Chandler prep students earn college credit - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Chandler prep students earn college credit

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Posted: Sunday, October 11, 2009 9:42 pm | Updated: 1:15 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Students in David Faux's graphic design and digital media production courses at Chandler's Hamilton High School are learning high-end job skills.

Students in David Faux's graphic design and digital media production courses at Chandler's Hamilton High School are learning high-end job skills.

The students use Adobe Creative Suite Graphic Design Premium on Macintosh computers. They can manipulate photos, edit film and create Web pages.

They can also earn college credit while they're still in high school.

Career and technical education instructors are increasingly working to create such dual enrollment programs, allowing students to gain university and community college credit while still in high school.

"You get all kinds of students," Faux said of enrollment in the three-year graphic design sequences of classes. "They come in here because it's an elective course. They don't all come in thinking they'll be digital designers or creators."

Faux arranged with Arizona State University for students to earn college credit when they complete at least the first two years of the class sequence. Students have to pay tuition to get the credit.

He's also working with a community college and hopes that credit may be available also.

Some career and technical education classes in the Chandler Unified School District also qualify as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate courses. Students who score high enough on the end-of-class test may also earn college credits.

Keith Tomaszewicz, who teaches engineering design at Chandler's Basha High School, has filed the paperwork to help his students earn community college credit. Not only do the students learn the engineering process, they gain skills with computer-aided design, or CAD. CAD is used for technical and engineering work.

"It's all encompassing for what they're going to do," he said. "They're doing things I didn't do until college."

Tomaszewicz spent 28 years working in the automotive and aircraft industries and retired from Ford.

Students see the benefits of the career and technical education classes.

Travis Goodyke, a Basha senior, said he hopes to be an aeronautical engineer. This year, he only needed two courses to graduate, but he's taking six, including Tomaszewicz's introduction to engineering design.

Goodyke said by learning the basics now, he won't have to pay for those courses in college and can move onto higher-level classes.

"It won't cost as much money," the 17-year-old said.

With his sights set on MIT, Stanford and Cal Tech, budgeting classes now makes sense, he said.

"We're learning a lot more in high school than 20 or 30 years ago," said Basha senior Morgan Janda, 17. Like his classmate, Janda is carrying a full load of classes even though he only needed four credits to graduate this year.

Another benefit, Faux tells his students, is employment.

"I told students ... at the end of the three classes if you couldn't get job making $8 to $12 an hour in some media job there, I think we could get you one" to help pay for college, he said.

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