Career Technical Education Expands at Duncan Polytechnical High School

This fall, three new career technical education (CTE) pathways are added to the menu at Duncan Polytechnical High School: advanced manufacturing, welding/fabrication, and rehabilitation therapy.

Duncan is already a hub for CTE courses, with ongoing pathways in small automotive, construction, manufacturing, nursing services, and physical therapy. The Duncan programs are in high demand with about 1,000 students traveling from all over the district to attend Duncan and benefit from the strong academic foundation integrated with occupational instruction. Duncan's enrollment is expected to jump about 30% as a result of the additional pathways.

Making room for Duncan's new CTE programs required summer-time remodeling to transform existing rooms into a rehabilitation therapy classroom and a welding classroom. The rehab room features a mobility track and will be the only high school program of its kind in California.

The welding/fabrication program will be the only comprehensive welding program in Fresno Unified, and will feature state-of-the art equipment, including virtual welders and computer cutting machines.

Rehabilitation therapy is a new CTE pathway at Duncan and was selected because of the demand for occupational, physical, and sports therapy professionals. In fact, all pathways are selected through a rigorous process that considers workforce market demand data, student interest areas, entry level pay, local post-secondary opportunities, and programs that result in certifications allowing for students to be employed immediately after graduation.

Longer term plans include new building and facility projects that will be funded with the last of Measure Q dollars, the district's $280 million local school bond passed overwhelmingly in November 2010.

The new facilities will house a new large-automotive career pathway. The facility plans, still in concept and design stages, will go to the Fresno Unified Board of Education for approval when they are complete.

Because students travel to Duncan from all over the district, Fresno Unified is investing in a new bus specifically to serve Duncan that will provide better access for students living in outlying areas of the district.

Using the 2009 report from the Superintendent's Commission on Workforce Readiness and Career Technical Education as a launching point, Fresno Unified's Board of Education has taken a host of actions to expand and deepen CTE courses and activities throughout the district.

And the district continues to expand the number of CTE offerings that meet A-G course requirements for California State University and University of California campuses. The result is that Fresno Unified students taking CTE courses are well-positioned to have many attractive options after high school, both in college and career. For more information about Fresno Unified's full CTE course offerings, please visit: https://www.fresnou.org/dept/collegecareer.
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