Sept. 19, 2013

It won’t be long now until the Fall 2013 UCCI Institutes, which will be held at the Bahia Resort Hotel in San Diego, Nov. 7-10. Our application review process has just wrapped up, and we'll be welcoming 57 course developers from all around California to the Bahia Resort, where they will work intensively for four days to create new courses for the state's high schools.

Each of eight teams of educators will create the framework for a course that integrates content from one academic subject - English, math or lab science - with content from the Health Science and Medical Technology career technical education (CTE) sector. These courses will then undergo UC’s process for “a-g” approval; once the courses are approved, they will be available for any California high school to teach.

Creating such unique courses requires time and an environment that supports this important collaborative work. UCCI structures the time and pace of the Institutes and provides appropriate guidance for writing these courses so that they will satisfy the UC and CSU “a-g” subject requirements.  But this work also demands energy, creativity and brain power. Fortunately, UCCI Institutes participants bring plenty of all three. These teachers serve as experts for one another, contributing their expertise to the courses they're developing and sharing information, approaches and insights they will immediately take with them back to their individual classrooms.

We’re especially excited to meet the Fall 2013 cohort of UCCI course developers! Collectively, they bring great breadth of experience across disciplines, and they include teachers who are just starting their journey as well as others who have honed their craft over as many as twenty-five years. We have several groups attending, and a few participants who have come to the UCCI Institutes before and applied again because they put such a high value on what they brought away. One applicant, for example, wrote:

"I attended the 2013 UCCI spring conference and when I came back I shared everything I learned with my colleagues. We were all excited to bring 'a-g' approved HSMT infused courses to our academy and then to be able to effectively implement and instruct the course. We are also hoping other teachers from other academies will see the benefit of these courses and implement them in their academies."

On the value of integrating lab science with health science, another applicant wrote:

"The field (of biotechnology) is so cutting edge, that students can feel ownership as they develop their own experiments.  At this time students can do some of the same things that researchers in the field are doing, like DNA barcoding.  By training them in both the science and career technical education, it will help them find direction and reach toward a goal."

We love it that more and more educators really get what integrated curriculum is about and what the benefits are to teachers and students alike; and we can hardly wait to meet the ones who will develop courses at the Fall 2013 UCCI Institutes!

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“I've gained more from this institute in regards to curriculum development than any other program I've been associated with in my 12 years of teaching.” 

- Aaron Lemos, Spring 2013 UCCI Institutes