Frequently Asked Questions

Career Readiness

Advanced education is often an important step in a career, but it’s not the end-all. The NACE 2016 Job Outlook report showed employers wanted 1) Leadership 2) Ability to work in a team 3) Written communication skills 4) Problem-solving skills 5) Strong work-ethic and 6) initiative.

While some of these can be increased during a college education, experience is the best predictor of success in professional skills. A college degree does not necessarily show a candidate possesses the above mentioned skills, but a strong resume, experience and letter of reference can!

College graduates will at some point be looking for a career, maybe even the career he/she have for the next 40+ years. Doesn’t it make sense to do a thorough inventory of one’s skills, abilities, likes/dislikes and strengths BEFORE choosing a major or career path? Graduating with a clear plan can avoid common pitfalls, such as career exploration through switching majors DURING college (a pricey way to find your path), high dropout rates and the ever prevalent “gap year” that often turns into “lifetime gap year.”

While our office doesn’t work directly with students, we do have programs at each of our high schools to assist. Our Career Technical Education classes connect students to internships and jobs in their field of study.

We also coordinate workshops at the high schools to help students to create resume and letter of introduction to an employer.

In addition, we host a job board on this website with paid jobs for students from local employers. While we are not affiliated with any of the jobs offered, we work diligently with employers to open up opportunities they might otherwise reserve for adults or college students.

The State of California requires all minors under 18 years of age employed in the state of California must have a permit to work. Each school site has someone on site who handles work permits.

We suggest contacting your high school for more information on the appropriate contact.

We recommend setting up an appointment with your child’s school counselor. Your counselor can help your student create a graduation plan, enroll in CTE classes, sign up for career readiness workshops and more!

Career Technical Education (CTE)

We are glad you asked! The Regional Occupation Program is actually not a “class,” it’s the name of a funding source. When ROP “went away,” it did so by name and was replaced with Career Technical Education (CTE). The main difference between ROP and CTE, is that CTE funding requires each class be part of a pathway and lead somewhere, either industry certification, college or directly into a high wage, high demand career.

NVUSD currently has CTE at all of our high schools, and is committed to maintaining Career Technical Education for our students. In fact, when the funding source shifted after the Governor’s budget realignment in 2014, many school districts in California closed down their ROP offerings. NVUSD saw a unique opportunity to not only keep our existing ROP, but expand and enhance it to ensure students have a wide variety of pathways leading to certification, jobs, college credits and more!

You can access a convenient listing of all our CTE classes on our Career Technical Education page of this website by clicking here. You can explore pathways and the careers each pathways prepares students for!
Short answer? YES!

Career and technical education (CTE) provides students with academic, technical, and employability skills to pursue postsecondary training or higher education and enter a career field prepared.

CTE transforms traditional vocational education that typically consisted of low-level courses, job training, and single electives and replaces it with academically rigorous, integrated, and sequenced programs of study. Many of our CTE students graduate high school with college credits thanks to our patnerships with local community colleges! These programs provide students with opportunities to succeed in the workplace—such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, innovation, teamwork, and communication. CTE is no longer just about teaching students a narrow set of skills sufficient for entry-level jobs; it is about preparing students for college careers.

All CTE at Napa Valley Unified follows the California Department of Education guidelines for high quality CTE. Contrary to ROP or Voc Ed ofthe past, one of those guidelines is ensuring all classes include more than one level. This ensures students have the opportunity to continue to grow their expertise in a field before graduation.

NVUSD has been strategic in ensuring our CTE classes meet A-G requirements and/or graduation requirements, so students can meet grad and college entrance requirements through CTE. We also understand that schedules don’t always allow a 2, 3 or 4 year commitment. While it’s not a requirement to enroll in a level 2 course after completing a level 1 course, it is recommended.

Yes, according to many studies. Career and technical education graduates are 10-15 percent more likely to join the workforce, and earn on average 8-9 percent more than graduates of academic only programs, according to a 2001 Russell Sage Foundation study.

In addition, a ratio of one CTE class for every two academic classes was shown to drastically reduce the risk of students dropping out of high school in a 2005 National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) report.

Career and technical education pathway students not only take more, but higher level math than general education counterparts, according to a 2002 NCCTE study.


Work-Based Learning

The difference between a job and an internship are great. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and for credit or not for credit. And they can even be one-time-only or repeated experiences (such as summer internships done during consecutive summer breaks)

The main difference between an internship and a job, is that an employer cannot receive any immediate benefit from an intern’s work, while it is the expectation at a job. An internship must resemble an educational experience, and the intern must be under the supervision of a subject matter expert at all times.

All of the internship experiences in our internship program follow both State and Federal labor laws. If an intern is performing the same work that a paid employee would perform, it cannot be considered an internship, and the intern must be compensated as an employee.

More information on the internship program can be found on the Internship page by clicking here.

Yes! The Internship Program embedded in our College and Career pathway as the year 2 course. Students receive 10 elective graduation credits for successful completion of internship.
The NVUSD Career Readiness Office works with a variety of employers to offer field trips and job shadows. In addition, we also work to bring businesses into the classroom to speak with students. Students attending a CTE pathway have these opportunities built into the program, but we also work with academic teachers to bring speakers and project help to the classroom.

If a school, teacher, counselor or student is interested in a business connection, contact us and we can help!

All of the events, field trips and activities we are involved in can be found on our event page!
No. Senior project is a graduation requirement at Napa Valley Unified high schools and is not affiliated with the programs operated by the Career Readiness Office.

Senior project is designed for students to explore an interest and does not have to be related to a career interest. Internships designed to give a student additional knowledge, experience and preparation for a career, and follow strict Federal and State labor laws