Article Critique - Essay Example

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Freelance writer John Waters of Palo Alto, California, explores the link between high school and a postsecondary education and career paths in his article, A Pathway to Achievement. Waters draws attention to a unique partnership between Irvington High School and Ohlone College,…
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Article Critique Freelance John Waters of Palo Alto, California, explores the link between high school and a postsecondary education and career paths in his article, A Pathway to Achievement. Waters draws attention to a unique partnership between Irvington High School and Ohlone College, both situated in Fremont, California. This partnership centers around the concept that community college and information technology provides the most significant link between high school, higher education and the job market.
Irvington’s Technology Coordinator Clint Johns maintains that his goal is to find “meaningful and relevant connections between what students” learn at school and ultimately what skills are required in the years ahead. (Waters, 2008) To this end, technology is obviously the most relevant connection. Similarly, Ohlone’s computer networking and emerging technology professor, Richard Grotegut is convinced that community college provides the strongest link between high school and a postsecondary education.
The difficulty however, is that high school education is not by any means a specific skills institution. As Johns maintains, the trick is to integrate technology with the high school curriculum. To accomplish this task, Irvington partnered with Ohlone College, a community college which focuses on Information and Communication Technology. (ICT) The ICT program is calculated to provide high school students with courses that “prepare them to enrol in a community college” with the goal of transferring to a four year institution that focuses on “computer science or engineering.” (Waters, 2008)
The partnership is based on the theory that the acquisition of standardized technology skills early on provides a smoother transition into college and onto the job market. This approach is realistic, given the increasing global reliance on modern technology and the manner in which modern technology drives international and domestic commercial transaction. Even so, according to Ameetha Palanki, chief academic officer at Edgenuity, a company that manufactures “educational software solutions”, these kinds of partnerships are not common at all. (Waters, 2008) Current connections typically focus on confining technology to the “advanced placement online courses.” (Waters, 2008) There is little or no emphasis on high school technologies that could aid students in their pursuit of a post secondary education.
The Ohlone-Irivington partnership addresses this gap by offering three ICT programs collectively referred to as “career strands.” (Waters, 2008) The three programs are, computer networking technologies, multimedia and graphic design, and software engineering. At Irviington, Johns offers computer networking to night graders for s semester. At the time of writing, Waters reports that Johns is also teaching IT Essentials and CCNA Discovery. The latter coaches students in the art of networking.
The partnership between Ohlone and Irvington is realistic in that it not only provides students with a basic requirement for modern communications requirement, but it facilitates navigation of a wealth of information. IT provides tools, if used correctly can offer students career pathways and skills assessments mechanisms that can cut time and cost. It also broadens their career opportunities by opening up opportunities in information technologies.

Waters, J. (2008) “A Pathway To Achievement.” T.H.E. Journal 35(9), 32-36. Read More
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