CUSD’S CTE: A glimpse at career opportunities

Photo by Jess Gonzalez

By Jess Gonzalez,

January 29, 2024 – With a motto—”Real World, Real Life, Real Education”—that motivates and has its feet solidly on the ground, the Clovis Unified School District’s CTE (Career Technical Education) Night again proved a big draw with students and parents who squeezed into the Clovis Veterans Memorial District Hall on Tuesday, January 23.

The annual event is designed to provide high school under classmen, as well as middle school students, detailed information on the technical education classes that will be offered in the next school year at the five CUSD high schools–Clovis, Buchanan, Clovis West, Clovis East, and Clovis North.

Utilizing informational materials, displays, props, and demonstrations—each school was well represented by students and instructors who informed about their classes, answered questions, and–through class projects–provided glimpses of what in-coming students will do and can expect to learn from taking technical education classes.

Pathways to Careers

Margaret Files, the CUSD administrator responsible for this year’s event, informed that “CTE classes provide 21 pathways to careers in 13 industry sectors in partnership with business and industry entities.”

The pathways are the different courses of study available to students in pursuit of technical careers that attract their specific interest.

The success of previous CTE students over the years has been very impressive. To start, the graduation rate of students who complete a CTE Pathway is a sky-high 99.9%!

Adding to the value of CTE classes are 58 industry recognized certifications that can be earned by students.

CTE also has 200 active industry partnerships available to assist students in pursuit of the technical career of their choice. With all this providing support, it is evident each CTE class is literally a door of opportunity waiting to be opened students.

A Student and Parents Perspective

Ella Rodriguez, a junior-to-be at Clovis West, made her way around the crowded venue with her father Jesse and her mother Gina looking with great interest at all the classes that will be taught in the coming school year.

“I just wanted to see what classes are available so I can decide which ones I want to take next year.”

Her father was very impressed with what he saw at the event. “This really gives students a great opportunity to see for themselves the variety of careers available that may interest them” he commented.

“Taking classes like these will help Ella to maybe intern in a business in the future. It’s a great event.”

Measuring The Success of CTE Night

As she looked around the crowded hall at parents and students going from table to table, Margaret added,

“In the past these types of events were called career days, but from my own experience I don’t remember any offering so many technical education classes.”

While attendance at the CTE was outstanding, we asked Margaret if that was the only way to measure of the event’s success.

“No, we also must wait and see how many students actually register to take the classes. That will give us a better idea of how successful our event has been.”

Participation of Other Education Institutions

Aside from the five CUSD high schools, six different high education schools were represented at the event.

They included Fresno State (Cal State University Fresno), Butte College, Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Community College, and Clovis Adult Education.

Representatives from Gateway High School were also present to show what they offer students.

A familiar face at the Fresno State table was Faith Sidlow, ex-news anchor woman with KSEE Channel 24, the area’s NBC affiliate.

Faith is now the Department Chair of FSU’s Media, Communications and Journalism Department.

“We like to participate in events of this type because there’s need for students to know about the extensive number and variety of classes our department offers at Fresno State,” she informed.

“By participating in events like this we provide students more options as far as what’s available to them career wise.”

Partial List of CTE Classes Offered by CUSD Schools

A partial list of the extensive number of CTE classes offered by the five CUSD high schools includes the following:

Buchanan: Child Development, Environmental Resources, Food Service and Hospitality

Clovis North: Product Innovation and Design, Software and Systems Development, Education

Clovis East: Agricultural Mechanics, Animal Science, Emergency Response, Public Safety

Clovis West: Business Management, Financial Services, Performing Arts

Clovis: Residential and Commercial Construction, Systems Diagnostics, Service and Repair

As the world turns…                                                                        

While it was once believed that a good career started with a four-year college education, that is no longer the case.

For the most part, it is well accepted that a college education is not for everybody. That, in part, is because present-day technology, products and services are continually becoming obsolete and in need of being replaced by new technology, products, and services.

However, the creativeness of the human mind working in conjunction with the drive of the human spirit are always in the “on” position.

They push society to be in constant transition. Daily somewhere in the marketplace new technology, new products, and new services are being introduced to the masses.

In turn, they create growing numbers of new careers that require particular expertise and skills that have to be learned in a four-year college education.

That is why CUSD administrators, seeing the constant changes happening in all areas of society, are preparing their students for the future through their CTE classes that are linked to society’s new career challenges!