Preparing for college or even the workforce is a process that’s starting earlier and earlier every year. Students are provided multiple opportunities to learn about different career paths, explore their educational options, and dive into their future plans. A large part of this is due to the competitive nature of not only college entrance requirements but also the workforce as well. The need to prepare students sooner for both the stress and demands of their post-secondary options has become a topic of conversation both in schools and among families. Everyone wants to see their child succeed in what they’re passionate about, and getting to that point can be tough. One of the ways La Mesa Dale has started to aid in this need is by partnering with Helix Charter Edge.
Helix Charter Edge allows students to both explore their options and gain Career Technical Education throughout their time there. Their programs provide students a leg up by giving them college credits, volunteer opportunities, internship opportunities, and the ability to listen and speak to those in the career field they decide to pursue. These programs are also closely linked to industry standards, ensuring that students are fully prepared for both college and the workforce.
What Is Career Technical Education?
At Helix Edge, Career Technical Education, or CTE, is “a multi-year sequence of academic and technical study to prepare students for a full range of post-secondary options within each of the pathways.” Currently, they offer four different pathways; education, sports medicine, business/entrepreneurship, and computer science. These programs provide students courses relevant to their chosen CTE, while also providing them college credit in some cases. While these programs are rigorous, students are provided support and clubs to join to help them succeed and meet their goals. This approach to education and post-secondary planning is allowing students to not only explore options prior to applying for college, but it’s also providing them a foundation in competitive or growing fields.
For example, students who are enrolled in the Computer Science pathway learn the analytical, communication, and multimedia skills required to pursue a career in Computer Science careers such as IT or Software Development. They also learn coding, programming, and other technical skills alongside soft skills. In this pathway, students also take two AP classes that are eligible for college credit. In their Education pathway, students take classes related to child development, AP psychology, and are also given mentorship opportunities. This pathway prepares students not only for the education field, but also prepares them for fields like Social Work, Counseling, or other social service employment and post-secondary tracks.
These are only two programs offered by Helix Charter Edge, but all four provide pathways students with curriculum and mentorship that will help them succeed.
About the Partnership
The partnership between La Mesa Dale and Helix Charter Edge is one that had been in the works pre-pandemic but was finally initiated on October 1st, 2021. The goal is to support students and provide them with helpful skills to launch them into careers such as Education. In fact, many teachers and the superintendent of the school district have been guest speakers at Helix Edge multiple times since the partnership was initiated. Since this is new, plans are developing to expand the program. The ultimate goal is “raise [ing] up teachers from within our community as we strive to provide our students with representation, role models, and teachers they can relate to.”
There is no doubt that college is tough, and discovering what you want to be when you grow up is a difficult choice for many students. However, it’s an incredibly important one, and providing students with resources for exploration of future options is one-way schools can support both students and parents in making that decision. With the partnership of La Mesa Dale and Helix Charter Edge, students at this school can benefit from these resources and support, and continue on to a bright future.