Pathways/Academies

Oakland Tech is home to six pathways — vibrant, challenging and supportive small learning communities that prepare students for college and career success.

Pathways (also known as academies) create experiences for students that are personally relevant and engaging. Each pathway brings together strong academics, demanding career technical education, real-world experience and integrated student support systems. Pathways begin in 10th grade and continue through 12th. Students apply to pathways in the winter of their freshman year. Tech also offers two programs — Paideia and Performing Arts — that, in many instances, may be taken in conjunction with a pathway.  

Health

Tech’s Health pathway has helped students prepare for careers in health and biology since 1984. We have active partnerships with local hospitals, health service organizations and professional schools that provide opportunities for field trips, guest speakers, college student mentors, internships and health-related service projects. Our success as a program and our partnerships with health care have been built on bringing together a diverse group of students around a shared interest in our community’s health.

Key Skills and Features

Students combine academic classes with extra science labs, health projects, and clinical/hospital experiences. The pathway offers career speakers, field trips, First Aid and CPR certification, paid summer internships, and health service projects.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form and interview; an interest in health care.

Sample Related Jobs

Dental Assistant, Registered Nurse, Paramedic, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, Physician, Nurse Practitioner and Veterinarian

Community Partners and Advisors (Past & Current)

Kaiser Permanente, La Clinica de la Raza, Children’s Hospital Oakland: CHAMPS, Stanford University MKITS program, Fast Response School of Health Care Education, Mentoring in Medicine, Peer Education (Tobacco-Use Prevention Education Program, Techniclinic), Society for the Prevention of Cruelity to Animals (SPCA), Oakland Fire Department Emergency Services, Oakland Outpatient Veterans Administration Clinic, BAY EMT, Alameda County Health Pipeline Partnership. 

Pathway Leads/Co-directors

Computer Science

Our Computer Science pathway helps students develop the computational thinking practices of algorithm development, problem solving and programming within the context of problems that are relevant to their lives. Students are introduced to topics such as interface design, limits of computers and societal and ethical issues of software engineering. They also spend time learning about robotics, PC systems and how to build and troubleshoot computers all of which offer students hands-on learning experiences.

Key Skills and Features

Computer organization and architecture, multimedia, programming, graphics and editing, Internet/web pages design, HTML, and designing and maintaining networks. The pathway provides offers field trips to leading technology companies and Bay Area universities, internship opportunities and more.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form and interview; an interest in computers and technology.

Sample Related Jobs

Programmer, Database Administration, Tech Support, Web Developer, Network Specialist

Community Partners and Advisors (Past & Current)

Intel, Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems, Super Computing Center of Lawrence Berkeley Lab

PATHWAY LEADS/CO-DIRECTORS

Engineering

The Engineering pathway successfully teaches students physics mechanics through a unique combination of academic and vocational courses. Highly innovative and rigorous with an emphasis on project-based curriculum, Engineering is a tight-knit community that prepares students for careers in civil and mechanical engineering and architecture.

Key Skills and Features

Traditional and computer-aided drafting; architectural design of houses based on particular criteria; use advanced CAD software to construct 3-D models; college-level statics and dynamics.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form plus the results of a math assessment and an overview of student grades. It is highly recommended that Geometry be completed prior to 10th grade. Summer options for Geometry are available.

Sample Related Jobs

Architect, Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer

Pathway Lead

Fashion, Art & Design

The Fashion, Art & Design pathway features classes in fashion design, visual arts, and graphic design. Our academy incorporates many hallmarks of the high school reform movement, such as creating a close, family-like atmosphere, integrating academic and career technical education, and establishing business partnerships.  10th-, 11th-, and 12th-graders are eligible to participate in the Academy. The three-year program provides students with a project-based curriculum, a mentor program, classroom speakers, field trips, and exploration of college and career options through job shadowing and internships.

Key Skills and Features

Are unique program of fashion and art course focused in Fashion illustration and Portfolio Development,  drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, comics, fashion design, accessories, sewing/garment construction, screen printing, stenciling advertising and marketing.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form and interview; an interest in Fashion and/or the Arts

Sample Related Jobs

Stylist, Animator, Artist, Showroom Assistant, Set Decorator, Merchandise Displayers, Fashion Illustrator, Costume Designer, Textile Designer, Fashion Journalist, Lighting Specialist

Community Partners and Advisors (Past & Current)

Academy of Art University – SF, Alameda College Apparel, Design and Merchandising program (A.D.A.M.), Merritt College, Berkeley City College, San Francisco Opera – PEAK artist intern program, Fashion-On-The-Square

Pathway Leads/CoDirectors                                                                     

Race, Policy & Law

Race, Policy & Law is Tech’s newest pathway and provides students an examination of history, politics, theory and law related to race and ethnicity in America. Emphasis is on providing critical contextual perspective on the intersection between racialized experience and the law, and on increasing student’s critical thinking, writing, and oral communication skills. International Relations (IR) deals with issues like sovereignty, environmentalism, development and human rights in the context of global affairs and is also concerned with the policies of individual states as far as they impact on the affairs of other states.

Key Skills and Features

Students learn in action as they participate in a wide array of projects and fieldtrips which may include:

  • Courtrooms
  • Law Schools            
  • Local, State and Federal Agencies
  • Universities
  • Community organizations
  • Study abroad opportunities (2019 school year)
Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form and interview; an interest in history, ethnic studies, current events, reading, writing

Sample Related Jobs

Research, journalism, social policy, law, community activism and development, to name but a few.

PATHWAY LEADS/CO-DIRECTORS   

Biotech

The Biotech pathway helps students successfully navigate the worlds of work, school and life while specifically training them for technical positions in bioscience, a growth industry that offers well-paid jobs and opportunities for career advancement and continued education. There is an opportunity for a paid internship with a Bay Area tech company between junior and senior year.

Key Skills and Features

Our program is lab-based and hands-on. We build on already established love of science and technology and add skills required to work and research in a Biotech laboratory. We also work on public speaking, interview skills, and collaboration.

Prerequisites/Requirements

Interest form and interview; an interest in science. Already completed or currently enrolled in Algebra 1 and Chemistry; a grade of C or better in both is recommended.

Sample Related Jobs

Registered Nurse, Physician, Paramedic, Research, Dental Assistant, Laboratory Technician, Biotechnology Assistant, Biomedical Technician 

Community Partners and Advisors

BBEI Biotech Partners

Pathway Lead

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