Preparing teachers for career pathways

Denise Vela never thought she’d be teaching high school English quite like this, and certainly never as part of an engineering program.

Vela is earning her single-subject teaching credential this year through Fresno State University. She is among the first group of participants in a program that immerses prospective teachers in linked learning career preparation programs. Such programs interweave academics with career themes, giving students practical work experience while also helping them see connections between education and future careers.

Vela takes credential courses at a university satellite program based at Harmony Magnet Academyin Strathmore, a high school in the Central Valley’s Porterville Unified School District. Harmony is the district’s first “wall-to-wall” career academy high school, meaning that all 500 students participate in programs that infuse academics into a work-themed curriculum in either engineering or performing arts.