Clovis Unified Invested in Present and Future

Clovis High construction students got first-hand experience on various emergency response scenarios, including CPR. PHOTO BY NUGESSE GHEBRENDRIAS/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

With over 15 different pathways (Career Technical Education courses) available to students within the district, Clovis Unified is continuing a long-held tradition of promoting ROP/skilled-labor courses. 

“There are kids who want to go to college and that is very important to support, but there are just kids who might not want to do that,” Chuck Sandoval, Director of Career Technical Education said. “When I ask kids what they want to do, everyone has a different answer for that.” 

With the students in mind, CUSD expanded their ROP/CTE programs over the years. 

 “I’ve only been here in the district for two years, but this is something Clovis Unified has been working on for years,” Sandoval said.

From animal science and agricultural mechanics to software and systems development and residential/commercial construction, there are diverse programs for every student.  

At the CTE crossover event at Clovis High between CUSD Patient Care Pathway and CUSD construction professionals held on Tuesday, Oct. 8 and Thursday, Oct. 10, Sandoval had asked a group of students what career fields they were interested in and the answers varied. 

Clovis East Patient Care Pathway students (dark green) held up-close demonstrations of various safety scenarios. Construction students from Clovis High were able to test their skills in different stations. PHOTO BY NUGESSE GHEBRENDRIAS/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

“I was just talking to these girls right here and all of them had unique answers to my question. One said that she wanted to be a dentist because last year she a rotation at a dentist office and this year I have a hospital rotation,” he said. “Each student is unique in terms of their goals and we want to be able to cater to that.” 

As seniors, students can experience the community classroom that will allow them to work with different areas to learn and get a better understanding of what they want to focus on. 

The district applies for the CTE Incentive Grant every year and the district receives $1.2 million to help fund all of the programs offered. Sandoval attributed a change in the job environment to the renewed focus of skilled-labor training. 

“There are all of these specific-skilled jobs out there and there is a shortage. These CTE classes can help fill the void, but can also be really good money.” 

CUSD also takes advantage of the Strong Workforce Program, which sets aside funds for programs specific to industry-related sectors. In other words, the funds are meant to build a workforce that represents the needs of the communities they will be working in. 

 John “Jay” Eichman, Construction Technology instructor at Clovis High spoke on the importance of CET courses and the reasoning behind the crossover event held at Clovis High earlier this week. 

 “The construction students here need an understanding of emergency responses that may be necessary in a construction environment,” he said. “What we find is that the best way for a student to learn is for them to have to teach it themselves.”

In partnership with his wife, Kelly Eichmann, PhD, MS, RDN, and ROP Medical instructor at Clovis East, Eichman helped put on the crossover event. 

“We came up with this collaborative, peer-teaching/training event in order to show the diversity within our career tech education program and how these different programs can mesh together,” Eichman said. 

And the future only looks bright in terms of the CTE focus at CUSD. 

The goal is to continue improving and adapting the programs offered to the ever-changing world. 

 And with that in mind, the school district work together with an advisory or group that represents all of the business partners within the area. 

Eichman will meet with them from time to time and get feedback on jobs and industry equipment needed in order to fully immerse the students within the field of study, among other things. 

“We just want to make sure our students have all the cutting edge information that will help in the future after they graduate,” Sandoval said. 

 For a full list of all the CTE pathways, click the link for more information. 

For the past three years, Nugesse has been a vital part of the Madera Tribune covering sports, news, entertainment and feature writing. Nugesse’s ability to interact with the community allows him to promote students, athletes and community members with fairness and objectivity. We are happy to have Nugesse join our team here at the Clovis Roundup.