Bridging High School, College, and Industry: A Case Study and Lessons for the Field

Behind the scenes of Makhel’s and Makhi’s successful transitions from high school to college, a team was at work that was building on the strong foundation of Skyline High’s CS&T Academy (founded in 1998 by its current lead teacher) and the Oakland Unified School District’s (OUSD’s) investment in career academies. Individuals from the
high school, BCC, and SAP—a leading global software company with a regional presence—came together as a Community of Practice to strengthen a pathway into careers that depend on technology. They identified gaps that cause many young people—particularly youth of color and from low-income families—to lose momentum, and they zeroed in on strategies to help students (1) earn early college credit, (2) explore careers, gain professional experience, and build a network of connections, and (3) receive integrated academic support and navigation assistance related to their degree and career goals. Their hope was to see more students, particularly students historically undersupported in higher education, enroll in and complete college and possibly enter the tech sector.