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The Santa Cruz County Regional Occupational Program (ROP) provides students with the opportunity to acquire academic, career and technical skills and to prepare for life-long learning and success in the changing workplace.

ROP Students training for Career and College readiness.

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How Educators are working to save career courses

When Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante was a Santa Cruz High student 35 years ago, he took a criminal justice class from professional law enforcement officials through the county's Regional Occupation Program, and it affirmed his desire to be a cop.

Now he's lending his expertise to the next generation as an ROP instructor, leading a course at Soquel High School called Criminal Justice: Contemporary Perspectives."

You get to experience things you just can't get out of a book, Escalante said, noting the opportunity to share volumes about his decades of work and what he seeks when hiring officers.

Seniors Chris Sellado, who wants to be a police officer and serve on a SWAT team, and Karina Lara, who said the elective challenges her writing skills, are on campus an hour early at 7:25 a.m. with junior George Navarro and other classmates just to take the free course.

It's interesting, I actually pay attention, Navarro said. Read the Full Story

ROP State-of-the-Art labs

The Regional Occupational Program (ROP), for the third year in a row, opened its doors to middle school students, inviting them to participate in free, summer Step-Up Classes at four different high school sites in Santa Cruz County. ROP has a long standing role of teaching Career Technical Education (CTE) classes for the county with over 60 instructors, serving more than 3000 high school students each year. What is not always visible are the state-of-the-art technology labs where students are taught, and this year over 75 middle school students and their parents from all over our county got to see what so many high school students have benefitted from during their academic tenure. Click to read the entire article.

Green Careers Class Harvests Rewards

With the end of the school year, the Watch’s education staff members Adrienne Frisbee and Noëlle Antolin completed Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s first year teaching a Regional Occupation Program (ROP) Green Careers high school course at the Wetlands Educational Resource Center. The class wrapped up with a final field trip to MEarth, an environmental education center in Carmel. This center features native and organic gardens, a constructed wetland, rain water harvest, and a LEED certified commercial kitchen and classroom with solar power and a green roof. This environmental education center brought together many of the ideas, concepts, and skills the 28 high school students have studied over the course of the year. The students took a tour of the property, harvested vegetables and flowers, and made pizzas in the outdoor pizza oven and a salad with their harvest. Click to read the entire article.

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