Do you know a young person who wants to become a firefighter? They can start their journey at Puget Sound Skills Center. Students in the PSSC Fire & Emergency Services program practiced their skills this month in this controlled holiday tree burn.
Puget Sound Skills Center prepares high school juniors and seniors for the future they choose through specialized career and technical learning. The center offers 19 diverse programs, ranging from aerospace manufacturing to digital animation. Students can earn high school and college credits in a hands-on, workplace-oriented environment. PSSC is one of 14 skills centers in Washington, providing high-quality, tuition-free technical and professional training.
The Teaching Academy prepares students to positively impact education. The program focuses on building a strong learning community, promoting culturally responsive classrooms, and closing the opportunity gap.
Students gain practical experience through internships, preparing them for careers in education and enabling them to pass the Paraprofessional Assessment test.
Graduates can pursue jobs as Education Support Professionals or continue their studies in college to obtain a teaching degree.
Sam Lindeman, an 11th-grade student from Mount Rainier High School, is enthusiastic about the Teaching Academy.
"I chose the Teaching Academy because it's a fantastic stepping stone towards my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher,” says Sam. “This program teaches us classroom management and offers real-world experience through internships, like my upcoming internship at North Hill Elementary. The sense of community here is incredible; my classmates are supportive and inclusive, making every day a welcoming experience. I’m excited that this program is equipping me with the skills for a career in education."
Auto Body Technology
In the Auto Body Technology program, students learn the art and science of vehicle restoration and repair.
This hands-on program immerses students in the world of automotive aesthetics and structural integrity. From dent removal and paint refinishing to frame straightening and custom detailing, this course covers a wide range of skills essential for success in the auto body industry.
Through a blend of classroom instruction and practical exercises, students learn to diagnose, repair, and refinish a variety of vehicles, from classic cars to modern automobiles.
This program offers a solid foundation in this hands-on and in-demand field.
Tristen Aiono, a 12th-grade student from Mount Rainier High School loves the program.
"In my two years in PSSC's Auto Body Technology program, I've gained more than just skills; I've found a direct path to my future. This program has allowed me to learn a trade in high school," says Tristen. "Looking ahead, I'm excited about the prospect of joining the Boeing apprenticeship program after graduation, which feels like an easy transition into a career."
The Pre-Nursing program prepares students for the Nursing Assistant Certification examination, a prerequisite for many healthcare jobs and college programs.
Students learn patient care fundamentals, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology.
Students also gain hands-on experience in clinical settings, opening up job opportunities. The program offers up to 17 college credits.
Ecna Aguilar-Santiago, a 12th-grade student from Evergreen High School enjoys the hands-on learning environment.
"What really interested me in this program was that it was free and offered a stepping stone into nursing. The best part of the program is the hands-on skills training in the lab," says Ecna. "We practice on peers and mannequins, learning vital skills like taking blood pressure and patient care. The program also emphasizes communication, preparing us for real-world scenarios in the medical field."
Law & Justice
This dynamic and interactive program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the legal system, its principles, and its impact on society.
From exploring constitutional rights to dissecting criminal investigations, students engage in thought-provoking discussions, mock trials, mock scenes, and case analyses.
The curriculum combines theoretical knowledge with practical skills, fostering critical thinking and ethical decision-making. Whether aspiring lawyers or future law enforcement professionals, students will leave this course with a profound appreciation for the complexities of the law and justice system.
Dillion Jackson, a 12th-grade student from Mount Rainier High School, says the law and justice program is a perfect fit for him.
"Growing up, I've always been drawn to the law, initially aspiring to be a cop and now setting my sights on becoming a lawyer," says Dillion. "The Criminal Justice program at PSSC has given me a solid foundation in law and government, which will be valuable for my college studies. The best part has been connecting with professionals in the field and building networks that will support my future career."
Puget Sound Skills Center (PSSC) exemplifies Highline’s strategic goals of Innovative Learning and Future Ready. Students earn high school and college credits in a hands-on, workplace-oriented environment and graduate with job-ready skills and a jumpstart on further college and career training.
The application window for Puget Sound Skills Center and other schools of choice for the 2024-25 school year is now open and closes on March 8, 2024. To learn more visit the PSSC website.