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California Department of Education
News Release
Release: #14-86
August 27, 2014
Contact: Communications
Phone: 916-319-0818

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Launches Pre-Apprenticeship Pilot Project

SACRAMENTO—Nine California high schools will participate in a pilot project this fall designed to help students earn pre-apprenticeships into the construction trade industries, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today.

As part of this pilot project, the nine California Partnership Academies will use the "MC3" program. Standing for "Multi-Craft Core Curriculum," the course of study will lead students to a better-than-entry-level position or pre-apprenticeship with a number of construction trades industries. The curriculum includes: building trades math; labor history; training to recognize and prevent hazards in construction sites; first aid and CPR training; and an introduction to the trade industries. The MC3 program has only been previously used with adults over 18 years of age.

"Career technical education gets at the heart of what we want for our students: real-world skills and knowledge that will allow them to succeed outside our classrooms," Torlakson said. "The MC3 program makes clear to students that what they are learning in school can have a direct effect on their careers after they leave school, keeping them engaged in their own learning."

Staff from the California Department of Education worked with members of the California Labor Federation, North America's Building Trades Unions, and the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California to create the MC3 program in California Partnership Academies (CPA). A CPA is three-year high school program structured as a school-within-a-school. Academies integrate academic and career technical education, business partnerships, mentoring, and internships designed to give students hands-on learning experiences. CPAs serve students at risk of dropping out, whose schools rank below average on the state's Academic Performance Index. The successful program has resulted in a 95 percent graduation rate among CPA students.

Nine career technical education teachers in the pilot project CPAs have received training from their partner industry professionals and earned certifications to teach the MC3 program. Teachers will now design lessons to assure students are prepared for each succeeding step, ultimately building up to a "capstone" course. The capstone course prepares students for a pre-apprenticeship position in the construction trade industries or for further training in college or certification programs.

Students are recruited to participate in CPAs in ninth grade and begin this coursework in tenth grade. In each year, students will learn their regular rigorous coursework, such as social studies, and English language arts and mathematics aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards, as well as a career technical education course aligned with the MC3. The coursework will be designed to help students understand the connection between what they learn in school and what they will need to know for careers. The coursework will also meet the "A-G" requirements for entry into college. Successful students will receive a Certificate of Completion from the North America's Building Trades Unions, which is a national industry certification.

This falls under Torlakson's Career Readiness Campaign initiative, designed to keep kids in school and provide high school graduates with career-readiness skills.

The list of nine CPA high schools using the MC3 program is attached.

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List of Pilot Project MC3/CPA Schools
  1. Laguna Creek High School; GETA-Green Energy Technology Academy; Elk Grove Unified School District; Contact: Eric Johnson,
  2. Jordan High School; ACE Academy of Long Beach; Long Beach Unified School District; Contact: Dr. Melissa Brookman,
  3. Norte Vista High School; Green Construction Academy; Alvord Unified School District; Contact: Gary Packler,
  4. Salinas High School; Sustainable Design and Green Construction; Salinas Union High School District; Contact: Chuck Felice,
  5. Arroyo Valley High School; CORE Academy; San Bernardino City Unified School District; Contact: Laura Gallardo,
  6. Hoover High School; Sustainable Academy of Building and Engineering (SABE); San Diego Unified School District; Contact: Angie Kania,
  7. North County Trade Tech High School; GreenBuild and Engineering Academy; Vista Unified School District; Contact: Philip Lutgen,
  8. Arvin High School; Construction and Design Academy; Kern High School District; Contact: Jessica Sinden,
  9. Soquel High School; Green Manufacturing, Engineering, and Construction (gMEC); Santa Cruz City High School District; Contact: Gail Atlansky,

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Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100

Last Reviewed: Friday, May 8, 2020
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