It is always exciting when new research validates how EPAA teachers support our students. A recent study by Stanford education researcher Sade Bonilla highlights the value of career training programs and partnerships with community colleges—exactly like the Engineering Technology certification pathway that EPAA is launching in the fall!
Analyzing data from the $500 million in education funds that California awarded between 2014 and 2017, Bonilla found that investing in partnerships between high schools and community colleges through a "career pathway" curriculum can reduce dropout rates. Unlike traditional vocational tracks, these career pathways lead to a variety of options: a vocational certificate, of course, but also credit towards an associate's or a bachelor's degree. Additionally, since these career pathways are based on regional trends in workforce growth, they are more effective in positioning students for viable careers after graduation.
Bonilla's findings support EPAAF’s mission to prepare students for college, career, and life. The study makes us even more excited to announce that we were recently awarded the K12 Strong Workforce Program grant for the 2019-2021 cycle!
The state of California is investing over $200,000 in our new Engineering Technology pathway that will offer courses, such as Engineering Graphics and Introduction to Engineering, and lead to a Foothill College certificate and dual-enrollment college credit. Designed to challenge advanced math and science students, as well as appeal to students who are looking for interactive and hands-on elective options, these courses aim to reach all EPAA students. In the heart of Silicon Valley’s tech industry, with housing prices and the cost of living continuing to rise, it is more important than ever that our curriculum is responsive to regional economic growth in engineering fields, so we are proactively preparing EPAA students for post-secondary educational options and meaningful careers in the Bay Area.
As we launch this new Engineering Technology pathway to great excitement from our students and families, we would like to express deep gratitude to our partners at Foothill College, the California Department of Education, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office. Thanks to their support, this program will create a powerful impact on the lives of our students, families, and community. We look forward to sharing more updates soon!