CTE open house at Sierra College provides opportunity for students to explore options after high school


WELCOME TO SIERRA. Rachelle Smith, a faculty member of Sierra College, welcomes high school students to the Sierra campus on CTE day. Topics such as Sierra’s Fire Technology, Mechatronis, and Fashion Industry educational pathways were introduced and explained.

Sierra College welcomed high school CTE programs and students to their annual open house on Oct.4, where students are given the opportunity to meet professors, view skill demonstrations and discover a variety of different educational pathways Sierra has to offer. 

“CTE day was phenomenal in a way that students can see what the college atmosphere is like  [and] experience what [they would] be doing at the next level.” Mr. Bret Hunter, BITA (Building Industrial Technology Academy) teacher said. 

Programs such as Mechatronics, Fashion Industries, Fire Technology, Administration of Justice and Human Development are all CTE educational opportunities available at Sierra College. Students from the STARS program, the Education pathway capstone course, got hands-on experience with the college level Human Development class Sierra offers. 


“I’m actually going to Sierra College to continue [with] the STARS program. I really enjoy it, I love working with kids [and] the room there was really fun; it was really welcoming and right when [I] walked in I [felt] fulfilled,” Danae Jai said. 

In the past, students attending the CTE open house were restricted to attending only one class, but this year, the schedule provided more flexibility.

“It was really neat because students ventured out to other departments. In the past they’ve just gone with me to child development. This year we checked out the nursing school with an emergency room simulation. It just [gave] students an opportunity to see what else is out there, especially with our program there’s so many avenues that they can go to work with kids so this [gave] them more of an opportunity to see those,” STARS and Childhood and Adolescent Development teacher Mrs. Jennifer Armas said. 

CTE day also gave students an opportunity to figure out which educational pathways are not meant for them. 

“You only know what you know, so if you can branch out and see that there is a whole other world of opportunity out there, and you might go back to school thinking ‘This is really what I want to go into’ or ‘Maybe there’s something else that I might be more excited to do’,”  Hunter said. 

The community college option sometimes is overlooked in favor of a four-year school, but Armas encourages students to consider Sierra as a great resource.

“Students don’t acknowledge what a great resource Sierra college is for them, they have this negative connotation that it’s just this junior college, not only does it offer free tuition for the first two years, but the transition especially being local is so amazing. Why not get your undergrad done for cheap if not free, and then transfer to a school that you’d like to purse your upper graduate studies in,” Armas said. 

Hunter, who also attended the CTE open house, built off that same idea. 

“CTE Day change[d] perceptions on that not everything is a two- year or four-year track [in college] it could also be a skill certificate that would be equivalent to be able to make a living and move forward,” Hunter said. 

Armas said, “If you are involved in any CTE program on campus I think you should go and see what Sierra has to offer.”


by Eliza Brown and Sofia McMaster