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Santa Barbara School District Showcasing Academies, Career Tech Programs for Future Students

Wednesday night event at Earl Warren Showgrounds will give prospective high schoolers, families a chance to talk to students in the various programs

The San Marcos High School Health Careers Academy is one of several career education programs in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. The district is throwing a showcase event Wednesday night for its academies and career technical programs. Click to view larger
The San Marcos High School Health Careers Academy is one of several career education programs in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. The district is throwing a showcase event Wednesday night for its academies and career technical programs. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

High school academy programs and career technical education pathways will be on display during Santa Barbara Unified’s annual showcase Wednesday night at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

Admission and parking is free for the event, which runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the showgrounds, at 3400 Calle Real.

Guests will learn about the programs first-hand from students enrolled in the courses specializing in multimedia arts and design, automotive technology, computer science, culinary arts, engineering, visual arts and entrepreneurship, among other things.

“These courses are aligned with industry standards so that students have the opportunity to develop career tools within a rigorous academic setting,” said Kimberly Hoj, the district's special programs coordinator.

“It’s a combination of both career and college readiness, and it attracts all kinds of students.”

This year, the showcase is expanding to include student participants from the district’s career technical education and special programs, in addition to the academies.

The goal of the event is to expand attendees' knowledge about the programs within SBUSD schools and to learn there are academically-rich courses that provide pathways to college and a career, said district spokeswoman Lauren Bianchi Klemann. 

“The showcase is about discovering what is possible in high school — finding the right fit — (and) giving students and families access to information and opportunities to interact with students who are currently part of these programs,” she said. 

Students in the academies and career technical education programs from Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools will be present, as well as representatives from the district’s Student Services, Alternative Education/Middle College, the Advancement Via Individual Determination and the Program for Effective Access to College.

High school academic counselors will be on hand to provide enrollment and transfer information. 

The event takes place earlier in the school year so prospective high school students have time to apply for school transfers in advance of the application deadline.

Transfer applications are available through Santa Barbara Unified School District Student Services starting Friday, and must be submitted by Jan. 19.

Among the many programs being showcased Wednesday night is the Health Careers Academy at San Marcos High School, where students recently spent a morning learning about the World Health Organization. 

The classroom includes a human skeleton model and mannequins that can be used to teach CPR, and the walls are covered by posters outlining the history of medicine. 

“One thing I like about the class is that guest speakers come and talk about their work,” said student Finn Gamble, 16. “It helps us get a better understanding of the next steps after high school.”

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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