By Emily Rasmussen

The Capistrano Unified School District board of trustees voted to remove College and Career Planning (CCP) as a graduation requirement on Feb. 28.

CCP is a course that works with students with college and career planning and is currently a semester-long class that is partnered with an on-campus health class. Previously the CCP course was a high school graduation requirement in CUSD, but new revisions include eliminating the graduation requirement, which replaces the five credits associated with CCP and reassigning the five credits under the area of electives, a CUSD staff report said.

“The primary goal of this course it to increase students’ career awareness through career exploration to make informed decisions regarding their future post-secondary goals; educational and career,” the San Juan Hills High School (SJHHS) website said, on their CCP course.

The CCP course outlines a plan for high school students to graduate high school and to meet requirements for applying to colleges or universities. CCP also sparks students’ interests in what they may want to pursue in high school, which offers opportunities to complete career assessments, research career options and colleges and university programs to meet their career goals, the SJHHS website said.

“We’re not getting rid of the class, we’re just saying it’s not a graduation requirement,” President Martha McNicholas said, adding that there are other college and career planning resources in the district, including student advisors.

There are currently 18 teachers who teach CCP on district high school campuses.

Trustee Gila Jones was against removing CCP as a graduation requirement.

“Those of us who sit up here (on the board) are parents of college-bound kids, but not everybody in our district is like us,” Jones said. “Not everybody in our district is an English-speaking parent, not everybody in our district is a parent who went to high school, not every parent in our district is literate. I know parents who can’t read or write in this district— to assume that everybody is in a situation like our families, is not right.”

The board’s first vote read 4-4, which failed the motion to remove CCP as a graduation requirement.

With some mixed emotions and slight confusion amongst trustees, the board called for a second vote.

The second and final vote read 6-2 in favor of removing CCP as a graduation requirement, with trustees Gary Pritchard and Jones against. Trustees Amy Hanacek and Patricia Holloway were the two trustees who switched their vote from against to in favor.

For the 2017-18 school year, students will take health on campus and CCP as a partner course unless they enroll in health online or through summer school.

For the 2018-19 school year, students taking health on campus will be required to take CCP as a partner default course, while additional semester-long courses are being developed.

For the 2019-20 school year, students taking health on campus will be able to take semester-long elective offerings as partner courses.

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