Relevant Real Life Experiences for Orosi High School Students

Written by: Lisa Castillo, District Director of College and Career

The Orosi High School (OHS) Class of 2017 will be the first to include students from the Career Pathway Academy of Engineering and Green Technology. In addition to meeting OHS graduation requirements,these OHS students have been working hard to earn NAF (National Academy Foundation) Track Certification. What this means is that in addition to meeting OHS graduation requirements students must pass their courses with a “C” or better, earn Proficient or above on their Project Lead The Way Engineering End of Course Exams, and complete two (60+ hour ) or one (120+ hour) Internship/Apprenticeship related to the industry-specific theme. Orosi HIgh School is one of 13 school districts that make up the Tulare-Kings Linked Learning Consortium, all who strive to prepare students for college and career with the educational approach that embodies “Rigorous Academics, Relevant Technical training, Work Based Learning and a Comprehensive Student Support System that not only provides equitable access, but also meets the social, emotional and academic needs of every student.

On Saturday, October 15, 2016, several students from the Career Pathway Academy of Engineering and Green Technology were accompanied by Work Based Learning Facilitator Annaly Alvarado, to work side by side with Grid Alternatives (Central Valley office in Fresno) in a “Work Based Learning” industry-specific internship on a home solar installation in Dinuba. “The students had a great day and were very proud of their accomplishment not only in their work but giving back to the family and community as a whole” stated Annaly Alvarado. In August of 2017, GRID Alternatives required every student to complete an orientation and safety training. GRID Alternatives is a certified non-profit organization that brings together community partners, volunteers and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, providing energy cost savings, valuable hands-on experience, and a source of clean, local energy that benefits us all.

Prior to the solar installation with GRID Alternatives, on July 25-29, 2016, every one of these students took part in a week-long solar energy academy completing a solar project & business proposal with SUNPOWER, another industry partner in the realm of solar energy and installation, who provided teacher training,curriculum, and student support. During this weeklong academy, students were mentored by other engineers: Engineer Robert Juskalian of Edison Energy Education Center in Tulare and Director of Facility Programs Matt Spence of Indoor Environmental Services to support student learning. “Student engagement is high when students can take part in the hands-on industry-specific skill set learning process, make a connection to what they are learning in the “CTE” classroom setting and apply what they learn to the industry specific experience resulting in student learning!”