A partnership between Fresno City College and a high school occupational program led to improved technical skills for students throughout the Central Valley.
The Valley Regional Occupational Program (ROP) provides high-quality career and technical education programs to more than 6,400 students at 12 high schools and middle schools. A few years ago, it began offering the Adobe Certified Associate Program (ACA), which provides training in Photoshop, InDesign, and other Adobe Creative Suite tools.
“Our schools are all 90 to 100 percent free and reduced lunch, meaning a high percentage of our student population is classified as socio-economically disadvantaged,” said Valley ROP Superintendent Fabrizi Lofaro. “Since we aren’t in a big city with industry and resources like Los Angeles or San Diego, we work very hard to make sure our students are successful.”
In addition to receiving the Adobe certification, students can earn dual enrollment credit from Fresno City College that can be applied to the digital design pathway.
“What we found when we first implemented ACA was that the teachers were already
doing this. There was no additional work, and they could just add the certification into their courses,” Lofaro said. “We found funding so the certification would be affordable for students and we hit the ground running.
Lofaro worked with Certiport to get the program up and running initially. Certiport also helped with the Fresno City College integration after being connected with the high schools at the Digital Media Educators Conference organized and hosted by ICT-DM Regional Director Paula Hodge at College of the Canyons.
At the conference, Carolyn De Anda, Photography Department Chair at Fresno City College attended the Adobe session co-presented by Todd Adamson, a senior territory manager for Certiport. This proved to be a fruitful networking opportunity for De Anda, as she and Adamson worked together to implement the Adobe Certified Associate program at the college and integrated it with the efforts already underway at Valley ROP.
While ACA certification is optional for De Anda’s students, many recognize the value in getting certified and are taking the exam. Over the past two years, Fresno City College students have earned more than 100 ACA certifications.
“The majority of our students go into freelance,” said De Anda. “On their resume they show their certifications which is a huge enhancement, I’ve seen it help them leap into industry.”