PG&E Energy Academy

Pacific Gas and Electric Energy Academies:

PG&E understands the future of California is here—and they are in our classrooms around the state. To address the needs of a growing "green" technology workforce and to better prepare our state's children for viable and successful futures upon graduation, PG&E created California's first immersive energy training program of its kind for high school students.

Energy Academy and the California Partnership Academy Model:  

Energy Academy is based on CDE's Partnership Academy model, a three-year program for students in grades 10-12. By focusing on a specific career theme, the academy creates a school within a school. Once committed to the program, students participate in relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum and are exposed to unique learning experiences such as visiting an operational wind farm.

Energy, Environment, and Utilities Sector Description:

This sector is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge and skills in careers related to energy, environment, and utilities. The pathways emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences of significant scope and depth in Environmental Resources, Energy and Power Technology, and Telecommunications. 
The standards integrate academic and technical preparation and focus on career awareness, career exploration, preparation for entry to technical-level employment, and alignment with postsecondary programs focused on energy, utilities, and related fields.  
Features of the California Partnership Academy model:


California’s oldest and most experienced Career Partnership model.

Nationally recognized as successful and replicable.
Serves 70,000 students at over 500 academies across 15 industry sectors.
Student population must be at least 50% academically at risk.
Graduating students are college ready AND work ready.
A-G courses and industry recognized certifications, internships & mentorships.
Articulation, dual-credit with post-secondary education partners.
Funded, supported and monitored by the California Department of Education.
Requires an industry partner and school district funding at 100% match.
School-within-a-school structure to create small learning communities:
  • Teaching team with common prep period
  • Career theme, integrated curriculum
  • Students move through program as a cohort
  • Dedicated prep period for academy coordinator
  • Industry externships, continuing professional development for team
Academically at-risk factors, indicated by at least three of the following:
  • Irregular attendance
  • At least one-third of a year behind in credits
  • Low motivation
  • Disadvantaged economically
  • Scoring below basic, or lower in English or Math on CA Standards Tests 
  • GPA of 2.2 or below

Links to California Department of Education sites:


College and Career Academy Support Network (CCASN): 

CCASN offers professional development, coaching, resource materials, and technical assistance for secondary educators, schools, and districts. CCASN also conducts research to document and improve practice, and advises policy makers at all levels.  

The National Energy Education (NEED) Project  
The mission of the NEED Project is to promote an energy conscious and educated society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.  

Energy Industry Recognized Certification Programs:

ACT's National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) is a portable credential that demonstrates achievement and a certain level of workplace employability skills in Applied Mathematics, and Locating Information, and Reading for Information.
The National Center for Construction Education and Research, NCCER, was developed with the support of more than 125 construction CEOs and various association and academic leaders who united to revolutionize training for the construction industry.  
The Center for Energy Workforce Development, CEWD, was formed to help utilities work together to develop solutions to the coming workforce shortage in the utility industry. It is the first partnership between utilities, their associations, contractors and unions to focus on the need to build a skilled workforce pipeline that will meet future industry needs. 

Additional Pacific Gas and Electric Company Resources:


Additional Energy and Careers Resources:

Sample Three-year Thematic Overview:  

What might the framework for a three-year CPA program look like?

Building toward career pathways to be selected by students in eleventh and twelfth grades, CTE and academic courses may build upon basic skills and be integrated along a selected thematic scope and sequence. 

Similar to the example below, New Energy Academies are encouraged to develop their own frameworks reflecting the strengths and interests of students, staff, and the community. 

Tenth Grade Key Topics: Basic Skills and Knowledge: 

  • History Highlight: Energy throughout the history of human development
  • Forms of energy, energy transformations
  • Sources of energy, renewable and nonrenewable
  • Electrical generation and distribution
  • Embedded energy impacts in water, products, transportation 
  • Climate Change 
  • Basic tools, Basic electricity, use of tools, basic safety
  • Sketching and drawing, Measurement and scale
  • Building simple models
  • Mastery Project: Energy-efficient model home
  • Energy Careers Exploration

Eleventh Grade Key Topics: Sustainability, Energy and Design 
  • History Highlight: Energy and the Industrial Revolution
  • How things work and the design process
  • Energy Infrastructure; generation, transmission, distribution, storage
  • Fuels, chemical, electrical, hydrogen, other alternative energy sources
  • The Three Es: Environment, Economy, Equity
  • Environmental Stewardship and Advocacy
  • Mastery Project: Alternatively-powered scale model vehicle
  • Mastery Project: Solar powered night light for third world countries 
  • Junior Mentorship
  • Career Skills Toolkit

 Twelfth Grade Key Topics: Creating a Sustainable Future 

  • History Highlight: The Economics of Energy and Energy Policy
  • Survey: State of the planet survey of resources and trends.
  • Civic responsibility and education
  • Sustainable policy
  • Urban Planning, Urban Metabolism, Transportation and Energy
  • Survey: Emerging Trends in Energy and the Environment
  • Mastery Project: Carbon-neutral village design
  • Mastery Project: Sustainable transportation and energy technologies
  • Senior Internship
  • Career Skills Portfolio
Outline of the 10th Grade Curriculum Plan:

This outline was prepared in the summer of 2010 by CTE teachers from the five inaugural academies and provides a framework of objectives and outcomes, and includes several useful resources and project ideas.