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Fontana Unified’s Summit High Students Earn Pre-Apprenticeship Status in Mechatronics CTE Pathway

Nine Summit High School Class of 2023 graduates

FONTANA, CA – Summit High School students are able to reimagine the world of robotics through the school’s Mechatronics Career Technical Education (CTE) pathway, where they learn electrical and mechanical engineering principles fundamental to the creation of robotic and automated systems. The high-demand skills developed in the pathway enables students to register as a pre-apprentice with the State of California, preparing them for future careers in the industry.

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools is registered with the State of California to sponsor pre-apprenticeships for high schools in the Inland Empire through the program, IEConnect. The IEConnect program integrates directly into the Mechatronics CTE pathway and provides the instruction, preparation and support necessary to advance participants to registered apprenticeship programs or future careers.

“Receiving pre-apprenticeship status is so important because it gives students a huge confidence boost and shows them that they are on a track that is being validated and legitimized for future careers,” Mechatronics teacher Marco Torres said. “This status proves to employers that not only are our students claiming to have these skills, but the State of California has certified that they have them and are ready for the workplace.”

Nine Summit High School Class of 2023 graduates – Nathaniel Anaya, Daniel Gastelum, Derek Gutierrez, Ruddy Martin Gutierrez, Sebastian Lara, Ricardo Mendiola, Carlos Romero, Orlando Serrato and Esana Tesfaye – received registered pre-apprenticeship certificates in Mechatronics for successfully demonstrating all of the industry-driven occupational competencies and essential skills required for the program. 

“To me, the certificate represents recognition of my acquired skills,” Gutierrez said. “It will act as a tool that will allow me to stand out from others when seeking internships, or apprentice opportunities in competitive environments; thus, furthering my chances of success.”

Summit High School Class of 2023 graduates

Gutierrez will attend Cal Poly Pomona in the fall, where he will study mechanical engineering.

The Mechatronics pathway features two classes covering mechanical systems in electricity, gears, pneumatics, hydraulics, programmable logic controllers, and telecommunications to develop a well-rounded understanding of robotic and automated systems. Students gain hands-on experience in programming and designing, allowing them to tap into their creativity and expand their learning beyond the confines of a traditional classroom.

“The Mechatronics pathway ties core class curriculum, such as math, with real-life industrial needs,” Torres said. “Students are able to see how the concepts they learn are transferrable to careers and how they are equipped to fulfill a rising need in the workforce.”