C.T.E. provides hands-on studies


In recent years, a new program has given Granite Bay High School students real-life work experience and provided a preview to careers students are interested in.

“CTE WORKS is a regional program and has various locations to serve students according to their location, schedules, and various other factors,” said Carey Shannon, instructor for the Oakmont CTE WORKS Health Careers program in an email.

CTE WORKS Health Careers, formerly known as 49er ROP, allows students to explore future possible occupations.

MORE: Look at Placer County’s CTE WORKS programs

“Students all participate in internship opportunities and leave all the classes prepared to pursue health related careers and higher education,” Shannon said. “Like any class, each instructor has their own style, which makes each class unique.”

The Health Careers program, specifically, begins with two to two-and-a-half months of daily training in a classroom environment, either at the Auburn location or Oakmont location.

The class spans the entire school year for three hours per day, giving students hundreds of hours of volunteer experience.

“(It’s a) rigorous, highly engaging, hands on environment where they will master skills and be checked off before beginning their job site placements,” Shannon said. “The students then begin attending the classroom portion for one day per week and externing at their jobsite for 12 hours per week.”

Students in the program are also able to get six college credits at Sierra College, a local community college, if they meet guidelines noted in the course outline.

“Students have the opportunity to be hired in some of their job placements at the end of the year and are able to work in a care setting while attending college,” Shannon said.

Early graduates keep busy working

Senior Jessica Chugh claimed that she chose to take the class to gain exposure to the field and see if she would enjoy a career in the healthcare system.

“For my specific class (CTE WORKS Health Careers), Tuesdays I have to go to Auburn, and every other day of the week I’m working at Mercy San Juan Medical Center,” Chugh said.

Instructors place students in externships based on their interests of what they are most interested in being involved in.

“You write down your preference and the teachers kind of try to match you where you want to go,” Chugh said. “You can write down certain departments in hospitals… and then they’ll try to accommodate you.”

Slightly less than half of the class is placed at Mercy Hospital and the rest in nursing homes, senior facilities or urgent care centers.

Chugh’s shift starts at 7:30 a.m. each day and she leaves for school at 10:10 a.m.  According to the Placer County Office of Education website, students in the class are recommended to receive 20 credits per semester.

“I would say that it’s a good experience as long as you’re flexible,” senior Ashley Martinez said.

Students said that the program has so far been helpful to help learn more about possible future careers in healthcare.

“(It’s) an amazing program that gives students the opportunity to explore careers in health,” Shannon said. “We are truly a family of students, instructors (and) community members from all over the county that come together in a unique way to explore future career and college goals.”