ROP: College-bound students welcome

Click. Swoosh. Thud. Clackety-clack. A wide range of sounds mark sessions of Regional Occupation Program (ROP) classes. To equip students with an arsenal of practical skills, ROP classes offered on campus include video production, computer graphics, AP Computer Programming and more according to an ROP booklet.

ROP classes feature a hands-on approach and interactions with the community. “Soft skills,” or skills that would appeal to employers, including communication and cooperation, are also taught in classes.

“Mr. Takeno is constantly exposing me to opportunities where I can use the skills I learned in class to work on projects for the school’s theater and choir performances,” junior and computer graphics student Iris Jang said.

Contrary to popular belief, ROP courses target students of varying academic interests and aspirations. Business internship, computer science and graphics overtake automotive technology, the archetypal ROP class, in popularity according to the Naviance ROP survey available online.

“That’s the biggest misconception: that it’s for students who don’t want to go to college,” ROP coordinator Annmarie Winters said. “Even if you do, there are benefits…when you apply for college, you have to have your science and language credits; [an ROP class] meets the arts category.”

ROP classes provide tangible incentives, including credits for University of California and California State University admissions along with internships. Internships may take place at the pre-schools, hospitals and local businesses.

“By doing the internship, I learned to interact with customers and co-workers as well,” senior and hotel internship student Ally Moon said. “It helped me get my current job: a host at [Waterfalls Restaurant].”

ROP classes also cultivate a broad perspective on life. In the race of college admissions and rigorous AP classes, an ROP class may serve as a gentle reminder of other career options.

“I used to think that academics was everything, but when I found video production, I realized that there’s more to yourself than grades,” sophomore and advanced video production student Rithika Akkenapally said.