February 14, 2022 – Last week, Santa Fe College President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D. announced the college had received $2 million in state funding to establish a charter school on SF’s Northwest Campus. The charter school will offer students Career and Technical Education (CTE) tracks in Health Sciences and Information Technology, and upon graduation, students will have a high school diploma, an associate degree and a minimum of two industry certifications. Students will also be able to attend the charter school at no cost to themselves or their families, eliminating a potential barrier to economic mobility.
“This funding enables us to reach high school students and expose them to opportunities in valuable and high-wage career fields,” the president said. The charter school, slated to open in the Fall of 2023, will be developed based on the system known as P-Tech. “This is a proven, national model that we’re bringing here to students in our community,” Broadie added.
One of the keys to the new charter school at SF will be close collaboration with area industries that will offer mentorship and internship opportunities to the students. The college has several long-standing partnerships in the region when it comes to CTE programs, and will utilize these partnerships in the charter school. The end result, and benefit to the students is that they have a curriculum that prepares them for the current job market, while still keeping an eye on advancements in technology to keep their skills ready for the work needs of the future.
Jen Homard, who chairs SF’s High School Dual Enrollment program, said that while students in the charter school will start their first year with high school-level classes, “some college-level CTE courses could be added to their curriculum as early as 10th grade. And by the time they graduate, they’ll have a number of opportunities to enter the job market or continue their education.”
Although SF’s High School Dual Enrollment programs serves nearly 1,000 students a year, only eight are in the college’s CTE tracks. The new charter school will be able to greatly expand the number of students interested in Health Sciences and Information Technology who otherwise would not be able to qualify within the existing High School Dual Enrollment format.
The president ended the press conference thanking faculty and staff saying that “every day you look for traditional and non-traditional ways of supporting our students. Every day, you help with social and economic mobility and make a difference in the lives of individuals in a variety of ways. I cannot wait to see what this charter school can do for students and families in our community.”