Cascadia Tech is an academy that allows students to get a head start on their careers, whether that be aviation, criminal justice, or any of the myriad programs they have to offer. However, most students do not know much about it. What kind of learners is it for? What opportunities are offered to students who do attend Cascadia Tech?
The Camasonian interviewed three Cascadia Tech students to find out: Eric Sandquist, an automotive technology student; Chance Macpherson, in information technology; and Bryce Eastman learning the ropes of culinary/pastry arts.
Q: When did you first come across Cascadia Tech?
Eric: Well, let’s see. It was very late into the application process; my friend mentioned it, and I liked the idea of it. It was last year, right before we had to have applications in.
Chance: My friends were going to do it, and when I asked about it and looked over the sheet, it looked really interesting
Bryce: I came across Cascadia Tech sophomore year. I met a junior who was in it, and he said it was a blast and that he had a lot of fun in it.
Q: Did you immediately feel like it was for you, or how did you decide it was for you?
Eric: I’ve always had a slight passion for automotive tech and cars, but then the program actually sounded really good. I joined it, and it just sparked my interest even more. It was 100% for me.
Chance: I felt like it was a good fit for me when I first started because the people in my class are interested in the same things as me making it easy and enjoyable to work with them.
Bryce: The first day I showed up at Cascadia and met everyone, we instantly clicked and basically became a family, which made me very comfortable.
Q: What program are you in and what sort of work do you do? What does your schedule look like?
Eric: I’m in Automotive Technology 1. The first three periods of the day, I’m at Cascadia Tech, and then the last four I’m at CHS. We go over all the basics of cars, so we’ve gone into [things like] engine rebuilding, brakes, electrical, and suspension. We’ve gone over almost everything on a car.
Chance: I do the IT programs, so I spend the whole time there working on computers. School starts there at 7:45 and we work until 10:15.
Bryce: I’m in the culinary program; we have a full, functioning restaurant. We’re open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to the public. The other two days we learn different techniques and things about the culinary industry.
Q: What obstacles have you dealt with?
Eric: Not many. It’s a very simple program. It’s definitely a lot easier to follow than just normal school, especially for me, because I’m a hands-on guy.
Chance: With the IT program, the working [hands-on] unit was the hardest, but it varies program to program.
Bryce: Running out of things [in the restaurant] when we really need them.
Q: What opportunities are students offered in your program and what are the benefits of joining?
Eric: You get a lot of experience with hands-on material as well as the actual theory of cars… you get a lot of opportunities with cars, or to make money during college, or to get a job straight out of college. There’s a lot of college and career paths straight out of high school.
Chance: There are certifications that you can get which you can put on resumes, which are great for jobs. You can get college credit from maintaining a good grade in the programs.
Bryce: In [the culinary program] specifically, there’s the ACF certification which allows you to become a certified chef.
Q: What kind of student would you recommend Cascadia Tech for?
Eric: Any student who has any will to learn a trade skill, or even who just wants to learn more for their own personal knowledge. [I also recommend it for] anyone who could really use this for a career path.
Chance: Anybody that’s interested in expanding further on a skill that they believe they can use in the future.
Bryce: Students that have a strong desire to pursue one career (or that know what they want to go into).