High School Students Get a Taste of College, Earn Credits During Summer Connect

By Spencer Golanka

The Dual Enrollment Summer Connect Program at Cypress College is dedicated to assisting high school students reach their educational and career goals before moving on to post-secondary education.

This summer, more than 300 students participated in the program and completed up to two units of college credit during the two-week sessions. Courses in career exploration and educational planning were aimed at helping students identify occupational and educational possibilities, while also providing an orientation to the college lifestyle and developing a personalized Student Education Plan.

Students also enjoyed hands-on teaching from Cypress instructors and counselors, along with summer enrichment opportunities including various field trips, activities, and renowned guest speakers.

Keith Kaplan, Tesla Foundation CEO, spoke to Summer Connect students about the evolving workforce of the future. He emphasized the inevitable transition to unmanned aviation and artificial intelligence, as well as the enormity and complexity of space travel. Students enjoyed the presentation and especially appreciated Kaplan’s one-on-one interactions.

Students were treated to an exclusive look at the Orange County Computer Forensics Laboratory. Lab Director Chris Pluhar and Deputy Director Carlos Field taught students about the importance of investigative work not only in law enforcement, but in our everyday lives as technology is becoming ever more prevalent.

At the University of California, Irvine, Summer Connect students were fully immersed in the world of the United States legal system at the campus’ School of Law. A panel of legal personnel from local districts discussed the intricacies of the legal system and its relevance in society, along with informative lectures from law professors and a tour of UCI’s Law Library.

Students were also exposed to cutting-edge technology throughout UCI’s technological research institution. Also, program administrators led a tour of their campus and research facilities. Students had the opportunity to utilize technology that was developed by UCI graduates pursuing doctoral degrees in informatics (the study of human-technology interaction).

At California State University, Dominguez Hills, students were given the opportunity to talk with a panel of entrepreneur CEOs from businesses across the district. CEOs from various industries, including insurance and restaurant, presented students with entrepreneurial advice and real-world examples that are necessary for success in all business sectors.

Several students also began coursework in the Dual Enrollment Cybersecurity Pathway. More than 80 students enrolled in CISCO Networking classes and learned to configure and troubleshoot network devices to prepare for a highly recognized industry certification (CCENT).