San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Gives $1.17 Million to Support Sherman Indian High School Career Technical Education Program

Sherman Indian High SchoolThe San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, on Friday, October 18, 2013, presented the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) with a $1.17 million grant that will ensure Career Technical Education (CTE) programs continue at Sherman Indian High School.

Sherman Indian High School is an off-reservation boarding high school for Native Americans. Founded as an agricultural and trade school, Sherman evolved into a comprehensive high school in order to better meet the academic, social, cultural, physical, and spiritual growth of all Native American youth. In 1970, Sherman was accredited as a secondary school accepting students from across the nation. Sherman was initially accredited as a comprehensive high school in 1995 by the Western Association for Schools and Colleges, WASC.

Operated by the Bureau of Indian Education/Bureau of Indian Affairs and the United States Government Department of the Interior, the school serves grades 9 through 12. The students represent over 76 federally recognized tribes from across the United States. All students are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. About 68 % of students come from reservations throughout the United States. The remaining students come from urban or suburban settings.

The grant will be used for the next two years to provide Sherman students high quality career technical education programs designed to provide rigorous and relevant industry training for entry-level and technical jobs.

San Manuel Band of Mission IndiansThe San Manuel Band of Mission Indians awards grants through a competitive grant application and review process.

“The career pathways program gives you the tools you will need in your future careers, said Ken Ramirez, San Manuel Business Committee Secretary, presenting an oversize check to school leaders in an auditorium filled with cheering students. “This will help you when you get back to wherever you came from. Your career, your future, starts with a good education.”

Riverside County Superintendent of Schools, Kenneth M. Young, thanked the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians for the donation, adding that the CTE program might have faltered without their continued funding. He noted that students at Sherman come from many different areas to attend the school, and it is often hard living away from home.

“I know that the education you receive here will be good for you in your future, and for the communities you will be returning to,” Young said. “Sometimes school is hard, but in the end, it is so worth it.”

Student Ashleigh Toledo said she will use skills she obtained in her CTE Public Services classes to pursue a career in law enforcement. “The courses here gave me an opportunity to learn the skills I will need to work in criminal justice,” she said. “I want to take what I have learned back to my people and use them to help young people avoid getting into trouble.”

The Sherman Indian High School CTE Pathways Program offers classes in Health Science and Medical Technology, Public Services, Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation, Energy, Environment and Utilities; and Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Selected coursework will provide students with the skills and knowledge that are directly related to local, in-demand, high wage, and expected high growth jobs.  The program is set to serve at least 300 students annually and upon program completion, students will have earned credits toward graduation that fulfill college entrance requirements, thus preparing them for greater opportunities in post-secondary endeavors.

For the past three years, the career pathways have allowed Sherman students the opportunity to be involved in the local community in positive ways, provided new perspectives to enable them to compete in the workplace, and helped them to realize their personal potential.

RCOE provides Career Technical Education (CTE) programs through its Regional Occupation Program, and promotes CTE through staff development for both academic and CTE teachers.  These services are provided through partnership grants and programs with districts, institutions of higher education, and business and industry in order to assist districts who are planning and implementing the changes called for by the CTE framework and state and federal mandates.