Foothill’s academies provide a breadth of fields for students to immerse in


Jill Vallance

Each academy has something different to offer for every student.

Jill Vallance and Noelle Hayward

Primarily during their freshman year, students at Foothill are given annual opportunities to join various programs that align with their academic or career interests. Academies promote a hands-on, student-driven experience that gets students more involved in their school and their fields of interest. Check out below what academies are available, what to expect when you enroll and their application timelines.


The Design Technology Academy, commonly known as DTech, is a track of “three components” for sophomores, juniors and seniors to apply to and partake in, according to DTech Coordinator Kurt Miller

DTech “is really about designing, making and selling,” said Miller.

Miller elaborated that in “the sophomore year, [students] learn how to make cool stuff: both design—digital design on a computer, like CAD [computer-aided design] or photoshop—and then they also learn how to use machines like laser cutters and 3D printers.”

“Then, both junior and senior year, they take those skills, put them together and sell cool stuff,” Miller explained.

Within those three years, “the students will form houses or teams, and they get to direct their own learning.”

In Miller’s eyes, “DTech is pretty different in that there is no lecture, for the most part,” and that learning is not based on “an hour-long powerpoint or something like that,” but rather “hands-on” self-direction.

He claimed that this “student-driven” approach “is a pretty big sell” for the program, and says that if some freshmen “like to make things, or like to make money, it’s a great program for [them] to think about joining.”

Applications open on Feb. 11 and are due Feb. 22. Miller explained that DTech “students will speak to C3 classes and give students more info,” which is where applications will become available. Applications are also available on the DTech website.


The Associated Student Body (ASB), according to ASB Coordinator Melanie “Captain” Lindsey, is a “group of students who desire to serve their school community, [and] make it a safe and loving place for everyone on campus.”

They organize events such as “Renaissance rallies, Mr. Foothill, all the dances, all the recognition events that exist on campus, staff appreciation, all the awareness weeks,” and more. Furthermore, Lindsey asserted that “everybody’s favorite day of the year is Air Guitar, and that’s an ASB function.”

Lindsey claims that although ASB students have fun as they “learn lots of things about themselves and about how to better serve others, [… and] create great friendships where they didn’t know they would create friendships,” one should “expect to work really hard [and] serve their community.”

ASB President Abby Sourwine added that “if they should get accepted, you should expect […] hard work.”

Sourwine delineated that “to a student, [ASB is] that group that’s giving them food sometimes or maybe they’ve played music you don’t like at the dance, but to me it’s definitely just a fun community of people willing to help.”

She expressed that to her, “ASB is definitely like an opportunity to connect to a community.” She believes “it’s really impressive to see kids as young as 12, 13 years old just really caring about people they’ve never met, to the point where they’ll spend hours working on things for them.”

ASB applications will become available during a mandatory meeting held in the black box on Feb. 8, and they are due Feb. 15.

Sourwine encouraged everyone interested to “give it a shot; if you don’t think you would be right for it, come to the meeting anyway, if you’re interested at all.”


The Bioscience Academy is home to Dragons who are interested in diving deeper into the field of biological sciences or pursuing a career centered around health science.

“Bioscience covers the range of health and medical technology and those careers, as well as research fields, including marine biology, microbiology [and] biotechnology,” Bioscience Survey teacher Dan Baker said.



Upon joining Bioscience, students will get a variety of opportunities that provide exposure to biological sciences, including job shadows, visits to research and medical facilities and in-depth projects on biological issues, like the notorious Disease Project.

The first-year course is called Bioscience Survey. All the students in this class are sophomores, and during the FIRE period, these students obtain a general overview of paths they can take within health sciences. The class takes field trips to visit colleges and universities around the area, and practices lab skills that will be used in junior and senior year.

In their junior year, Bioscience students take Honors Medical Technology (MedTech) and Honors Physiology, and in senior year take Honors Biotechnology and a physics course.

Aside from Baker, the instructors involved in the program are Academy Coordinator Mika Anderson and Biotechnology teacher Colleen Malone.

Applications for this program open Feb. 12 and close Feb. 23. The applications can be found on the Bioscience wiki page, and more information on the application process and the academy itself can be obtained from Anderson.


The Foothill Dragon Press’ mission as an online-only publication is to provide the Foothill community with accurate, responsible, thought-provoking and timely journalism. The application timeline for staff positions extends from Feb. 13 to Feb. 22. The applications will be available on Mr. Li’s wiki page.

For more information about the Foothill Dragon Press, visit the about page on our website.

Editor’s Note: Abby Sourwine is a staff member of this publication; she was not involved in the reporting or publishing of this article. 

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