OC Pathways Showcase to highlight college and career partnerships with special guests

Next month’s OC Pathways Showcase will feature dozens of student-created STEM projects that demonstrate how educators and industry leaders are joining forces to educate and empower the next generation, using the concepts of human-centered design.

And it will feature two special guests with out-of-this-world career trajectories.

OC Pathways Showcase flier

Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, and Tim Buzza, vice president of launch for Virgin Orbit, have been tapped as featured speakers at the Nov. 29 event, which will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin.

This year’s showcase — the third annual — is expected to draw more than 400 attendees from schools, colleges, businesses and community organizations, and there’s still time to participate by registering at http://tinyurl.com/ocpathwaysshowcase2017.

Led by OCDE and Saddleback College, OC Pathways is an initiative that teams educators with business leaders to establish career paths and work-based learning opportunities for students. Partners develop coursework that combines rigorous academics with career preparation in STEM-related industry sectors, including engineering/advanced manufacturing, healthcare/biotechnology, and information and communications technology/digital media.  

“Our students are changing the world,” said Jeff Hittenberger, OCDE’s chief academic officer. “OC Pathways is demonstrating the power unleashed when academic inquiry is woven together with career education in ways that tap into students’ passions. When students see that their learning can translate into human-centered designs that make a significant difference in the lives of individuals and communities, their motivation accelerates.”

The OC Pathways partnership, created in 2014 through a grant from the state Department of Education, now includes 14 school districts, nine community colleges, multiple universities, numerous regional agencies and scores of industry and community partners, which gather each year to showcase student projects and career paths.

“The OC Pathways Showcase highlights the extraordinary collaboration taking place in Orange County, bringing together K-12, community colleges, universities, community partners and employers to pursue a shared vision of preparing the students of today to be the social, intellectual, economic and civic leaders of tomorrow,” Hittenberger said.

For details, or to register for the event, visit http://tinyurl.com/ocpathwaysshowcase2017. And for more on OC Pathways, take a look at this brief video.