Students Take Charge of Their Learning

Exciting things are happening at the OCCC for government students. Two opportunities have arisen that allow students to experience how the government works in a hands-on way.

First, two students, Corps Academy student Randi Barker and corpsmember David Flores, got accepted into the Young Senators Program through Senator Lou Correa’s office, which strives to “empower local youth with the tools necessary to make a difference in their communities” through “innovative leadership activities, participation in community-wide events, and seminars on the legislative process.” In addition to seeing the government at work first-hand, Barker and Flores have been recognized by the OCCC and will earn government credit.

Second, teacher Aja Cordova announced an opportunity that is part project, part contest, in which students can create an organization chart for the US government. Students have to research who currently holds government positions from the President and California Senators to the Mayor and City Managers for 11 local cities. Every student who completes the chart will earn 2.5 government credits – half of the requirement to graduate – and the creator of the best chart will win $200.

Not only are students getting great experience finding out about the people who represent them in the local, state and federal governments, they are learning computer skills. When Cordova assigned the project, she did not realize that some students did not know how to conduct efficient internet searches. Cordova says this project has been an “eye opener for their level of knowledge of [computers].” Because of this project, Cordova has gotten to work with students one-on-one, teaching them the basics of finding information on the internet – an invaluable skill in today’s society. Once she showed them how to do it, they were able to do it themselves easily, she says. Soon, one student will be $200 richer, two students will have engaged directly in the government process and all participating students will have gained priceless knowledge of computers and our government.

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