Inside a crowded auto collision repair facility and classroom, students, teachers, administrators and state and local officials, witnessed the launching of a new statewide effort to help young people explore post-secondary opportunities and careers.
The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) Mather Regional Transportation Center served as the site for the unveiling of "Who Do U Want 2 B?" The campaign is designed to encourage high school students to prepare for future jobs through Career Technical Education (CTE) coursework at high schools, Regional Occupation Programs (ROP) and community colleges. CTE integrates core academics with technical and occupational courses to give students a pathway to post-secondary education and careers.
"CTE must be joined with traditional academic coursework to serve as the backbone of a strong, well-educated workforce, which will foster productivity in business and contribute to California's leadership in the global economy," said Sacramento County Superintendent of Schools David W. Gordon.
The Mather Regional Transportation Center was developed by a community partnership involving participation from American River College, local high schools/regional occupation programs (ROP), employers, apprenticeship programs, economic development agencies and community based organizations. In 2007, American River College (ARC) initiated a partnership with SCOE to develop new regional transportation programs in auto collision and diesel. The courses operate at this facility and articulate community college transportation programs with regional high school and ROP automotive programs.
Coinciding with National Career Technical Education Month, the statewide awareness effort will run through next year. It will include radio and Internet advertising that targets students ages 12 through 19 by featuring career-oriented community college students and graduates. Marketing and informational pieces distributed to schools, ROP sites and community colleges will support the effort while activities and outreach events will highlight corporate and community-based partnerships.
"The rapidly changing technology based world in which we live demands that we prepare all students to be critical thinkers, higher level problem solvers, and lifelong learners with the ability to embrace change," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "To put things in perspective, students today are likely to change careers numerous times in their lives, and our schools must prepare them for careers that we cannot yet even envision."
All program materials will highlight the website, www.WhoDoUWant2B.com, a student-focused, interactive resource that guides students, parents, and educators to CTE opportunities, potential career pathways and curriculum offerings in high schools, ROP and community colleges.
"So many young people are unaware of the numerous career technical education and job training opportunities offered by our 109 community colleges," California Community Colleges Chancellor Diane Woodruff said. "I like that the 'Who Do You Want 2B' campaign reaches out to students who may not choose to pursue a four-year degree but want highly successful and lucrative careers."
Funding for the program comes from the California Department of Education and the California Community Colleges through Senate Bill 70, authored by Senator Jack Scott in 2005 and implemented as the Governor's CTE Initiative.
The "Who Do U Want 2 B?" campaign originated from the largest of the Senate Bill 70 projects: Statewide Career Pathways: Creating School to College Articulation, a collaborative effort between the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and the California Department of Education. The project's steering committee includes representatives from high schools and community colleges, Tech Prep Programs and ROP.