Mountain View High School will offer four new courses next school year: Business Management, Work Exploratory, Architectural Design II, and Health Careers.
The course proposals were unanimously approved by the Mountain View-Los Altos School District board on Thursday, and align with the district’s push for career technical education, which integrates academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge. Next, the courses will be submitted for A-G approval, which will allow them to count toward meeting UC and CSU college preparatory course requirements.
“It’s not your grandfather’s woodshop classes anymore,” Mountain View Principal Dr. Kip Glazer said. “CTE is highly technical and highly student engaging, interest driven courses. And we need to get out of that mindset, especially in the Silicon Valley where people are like ‘Who cares about college, let’s go work for a startup.’ It’s just so strange to me that we have not embraced [CTE].”
Glazer said the course selection is based on labor projections and resource availability. All four courses will be part of respective CTE pathways. According to Glazer and Associate Superintendent of Education Services Teri Faught, the goal is for every CTE course to also be dual enrollment, allowing enrolled students to receive college credit on top of high school credit.
“It’s kind of like if you take an AP class,” Faught said. “If you get a three or higher on the exam that can be looked at as you have that college credit. This is very similar except there is no AP exam, it’s that the teacher has a master’s degree, their curriculum is aligned to the community college, and so therefore it’s a ‘college-like’ class.”
To receive their CTE credential, a teacher must have three years of industry experience directly related to their respective industry sector and meet the work recency requirement: one year within the past five years or two years within the past ten years.
“Once the course is [A-G] approved we can either engage Foothill College and they’ll provide the staff, or, depending on how many sections we need, we can actually hire teachers,” Glazer said.
Glazer said she believes CTE will allow students of all socioeconomic backgrounds to come together based on their personal interests.
“This is one of the best ways to support all kinds of kids and help them pursue their passions,” Glazer said. “I’m so excited that I get to do this here.”