West Hills College Coalinga and The Wonderful Company have been partners since 2013 and that partnership is only continuing to grow.
The first Wonderful Agriculture Career Camp was held at West Hills College Coalinga in 2013. Through this camp and the more extensive world of Wonderful Education, students start down a career path in agriculture as early as middle school. Students from Avenal and Mendota middle schools attend the camp and learn hands on skills in agriculture, ranging from learning about welding to hands on plant science projects.
Students leave the camp interested in agriculture and ready to start on the path to success. From there, they can apply for the Wonderful Agriculture Career Prep program in 9th grade. In the program, they are able to learn more about agriculture career fields, participate in job shadowing and take West Hills College classes.
Last May, WHCC graduated its first cohort of Wonderful Ag Career Prep students, who earned an Associate's degree at the same time they graduated from high school. This May, WHCC will graduate its 2nd class, from Avenal High School. More than 30 students will earn their Associate's. The first class from Mendota will graduate in spring 2020.
Now, thanks to a recently received California CCAP STEM Pathway Academy Grant, the program will continue to grow.
The existing Ag Prep pathways are four-year programs, where students earn an associate of science degree in agriculture while still in high school. Through this grant and existing partnership between The Wonderful Company and West Hills College Coalinga, new apprenticeship pathways will be available at Avenal and Mendota High Schools targeting students, who may ultimately wish to fast-track their career with a high-paying Ag job right out of high school.
These students will earn their associate’s degree, but over a six-year period with extensive work experience including a two-year work rotation at multiple Wonderful Company business units. The grant will support the creation of an agriculture technology pathway from middle school on, helping students learn valuable skills including computer applications for ag and precision agriculture control systems. Students will learn about GPS, GIS mapping software, automatic tractor guidance systems, and more.
Learn more about the unique partnership between West Hills College Coalinga and The Wonderful Company below:
About the Partnership:
About Wonderful Education: