California Industry Sectors - Programs for High School Students
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Environmental Design Pathway – Santana High School


The Energy (Efficiency), Environment and Utilities industry sector has been identified as one of the top 10 high-skill, high-wage, and high-growth sectors in California. Careers in this sector include Environmental Scientist, Environmental Designer, Park Planner, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Technician.  


Santana High School has one pathway in this sector - the Environmental Design Pathway that prepares students for employment, post-secondary education and training in a variety of environmental industries. Students in this pathway participate in the California Partnership Academy Linked Learning Pathway model where they take their Career Technical Education classes and their core academic classes as a grouped cohort of students. Each grade level (10-12) has a theme and with integrated, project-based learning activities that give the students real-life application of their curriculum. These projects take place in state-of-the art facilities that include laser cutters, 3D printers, two 4 axis and one 3 axis CNC routers.


Students in the Environmental Design Pathway at Santana attend field trips, job shadows and participate in the ACE mentoring programs. They gain industry level certifications and have paid and unpaid internship opportunities that give them the real-life experiences of bidding on a project and implementing environmental strategies in building projects. Former graduates have gone on to pursue careers as architects, construction project managers and engineers. Last year’s EDP students received over 30 thousand  dollars in scholarship money.


The teachers in this pathway model excellence in their work and in the results they are achieving in their classrooms. A case in point is their being asked to present their concepts and delivery model for integrating curriculum throughout the pathway at the Educating for Careers Conference in Sacramento. Four of the eight teachers involved in the Environmental Design Pathway have been Golden Apple winners or Teachers of the Year, and Eileen Bagg-Rizzo was the recognized as county teacher of the year in 2014.