WHSAD’s presence in the sector of Career and Technical Education schools in New York City is integral in providing its students with the opportunities and skills that prepare them for time after high school. By participating in conferences, projects, and other city-wide activities, staff and students can broaden their professional networks in an interest of gaining new insights in the CTE fields, developing relationships with potential partners, and participating in real-world events that complement the theoretical learning of the classroom. This February, Mr. Abraham Rodriguez and Mr. Alain Codio attended the Engineering, Architecture and Robotics Commission Meeting where Mr. Rodriguez presented a few of the characteristics that come along with a WHSAD education:
- His students undergo a rigorous four-year sequence which help them to develop their architectural and artistic abilities.
- They learn perspective drawings and orthographic projection in their first year. They learn computer aided drafting as sophomores. Students develop sketches and sculptures to improve their artistic talent. Students work side by side with industry partners as juniors and seniors, including participating in design competitions.
- Students often work on group projects with each other and many work-based learning opportunities are done with mentors from local firms.
Below, Mr. Rodriguez shares with student correspondent Antonio Perez some additional thoughts about the goals of such a conference.
The 2018 Engineering, Architecture and Robotics Commission Meeting focused on how students are prepared and how teachers can prepare students for entry-level jobs and internship opportunities. Students undergo a lot of work-based learning, which is run through extracurricular activities. Students engage in design competitions, job shadowing, and mentorship opportunities. Through mentorship programs, we have students, who help and teach others. Through design competitions, students immerse themselves in the design process, they bump into other soft skills, such as how to become an effective communicator, how to communicate visually through presentations and also collaboration which is essential in the workforce. Collaboration is what we do as architects, as engineers, even as construction workers. Everything in the workforce is based on collaboration, by progressing through these design competitions and engaging these design competitions, students are exposed to this type of soft skills. In terms of employability skills, a lot of students visions collaborate and bump into the set of skills that are needed to come up with a presentation. A lot of it has to do with creating site analysis also to know the project and develop design sketches and bringing them into computer-aided drafting and then preparing renderings and putting together a presentation.