Laura Bratt Q&A: Career & Technical Education Pathways at SRVUSD
Updated: Sep 22, 2020
Q1: How do you propose building out strong Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Regional Occupational Program (ROP) programs so that we can ensure equitable and meaningful opportunities for those students who are not college bound?
Laura Bratt: Our students need to be life-ready and I believe that looks different for each student. As a district, we need to support opportunities for every student to reach their individual career and life goals in order to empower them fully. Our district needs to create and support further pathways beyond college-ready and I believe that this should start in elementary and middle school. Career Days at all levels. Curriculum and assessment that goes beyond high academic achievement as the only outcome. And opportunities to see a wide path to their future, rather than a narrow one where it’s college or failure.
I believe that the educational experience has to be much broader than just college-prep. In order to develop a true love of learning, there has to be a connection that has the potential to spark a passion. Giving our students as many opportunities to connect with and find their passion is a big part of creating a strong, supportive environment for all of our students.
As a society, we also have to value pathways and occupations beyond college-degree professional careers. It is our electricians, paralegals, lab technicians, medical assistants, mechanics, firefighters, digital designers, police officers, IT support, pastry chefs and so many more who make our community tick. Thankfully, we have people with these skills and careers living and working in our community. We need to support and highlight the value of of them and the corresponding CTE and ROP programs to our students in order to give them a vision for their future that they currently may not see. A future that includes solid, employable skills with a high level of job opportunity, wage-earning potential, and security.
In order to fully support CTE and initiate ROP programs, I would recommend that we build out a district-wide advisory board to include CTE/ROP educators, site and district administration, community members, business owners, civic and industry organizations, apprenticeship providers, students, and families so that we can discover what the school-sites are doing well, define the needs, and work together to implement a strategy that will create equitable opportunities across the entire district. I also believe that our current PLI program could be harnessed in a way that gives value to and provides a much broader range of opportunities for our high school students.
As Trustee for Area 3, I see the high value of CTE/ROP programs and will drive comprehensive and sustainable initiatives that include partnering with our community to reach our goals.