MetroED’s high school program has deep roots in San Jose that began as San Jose Technical High School (1917 – 1958). The school (for boys only) was located on the site of San Jose High School. The school moved two times before becoming a Center on Hillsdale Avenue, where it has been located since 1968.
MetroED’s Adult Education program had its beginnings in 1870 when it was called Night School. Prior to World War I, this was mostly an evening high school to permit young adults to make up deficiencies in their earlier education.
From 1917 to 1920, San Jose Technical High School offered 5 classes: woodworking/pattern making, mechanical drawing, machine shop, shop mathematics, vocational English. The school accepted male students, only.
From 1921 to 1958 San Jose Technical High School was located where the Engineering Building is located on the San Jose State University campus.
In 1920 auto mechanics, vulcanizing and history were added; 1921 sheet metal and printing were added, and in 1927 plumbing and electrical rounded out the classes that remained in place until the Center concept began in 1958.
In 1952, San Jose Technical High School moved to a new facility at 2100 Moorpark Avenue in San Jose. This is now the site of San Jose City College. During this time, San Jose City College (then known as San Jose Junior College) moved onto the site with San Jose Technical High School.
A bitter community struggle was waged over the future of San Jose Technical High; local trade unions and employers opposed dropping Technical High and a Board recall movement was initiated.
A compromise resulted in the vocational center concept with San Jose High School, Lincoln High School, and Willow Glen High School busing tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders to-and-from the center. Students spent half of their day at the center and half of their day at their home high schools. The center concept that is utilized today began at Technical High School in 1958.
San Jose Junior College became a separate district and arrangements for a buy-out of San Jose Technical High School were started.
Legislation made it possible to establish Regional Occupational Centers. Two or more cooperating districts could establish a center and legislation prohibited establishing more than one center per county.
Agreements were reached between San Jose Unified School District, East Side Union High School District and Campbell High School District to purchase land and build a facility at 760 Hillsdale Avenue in San Jose.
The legislative intent for the Centers was to provide high-quality vocational, technical, and occupational preparation programs through a broad curriculum. The Center was to provide opportunities for several schools in one central location to avoid duplication of courses and to avoid the necessity of each high school needing to purchase expensive equipment. The programs were to be flexible so that they could easily be altered to meet new training needs as they arose within the community.
The first students from East Side Union High School District and Campbell Union High School District attended classes at the San Jose City College site, on a pilot basis.
The legislature changed the law to allow Regional Occupational Centers (ROC) and Regional Occupational Programs; permitting the use of multi-facilities at various high school locations in addition to the single, central facility. This was the beginning of the Regional Occupational Programs (ROP).
The Hillsdale site opened in 1968, the same year Santa Clara Unified School District joined the consortium.
This was the beginning of a co-ed school, health occupations classes were added to the curriculum and only junior and senior high school students were allowed to attend.
Milpitas Unified School District separated from East Side Union School District and became a new district; Milpitas became the sixth district to participate.
Los Gatos-Saratoga Unified School District joined as the sixth and final participating district. The six school districts are still members of the consortium.
The Hillsdale site was expanded and three new buildings opened. Business, Office, and Computer classes were offered for the first time.
A Joint Powers Agency was formed by the six participating districts; one elected school board member from each district serves as a board member on the MetroED Governing Board.
The school serves high school students from 34 high schools within the six school districts. Students can select from 19 career choices within 13 industry sectors, including: Automotive Technology, Building Technology, Business Technology, Engineering/Industrial Technology, Health and Community Services, Visual Arts and Cosmetology.
Renamed Silicon Valley Career Technical Education, the organization provides 28 courses to students from 40 high schools in Santa Clara County.
The City of San Jose has had a Night School since as early as the 1870s, and perhaps earlier. Prior to World War I, the program was largely an evening high school where young adults could make-up academic deficiencies.
According to the City Superintendent of Schools, the recorded attendance was 142 students. The Superintendent also stated that instruction should be given in the following subjects: reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, physiology, natural philosophy, bookkeeping, and industrial drawing.
After World War I, the program added education for immigrants; Citizenship and English as a Second Language became a larger portion of the program.
During these years, adult education continued to grow and the beginnings of modern-day adult education were instituted. Student attendance from the 1880s to the 1960s grew to 10,000 students per year.
A unique structure combined three cooperating school districts into one adult education organization: Metropolitan Adult Education Program (MAEP). Participating districts were: East Side Union High School District, San Jose Unified School District and Santa Clara Unified School District. The program experienced immediate growth.
In 1966, MAEP received its first accreditation from Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In 1968, accreditation was renewed until 1970 when the program received its first five-year accreditation from WASC.
In 1967, Campbell Union joined the cooperative adult education organization and in 1969 Milpitas Unified joined; MAEP was now providing adult education for five districts.
An industrial department was formed with the cooperation of advisory committees from local businesses and industry. This program was formed to bring additional opportunities for adults to train or update their skills for their occupation.
A vocational placement service was added to help place skilled adult students in jobs related to their training in the fields of industrial, distributive education, or business.
During the 1970s, Metropolitan Adult Education Program began to advertise its classes in a schedule of classes mailed to all residents, twice a year.
MAEP now served an estimated 115,000 people. Students could select from 2,500 sections of day and evening classes at over 300 class locations. Locations included school sites in the five school districts, churches, bank buildings, parks and recreation centers, and rented facilities.
Renamed as Silicon Valley Adult Education, the organization provides educational opportunities and services to equip adults with the knowledge and skills necessary to participate effectively as citizens, workers, family members, and community members.
SVAE is one of the largest adult education programs in the state. The program is part of a joint powers agency comprised of six school districts in Santa Clara County. One of the districts, San Jose Unified School District, receives adult education services. Our program serves approximately 2,300 adult students at sites in the service area for San Jose Unified.