They are the kids playing hacky-sack, carrying large backpacks. They are the adolescents hanging out at The Commons. They don’t look like college students; well, that’s because they aren’t.
Sonoma State students often notice, yet still overlook, the high school students that walk the grounds of the SSU campus. These typically eccentric high school students appear to be much smarter than the average teen.
A 15-year-old sophomore, who wished to stay anonymous, gave the inside scoop on his experience as a high school student going to school on a college campus.
“It’s actually pretty cool because the people at Tech are not too ‘normal,’ so it’s cool to know that there are people who aren’t into Pokémon,” said the Technology High student. “Like if you go into our hallway everyone is on their computers, no one is very social.”
Technology High School was founded in 1999. The goal behind the school is to motivate young emerging future adults to be successful in their goals. Class of 2011 alumnus, Chris Rodriguez elaborated on the steps he had to take in order to attend.
He needed to be at a certain math level and be able to prepare a presentation in promotion of himself to the principle, but most importantly he had to show dedication towards his studies, which is core to attending Tech High.
Administration has changed since then. Today, future Tech High students must additionally turn in a written out paper.
According to the Sonoma County Office of Education, this year Technology High School was awarded the California Distinguished School award, which honors the state’s most outstanding public schools. These achievements include accomplishments like exemplarity high Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program testing scores and high-grade averages.
“It’s a college prep high school, all the classes are advanced placement,” said Rodriguez. “Mostly science and engineering oriented. My teachers treated us like adults.”
Going to Technology High gave Rodriguez an idea of what it meant to be treated as an adult and lead him to act more maturely, especially with all the surrounding college students.
“It makes all the students at Tech High believe they have to act more mature,” said Tech High student Charles Berg.
Going to a high school in a college setting shapes these students’ experiences in a different way. Responses differed as students answered the question of what it is like to attend high school on a college campus.
“It is unusual I’d say, it’s a very different atmosphere,” said Berg.
Berg raved about the resources available to him as a result of attending a high school in a college setting. He takes advantage of the library, the computers, etc. Rodriguez shared other more typical responses.
“The first thing I thought about when going [to Tech High] was college girls,” said Rodriguez.
Even in the mist of the distractions that may rise for young high school boys with the surrounding college girls, most of the students are not preoccupied by such nature. They seem to be more satisfied with learning, playing hacky sack or Pokémon on their free time and advancing in school activities offered by Technology High.
Rodriguez spoke of the famous senior project where students are meant to create a real business model that centers on science, economics and math. Being part of the robotics club, he learned the essences of building a robot and additionally was educated on the art of web design.
His educational background made him confident in building a real business model where potential buyers could be sold by their innovative invention. This project exposed him to experience real opportunities in the business world outside of the classroom.
Technology High School is more than just a regular high school. Centered in the middle of a college campus, students are exposed to an atmosphere where the probability of going to a college in the future is much higher.
Putting the hacky sack and Pokémon cards aside, these bright minded students could potentially be tomorrow’s next successful entrepreneurs.