ROCKLIN –The Sierra College Workforce Development & Continuing Education Division (www.sierracollegetraining.com) has been awarded $600,000 in grant funding from the California Community College Chancellor’s office to expand career technical education (CTE). The project will promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The Division will lead the Sierra STEM Community Collaborative in strengthening CTE programs and increasing connections between community college programs and secondary schools in the region.
According to Sandra Scott, Director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education at Sierra College, this funding will enable the collaborative to create, pilot and implement innovative CTE models, strengthen existing programs, and attract middle and high school students to STEM education.
“Our vision is to engage all students in applied learning. Students will have the opportunity to imagine, design and make something while applying academic principles learned in physics, math, English or any subject,” said Scott. “With the confidence built through hands-on projects and applied academics, students will want to continue their technical education at Sierra College to prepare for successful careers in product design, technology, engineering and manufacturing.” Scott explained that the project will align CTE courses at the high school level with Sierra College’s Mechatronics, Engineering and Engineering Support Technology programs.
Part of the project will be piloted at Colfax High School. According to Colfax High School Principal Rick Spears, the school, working with Sierra College, will develop a sequence of courses that are responsive to industry needs and focused on occupational skill sets. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to establish a new program involving multiple teachers and industry partners,” said Spears. “It is a whole new way of preparing our students for the future and could lead them into creative, highly satisfying and well paid technical careers that they may not have considered without this early exposure.”
Sierra College will implement another part of the project at North Tahoe High School in partnership with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. The Truckee project will complement the school’s existing construction program by adding an engineering and architectural component that teaches computer assisted drafting, solid modeling and rapid prototyping technologies according to Bev Ducey, Board Member, Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.
“We anticipate forming a Tahoe Truckee Engineering and Architectural team to provide advice as we develop a sequence of courses that will incorporate CTE standards and industry-identified skills,” said Ducey. “This program will create multiple pathways for our students. They will be able to seek employment in this field after graduation, articulate to Sierra College’s Engineering and Engineering Support Technology programs or go on to university to study engineering, architecture or construction management. The bottom line is that our students will be better prepared to follow a technical education path and find interesting, highly paid jobs.”
The mission of the Workforce Development & Continuing Education Division is to deliver flexible learning opportunities that produce change. For more information, go to www.sierracollegetraining.com or contact Sandra Scott, Sierra College Workforce Development and Continuing Education at (916) 781-6244.