ROP is the acronym for Regional Occupational Program. In California, it’s a program offering its citizens continuing education courses throughout many districts in the state.
The state of California offers continuing education courses to its citizens to advance and stimulate economic growth within its borders. ROP classes in California empower residents to become nurses, dental assistants, veterinarians, business owners, graphic designers, animators, video game developers, yoga instructors, and more! Whether you are interested in preparing for a new career, expanding your existing knowledge in your current career, or simply learning a new skill, ROP courses can help you achieve your goals!
ROP Courses are available throughout the state of California. Some cities and counties included are Orange County, Riverside, San Diego, and Tri-Valley.
- What are some ROP courses that can be taken?
Many ROP courses average 2 hours each day, often 5 days each week. More intense classes, such as registered dental assistance courses, take from 8 to 9 hours each day. Typically, courses that offer certification upon completion will last longer each day and include an integrated internship.
Some courses will last only one semester, or 9 months. Most courses will last an average of two semesters. Many courses offer several stages of classes for your continuing education.
Many classes have a very low cost and registration fee, with some classes even being free of charge. Classes that are free are for occupations in your region that are in high demand or are anticipated to be in high demand in the foreseeable future. Nursing, medical occupations, and dental assisting courses are among the courses with the highest fees, ranging from $850 to $6,500.
Both high school students and adults can participate in most ROP courses. Some courses, such as dental assisting and nursing, require participants to be 18 years of age with a high school diploma or diploma equivalent.
Some ROP courses are also Advanced Placement classes for students in high school wishing to challenge their learning capabilities while earning college credits. Both students and adults can take these courses with the opportunity to earn credits towards a college degree.
You can apply for financial aid for enrolment in ROP classes. Generally, you can cover the cost of all or most of your ROP course expenses through the use of financial aid.
In addition to using financial aid, you can also take out a student loan for enrolling in ROP classes. Typically, the classes are affordable enough that student loans shouldn’t be necessary. However, some courses, such as dental assisting courses, cost around $6,500. In these cases, you are generally receiving certification or a title of “registered”, so these courses can be well worth the investment.
Many ROP classes will allow you to meet professionals within the industry. In some cases, the highest performing students can qualify for local internships within the industry. Regardless, you will meet local connections within the industry that will allow you to find your own footing in your new career.
Since your teacher will be a professional from within the industry, you will be able to make the necessary connections locally to start your new career. Additionally, the education and experience you receive during your course will allow you to be more marketable as a candidate for jobs within your chosen industry.
Many of the courses you can take have a directly correlating career. For example, a Nursing course will help you become a registered nurse, and a Dental Assistance course will help you become a registered dental assistant. However, with courses such as Computer Science, Art of Animation, and Sports Medicine, career opportunities are diverse.
With Computer Science, you can expect to find a career in the technology industry; some careers include advanced computer repair, software development, or website development. With the Art of Animation, you can find a career in video game design, software development, or entertainment. With Sports Medicine, you can expect to find a career in sports training, sports injuries, and physical therapy for injury recovery.
While ROP classes are not designed to be unreasonably difficult, it is important that you truly have a passion for what you are signing up to learn. A course won’t be difficult if the subject is something you truly love and want to learn!
ROP courses don’t generally have the grading scale you might be familiar with from high school. However, there is a very polarized pass/fail system. If you want to ensure success in your ROP course, you will want to make sure you are dedicated to starting a career in the industry of your chosen course.
While it may seem that taking the courses through a college is a better, more reputable option, you may be surprised to learn that local professionals seeking to hire in the industry of your choice tend to prefer ROP course students. ROP course students learn applied skills from professionals within the industry, whereas college students learn theoretical knowledge. ROP course students also tend to get first-hand experience with the career they are training for, whereas only a handful of college students get the same quality experience.
In some cases, technical schools may be an alternative to ROP courses – however, they are not generally “better” than ROP courses. You may opt for a technical school if you can only get FAFSA or student loan approval contingent upon choosing a technical school.
In general, you will be able to obtain higher-paying positions with an advanced adult education, which is available through ROP courses. Data hasn’t proven that opting for ROP courses over the college alternative or technical school option will lead to a higher-paying position. However, data also hasn’t shown that the college or technical school option will yield higher-paying results either.
Depending on how advanced the course is, there may be a fee associated with your ROP courses. Some advanced courses can even cost thousands of dollars, but these result in the necessary certifications to begin your career. Aside from a monetary investment, you will also have a time investment regardless of the level of advancement. Advanced courses, such as registered dental assistance classes, will require a considerable part of your time – 8 to 9 hours each day, Monday through Friday. However, most courses will last 2 hours each day, and the number of days will vary based on each specific course schedule.
There are certain limitations when it comes to more advanced ROP courses. Limitations you can expect are:
- Degree of education (generally, high school)
- Prerequisite courses
- Medical history
In many cases, there are no prerequisites for taking ROP classes. However, the more advanced courses will require that a series of classes are taken in order. For example, the three levels of the Sports Medicine course require that Sports Medicine 1 is taken before Sports Medicine 2 and Sports Medicine 3.
With most ROP classes, you can still have a full-time job while participating in classes. You will likely only be limited by your work schedule, as ROP courses are 2 hours, typically 3 to 5 days per week. Some courses, such as the Registered Dental Assisting course, are 8 to 9 hour per day classes, 5 days per week for 9 months. With a course schedule such as this, it would be difficult to maintain a full-time job.
If you are a student in high school, you only need to visit your ROP course representative at your high school to register for the courses that interest you. If you are a student attending an alternative high school, you can consult your career specialist or you can visit your local ROP office directly.
If you are an adult, you will need to visit your local ROP office and speak with a representative to begin your registration process.