La Vista and La Sierra high schools are launching a third career tech education course this school year to give continuation and at-risk students real life work experience.
A new Graphics Production Technologies program will grant teenagers access to color printing services and put them “on a pathway to find skilled employment,” Principal Sandi Layana said.
“There’s a lot of research and evidence to suggest that (career tech education) can be particularly effective for at-risk students,” Layana said. “It provides positive social change, hands-on experience, and a sense of belonging instead of alienation.”
Over the past 18 months, school and district officials have researched similar career pathways at other campuses in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District, which serves Buena Park, Fullerton and La Habra.
Layana, Assistant Principal Gary Day and district Director of Educational Services Steve Zamora fashioned a program for La Vista and La Sierra, and in June, announced its 2017-18 debut.
Expected to serve about 150 sophomores, juniors and seniors, the two-year program will be offered alongside the schools’ video production and childcare pathways.
“We’re very excited to implement this state-of-the-art program, which will give our kids an opportunity that can lend them a living wage,” Layana said.
Digital printing knowledge is especially valuable these days, with industry professionals projecting a 28 percent job growth by 2020, district staffers said.
“This isn’t just putting something on a copier and printing it,” Trustee Joanne Fawley said. “It’s much more complicated than that. The problem-solving skills, planning skills, collaborative skills being developed through the use of this equipment will carry these kids forward even if they don’t choose this as their future work.”
Granted $350,000 to implement the program, the district is also expecting to save money on color printing costs by having students prepare documents such as tickets to district events and graduation programs.
Graduates interested in making a career of graphic production can join a printing technology program at Fullerton College – a partnership Fawley is particularly excited about.
The prep-to-college transition, she said, “is a benefit for everyone: for the economy, the students, society, the community.
“Sometimes it’s hard to find a true career pathway,” she added. “This is a really good one.”