Mendocino High School has undergone a remarkable transformation in its approach to vocational education. Formerly known as Vocational Education or ROP, the program has evolved into Career Technical Education (CTE), offering industry skills-infused pathways that provide students with not only the necessary skills for well-paying careers but also real-world experiences working with industry professionals.

The CTE program at Mendocino High School has experienced exponential growth, currently offering six pathways: Agriculture (Plant and Soil Science), Cabinetry, Millwork & Woodworking, Hospitality (Culinary Arts), Design, Visual & Media Arts, Engineering Technology, and Production & Managerial Arts. These pathways cater to a diverse range of student interests and talents, ensuring that all students can benefit from CTE education.

A crucial component of a high-quality CTE pathway is Work Based Learning (WBL). This initiative offers students the opportunity to engage in job shadowing or internships with local industry professionals in their chosen CTE pathway. Despite the challenges posed by the small and isolated coastal area, Mendocino High School has witnessed a strong response from local professionals eager to help students further their skills and contribute to the local workforce.

The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily disrupted Work Based Learning efforts. However, Mendocino High School has made significant strides in resuming the program this year. Five students have been successfully placed in semester or year-long internships, including positions in restaurants, a local garden, and an art studio. The school remains committed to seeking additional opportunities to expand students’ horizons and welcomes interest from industry professionals in the fields of Agriculture, Cabinetry, Hospitality, Design, Engineering, and Production.

Career Technical Education and Work Based Learning play a vital role in preparing students for future success. By bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world experience, students acquire practical skills and develop a deeper understanding of their chosen industries. Furthermore, these initiatives foster collaboration between education and the local business community, ensuring a well-prepared workforce that meets the needs of the community.

Mendocino High School encourages local small business owners to consider participating in the program as apprentice hosts. By engaging with students through job shadowing or internships, small businesses can contribute to the development of a skilled local workforce while benefiting from the fresh perspectives and enthusiasm of young talents. Interested industry professionals in Agriculture, Cabinetry, Hospitality, Design, Engineering, and Production are invited to get in touch with the school to explore potential collaboration opportunities.

Mendocino High School’s Career Technical Education and Work Based Learning program exemplify the commitment to preparing students for successful careers and fostering strong community ties. By investing in the growth and development of our students, we can collectively shape a prosperous future for both individuals and the local economy.

For more information or to express interest in participating, please contact Mendocino High School.

Connecting Students with Real-World Opportunities