What is CAL?


What is CAL?

CAL, short for Center of Advanced Learning, is a charter school in Gresham. Juniors and Seniors are able to take classes and spend half of their school day at the CAL building. Along with Centennial they accept students from Reynolds, Gresham-Barlow, and Corbett school districts with a total of 450 students currently enrolled. There are six different career fields students can choose from which are entrepreneurship, information technology, digital media & design, manufacturing/engineering, fashion design, and health sciences. Many of CAL’s classes are entry-level college courses that can earn them credits through Mt. Hood Community College.

I interviewed Alexi Howard who is a senior at Centennial. This is her second year attending CAL. I asked Howard how classes at CHS are different from classes at CAL.

“They dive deeper into hands-on learning. I’m in the medical field at CAL and we are able to use our own medical equipment during labs to better understand the material.” said Howard.

Howard is in the health sciences field and is taking Healthcare Experience, Anatomy, and Physiology along with her senior English class.

I also asked Howard about the benefits of CAL.

“CAL provides students who are interested in college credits to earn them by taking college level courses. I also feel like it gives you an opportunity to make new friends and build new relationships with instructors,” Howard said.

“I love taking classes at both schools. I enjoy being able to see my home high school friends and teachers while also being able to see my new friends I have been lucky to make at CAL. Both schools have their benefits and I am very grateful I get to attend both,” said Howard when I asked where she prefers taking classes.

I asked Madeline Phillips who is a senior the same questions, she is also in the medical field at CAL.

“They’re a lot more similar to college classes I would say, the workload is a lot. There’s a lot of work we have to do but the teachers are definitely super super lenient,” says Phillips about how classes over at CAL are different from CHS.

I asked Phillips about some of the benefits of taking classes at CAL.

“For me if I wasn’t 100% sure if I wanted to do medical after high school, doing this you actually get to experience what it would be like taking medical school so definitely if you’re not sure if you want to spend like a million dollars on medical school I would say do this,” she said.

“Um I prefer taking classes there just because teachers are a lot more chill and they don’t really have a ton of rules,” Phillips stated.

Here’s why Phillips chose to go into the medical field:

“I just chose medical because I’ve always found a fascination for like just medical and helping people so I wasn’t 100% sure like, okay I don’t really know if I wanna go into medical school, cause it’s a lot so definitely going into this will help me decide, ok this is definitely what I want to do, or okay this is too hard I don’t want to do it anymore.”

If you are interested in CAL and wonder what the process is to apply, ask your school counselor. They will inform you on schedules and the application process. The CAL website has more information on everything you need to know if interested.

CAL has a lot of benefits and could be a great way to get closer to finding out what direction you would want to go in for college.

See Center for Advanced Learning for more information!

Ajla Agic