the college campus.
Students preparing for college, career, and life need a wide range of opportunities to gain the skills necessary for success in a rapidly changing economy. CTE courses provide both the academic and professional knowledge students need to prosper. To learn more about the DSUSD CTE programs, follow us this summer and check out the articles that will appear in this section of The Desert Sun.
Mary Perry is the public information officer for the Desert Sand Unified School District