Thursday, March 19, 2015

New CCTE director, Al Love, comes full circle

A Kearny High School graduate, a coach, an industrial arts teacher, an administrator – these are all titles you might use to refer to Al Love. Now one more title can be added to that list – Director of College, Career and Technical Education for San Diego Unified.

 Crystal Boggio, John Riego de Dios, Al Love
 Crystal Boggio, John Riego de Dios, Al Love
Love started his career at San Diego Unified as an instructional aid in the Machine Shop Technology Program at Kearny High. He then left the district and worked his way up through the administration at various middle and high schools where he oversaw CCTE-type programs.

Love recently found his way back to San Diego upon being selected for the CCTE director position, which he said was a natural opportunity for him to return to his home district. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and confidence that he can make a positive impact on the future of the CCTE program.

As director, Love’s goal is to align the technical skills classes offered through CCTE with “A-G” requirements so that students do not have to choose between gaining real-world application based skills and meeting requirements for postsecondary education. In order to be considered for admission by UC and CSU schools, high school students must complete approved “A-G” courses.

“In the past, these [CCTE] classes were to the side – they weren’t seen as rigorous or as relevant as core classes,” Love said. “I want to show that they can be both. That we are in unison, and that students don’t have to make a choice between one or the other.”

In order to implement this integration, CCTE is developing course curriculum maps that align with the “A-G” requirements. CCTE will then submit those plans to the UC system for approval.

Love sees this as an opportunity for CCTE to continue to grow. A product of the ROP Machine Tool Technology program at Kearny High, 1980, Love knows firsthand the value that these technical and occupational based classes provide.

“It is personally fulfilling to remember what this program did for me and to see it is still helping students today,” Love said.

In addition to keeping students on track for postsecondary education, CCTE is building the certification process into programs so that students will also be career ready upon graduation.

The Machine Tool and Engineering Program at Kearny High is housed in the same room that Love sat in as an ROP student, and the program’s current teacher, John Riego de Dios, was a classmate of Love’s in the ‘80s. The program recently received NIMS accreditation, becoming one of only two schools in California who can boast this credentialing from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills.

As CCTE adds accreditation opportunities to its programs and continues to align coursework with “A-G” requirements and Common Core State Standards, the program’s ability to provide students with the tools necessary to succeed in both college and career only grows stronger.