You may have noticed the student in your class packing up and leaving 15 minutes before lunch each day. These juniors and seniors gather at the parking lot until a bus takes them to a campus shared with other districts.
These select students participate in the Silicon Valley Career and Technical Education (SVCTE), located between Highway 87 and Capitol Expressway where they train for with industry professionals in programs ranging from forensic sciences, culinary arts to veterinary medicine. In the past CTE courses such as woodshop, business marketing and were offered at Branham and other campuses throughout the district.
These courses were later outsourced and contracted with other schools to what is now SVCTE. The course now works with 36 different schools and allows their students to pick from 13 different Industrial Sectors. The course offers a semester’s (or more) worth of hands-on education all while providing transportation to the campus at exactly 12 p.m. The program takes up half of a student’s day, and starts from noon to 4 p.m. The course lasts from one to two semesters, and can provide credits for all “a-g” courses besides “e”.
The program isn’t well-known in Branham High School, as a recent survey showed that 60 percent of the student population were uncertain of its benefits.
Junior Mileva Sanchez said that her interests led her to take the forensic sciences track at SVCTE. “I was unsure of what I would do in colleges, but I knew I was interested in law enforcement-sort of,” she said.
The courses give high school students the opportunity of possibly taking their skills into the workplace. The program also offers career-enhancing opportunities, such as work assistance and résumé building to help students succeed in a professional environment.