Our Programs

Construction & Sustainable Design Academy

Through Rancho Cielo’s Construction Program, students achieve nationally recognized construction certificates while gaining hands-on experience building small, sustainable homes. The curriculum blends practical skills development with project-based learning and workshops, encompassing everything from power tool proficiency to interpreting construction plans. By program completion, students master essential construction skills, emerge prepared for real-world challenges, seize career opportunities and pursue higher education.


NCCER Construction Site Safety Orientation (CSSO)

Supervisor (CSSS)

Technician (CSST)


Essential Resources and Wellness Services

Transportation Access

Skill Enhancement

Enriching Experiences


Monday – Thursday: 9am-3pm
Friday: 9am-1:45pm


August through June.

Approximately 10 months to complete.

Ongoing/open enrollment


Ages 16 to 24

Underserved youth

Not a high school graduate (has not earned a high school diploma)

  • Sustainable, healthy home building; clean energy/solar installation; roofing projects.  
  • Industry mentorship, guest speakers and field trips. 
  • Opportunity to participate in regional, state and national competitions such as the Orange County Sustainability Decathlon.

  • Students are prepared to apply for Hartnell College’s Construction Management + Architecture + Sustainable Design and Construction program. 
  • Students may also explore career opportunities such as carpenter, electrician, laborer, plumber, pipefitter, construction surveying, equipment operator, construction engineering and management and more.

Course Sequences

Students are introduced to career opportunities within the sector and how residential and commercial structures are designed and built. Topics covered: construction and building design, performance and sustainability, safety, hand and power tools, planning and design, applicable mathematics, blueprint reading, trade nomenclature, residential and commercial construction standards, construction manufacturing standards and other specialized skills. Includes preparation for a Class B California License.

Builds on foundational skills attained in the introductory course(s). Students will learn to integrate and employ sustainable construction practices. Students also learn the impact of financial, technical, environmental and labor trends on the construction industry and techniques for proper site preparation and foundation layout. They gain competence in mathematical calculations used in the trade and interpret technical drawings and schedules, as well as carpentry skills that prepare them to lay out, fabricate, erect, install and repair wooden structures and fixtures. Topics may cover framing, installing drywall and interior/exterior finishes, building walls and partitions, installing roof systems, floors and floor coverings and electrical wiring. Includes preparation for a Class B California License.

This course allows students to demonstrate mastery of skills attained in intermediate/concentrator courses. Students will apply appropriate mathematical calculations, interpret technical drawings, and demonstrate techniques for proper site preparation and foundation layout. They will demonstrate carpentry techniques for constructing a single-family residence, including proper installation techniques of internal and external materials and finishes. Students will also employ sustainable construction practices and install plumbing and electrical systems that adhere to industry standards. Students may be prepared for a Class B California License.