Welcome to PHS Technology Education

The Technology Department's central mission is to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, and technologically literate students to be successful in all 21st century environments. Modern technology education courses at Pacifica High School encompass industrial arts skill sets, enhanced with digital age competencies. Students graduate with a strong foundation they can apply directly to hourly employment, certification programs, associate’s degree programs, and bachelor’s degree programs.

All PHS Technology Education courses utilize the best curriculum available, written by Code.org, GGUSD, and CTEp curriculum specialists. Students are not limited by packaged curriculum such as Project Lead the Way or Paxton Patterson, and are able to gain structured skillsets through a variety of personal interests in class, leading into desired paths in industry or college. Because of this, students with various ambitions and learning styles receive personalized instruction in each classroom setting.

STEAM Technology

Why study with us?

Pacifica Technology Education Pathways

The Pacifica Technology Education Department consists of three full time college-credentialed Technology Education Teachers who offer a variety of courses in multiple career pathways (see pathways flyer). We focus on providing students with authentic and meaningful learning experiences through the use of problem solving and critical thinking skills in an environment that suits their own personal interests. We provide the foundation for cross-curricular STEAM (Science, Technology, English, Art, and Math) concepts with hands-on applications. Student opportunities include, but are not limited to: industry standard proficiency exams with certificates, personalized manufacturing projects, hackathons, 3D printing competitions, and connections to local industry leaders. Pacifica High School Technology Education pathways and classes prepare students for the college or career of their choice.

What do our CTE pathways include?

Each of our pathways is a sequence of three CTE courses within a student’s area of career interest. Pathways are designed to connect high school classes to college, industry certifications, and/or a career. While in high school, students have the opportunity to acquire free technical skills training in the career field he/she is interested in. Students will learn valuable technical skills and soft skills making them employable regardless of the field of study they actually end up in.

Choose from any of our three pathways:

Design, Visual, and Media Arts | Engineering Design | Software and Systems Development

Are our CTE classes articulated with local community colleges?

Yes! Many CTE courses are articulated with local community colleges such as Golden West College. At the beginning of each school year, CTE teachers work with CTE transition coordinators from local community colleges to begin or renew their course articulation agreements.

What is Dual Enrollment College Credit?

Dual enrollment classes generate both high school and college transcripts for students who successfully complete a dual enrollment course with minimum requirements. This could be more beneficial to students because they receive college transcript before enrolling in subsequent classes at that college.

Do any CTE courses offer UC a-g credit?

Yes. Almost all courses at Pacifica High School CTE fulfill UC a-g credit with many of them falling into the (f) Fine Art category. All students graduating with a UC diploma must complete one (f) Fine Art approved course. Click to see the full list.

What is the definition of career and technical education?

Career and technical education, commonly known as career-tech ed, Technology Education, or CTE, describes classes that are designed to prepare students for the workforce or college with 21st century skills not offered in any other academic or elective courses.

How is career and technical education different from vocational education?

In some ways, it’s not that different. In many high schools, you can still find the same VOC ED. classes that existed half a century ago. They prepare students for jobs that don’t typically require college degrees, such as child care, welding, cosmetology, or plumbing. But in important ways, CTE is very different than your grandparents’s VOC ED classes. Many programs now focus on areas typically associated with associate or bachelor’s degrees, such as engineering or computer science. Because career-tech-ed classes of all kinds are increasingly seen as roads to additional study after high school, they are meant to be more academically rigorous than those of a previous generation.

Isn’t career-tech ed mostly for boys? What about girls?

Actually, that’s an outdated notion. Nearly half of the students enrolled in high school CTE courses are female. Gender-based patterns by subject matter persist, however. Girls still outnumber boys in health sciences and human services, while boys dominate in areas like information technology, manufacturing, and architecture. To help move towards more balanced work environments, there are many scholarship and support programs in place to help girls entering male dominated industries.

Why is CTE becoming more focused on postsecondary degrees? I thought the whole point of CTE was to let students choose to skip college and go right to work.

Two big forces were central in bringing about that shift: New labor-market realities and a troubling past. Let’s take the second one first. Educators classified some students as “not college material” and placed them in VOC ED classes—limited students' earnings and social mobility. Equity activists pressed for change, leading to a “college for all” movement that urged all students to attend four-year institutions. Important changes in the labor market support the need for college, too. A shifting—and increasingly automated—economy offers few jobs for those without some kind of postsecondary training or degree. Within the last decade, however, low college-completion rates led to a rethinking of the “college for all” movement. With only about half of college students actually completing bachelor’s degrees, policy makers began calling for a richer set of options for students who didn’t want to go the four-year-college route. Recognizing these trends, career and technical education reshaped itself as a new kind of pathway: one that includes some form of postsecondary training. That could mean earning certification or credentials in good-paying fields like cyber security and robotics, or it could mean getting an associate or bachelor’s degree. The revamping of CTE means new designs for high school programs, too. The best programs aim to keep the doors to college open by requiring rigorous college-prep classes for CTE students, while also providing them with hands-on learning that lets them apply academics to real-world problems, like designing underwater exploration devices in a marine biology program.

Does career and technical education help students finish high school?

Statistics show that students who take two or three related courses in career-tech ed are more likely to graduate from high school on time than students in general education classes.

If career-and-technical-education students stop with only a certification or associate degree, can they earn as much money as they could with a bachelor’s degree?

Yes. But there’s an important caveat here: It depends on the student’s field of study. In certain jobs, earnings are limited without a four-year degree. But in others, students with only a certification or two-year degree can expect to earn as much or more than those with bachelor’s degrees. Medical technicians, for instance, can anticipate lifetime earnings of $2.2 million with only a two-year degree, according to a recent study, while elementary and middle-school teachers with bachelor’s degrees have average lifetime earnings of $1.7 million.

Looking for more information?

Design, Visual, and Media Arts

Engineering Design

Software and Systems Development


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