Technical Education Post

News and Information for Technical Educators

Two Career Paths with Available Jobs

The Building and Construction Trades CTE Pathway joins Automotive Technology at Amistad High School for the 2021-2022 school year. The State of California Employment Development Department states the building trades employment growth at 29% and carpenters’ average hourly wage as $26. The growing economy and continued expansion of the Coachella Valley prompted the creation of this pathway.

The series of ACT classes (applied construction technology) will be taught by an instructor from College of the Desert and be available to all DSUSD students including those pursuing their diplomas from any of our six high schools. Subject matter will include areas such as thermal and moisture protection, drywall installation, masonry fundamentals, concrete and framework, and roofing application.

Beginning in the first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year, students will participate in the Introduction to Construction Technology course. This class provides students with an in-depth analysis of the organizational structure of the construction industry and the many career choices that the industry offers. The course emphasizes green construction practices, jobsite safety, practical knowledge of tool and equipment use, basic construction math, basic rigging techniques, and communication as well as employability skills. Guest speakers and site visits will provide students a wide view of the expectations of entry-level work, wages, benefits, and workplace culture. From there they go on to take classes in all aspects of the building trade including management of budget, reading plans, and safety in the workplace.

At the conclusion of the program students receive a certificate of completion and are ready to help further build the Coachella Valley.

Amistad High School has worked with College of the Desert on an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) certificate and expects to resume this program in the near future.

Amistad High School Showcases Two CTE Programs

Engine work

Amistad’s Automotive Technology Program proudly offers a two-year National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified program. The CTE Pathway not only enrolls Amistad High School students but also serves students from all six high schools in the Desert Sands Unified School District. Students work in a state-of-the-art facility fondly known as the Eagle Garage that is equipped with the latest tools and equipment to offer a real-world hands-on experience.

The curriculum mixes classroom and lab work to educate students in basic automotive safety, tools, and equipment. The curriculum covers the eight areas of the ASE foundation including components, operation, maintenance and repairs from bumper-to-bumper. The automotive facility at the school is a state-of-the-art facility with high end technology, equipment, and tools.

Students who join the pathway earn multiple industry recognized certifications. These include certifications from such organizations as the ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Second year students are enrolled in dual enrollment courses through College of the Desert allowing them to gain college credits before graduating from high school.

Amistad High School Showcases Two CTE Programs

Automotive work experience

The last semester of the program offers a work experience focus which allows students to intern 1-on-1 with local industry experts at service locations such as: Cam Stones Automotive, Hyundai of La Quinta, I-10 Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Palms to Pines Automotive, and Unicars Honda. Most students in the program go on to hold part time jobs for these industries and the school receives calls beyond the valley to offer jobs to our students upon graduation. Outside of the classroom, students compete in events with our SkillsUSA chapter. (

Zitlaly Torres, a second year student recently shared, “I enjoy every second of auto class. The hands-on instruction from rotations to alignments to brakes to oil changes are real world experiences that keep students engaged.” All the students agree that CTE Automotive Technology is a valuable learning experience.


By Sharon Hoff, assistant principal at Amistad High School

 Gregory Kraus, automotive teacher

Image Sources

  • Engine work: DSUSD
  • Work experience: DSUSD
  • Automotive Technology: DSUSD

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