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El Dorado high school district sees uptick in trade program interest

1 NorCal high school district sees uptick in trade program interest
1 NorCal high school district sees uptick in trade program interest 02:20

EL DORADO COUNTY – Graduation season is upon us, and one Northern California school district said it is seeing an uptick in students wanting to go into trades instead of college post-graduation.

The El Dorado Union High School District (EDUHSD) has 48 career technical education (CTE) courses and 11 regional occupational programs (ROP).

"We do see students going straight out of our high school district into their career choice, also straight into post-secondary," said Teri Whiting, administrator for the Career Technical Education Program at the EDUHSD.

Whiting said they have more than 300 students enrolled annually in the ROP programs and for next school year, there is a waitlist.

"In recent years, we're seeing an increase in students interested in directly going into the trades," Whiting said.

According to the California Department of Education, enrollment in career pathway programs jumped from 18% six years ago to 23% last year.

One of the ROP programs in the district is the cosmetology program. School leaders said it is only one of two of its kind in California.

"Most of the cosmetology schools are either in the private sector or community colleges, so it's really a gift that students can start their post-secondary as seniors in high school," said Lauren Blaze, lead instructor for the ROP cosmetology program.

She said she started seeing an uptick in interest a few years ago.

"I've seen a big uptick, especially after covid. I think actually a lot of students got into watching online videos whether it's Instagram or YouTube or whatever, and they really just have a knack for it coming in now," Blaze said.

The California Department of Education also said 95% percent of CTE students who did not go to college worked for pay within two years of high school graduation.

"One of the things the California Department of Education acknowledges is that the ROP programs are really the most cost-effective way to prepare students for careers," Whiting said.

If you know a student interested in one of the ROP programs, you can find more information by clicking here.

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