January 3, 2017
WALNUT, CA--Sometimes experience is the best teacher. Regional Occupation Program (ROP) career and technical education courses can prepare students for success in college and careers.
From using AutoCAD software to produce 3D graphic models in Architecture Design to learning first aide and CPR in Sports Physical Therapy, students select from a variety of hands-on courses offered right on their high school campuses.
Specialized classes help build marketable skills, work ethics, and job training needed for entry level jobs or transitioning to post-secondary education.
Walnut Valley USD courses are offered through a partnership with the East San Gabriel Valley ROP Technical Center.
“ROP provides students the opportunity to get a head start in their future careers,” says Candice Marsano, from Walnut High’s Career Center.
Many classes offer college credits approved by UC colleges and are articulated through Mt. SAC College.
Mike Moore’s Architecture Design students get the chance to design dream pool houses complete with defined components, functionality, and space planning using Revit software.
A Sports Medicine Pathway provides exposure through beginning and advanced Sports Physical Therapy and Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation courses.
“I try my best to provide real-life situations such as emergency spine boarding, first aid and CPR, preventative athletic taping, sport injury evaluations, and pre/post exercise stretching,” said ROP teacher Nelson Chen.
The Early Childhood Education course provides valuable firsthand experiences working with local students.
Each Wednesday, about 15 Walnut High students spend about an hour with transitional kindergarten (TK) classes at Vejar Elementary.
The teens partner with the school’s youngest children for mentoring, reading, and enrichment activities.
The new cross-age endeavor has the support of TK teachers Carolyn Campbell and Irene Carter.
“Our students are so excited to see their high school helpers each week,” Campbell said.
The high school students work hard learning about children’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional development prior to jumping into the TK environment each week, according to ROP teacher Denise Sandoval.
“These work-based learning programs expose our students to careers they might be interested in,” she adds.
Senior Isabella Leon plans to pursue child psychology next year in college. Classmate Kelly Choi is interested in the field of child development.
“This is a really good experience for me. It’s giving me insight on what I want to do,” Choi said.
“Our students are graduating empowered with experience and confidence towards their future career goals,” Marsano added.
By Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
Walnut High ROP Early Childhood Education students mentor, read, and lead enrichment activities with Vejar Elementary students.
Counting, Reading, Singing! Walnut High ROP students lead weekly activities at Vejar Elementary.
Walnut High students gain first-hand experience through ROP Sports Physical Therapy courses.