ECP Program: High School Diploma + Electrician Simultaneously

When Louis Morett of San Diego was in high school, he loved to work on car radios. He also began working with his uncle, an electrician. Both were more interesting to him than school, so it fell by the wayside; he didn’t graduate with his class.

“I was so comfortable working already and already receiving money that I didn’t think about [going to college],” Morett says. In most cases, having a high school diploma or GED is a prerequisite for going to college. However, Morett enrolled in Summit College’s ECP (Eligible Career Pathways) program that allows students to take college courses and complete high school concurrently. “I decided to better myself as an electrician when I joined the [ECP] program,” he says. “I took it for better opportunities in the future.”


An April 2020 graduate
Summit’s electrician/ECP program, Morett says there were
challenges along the way. It took him 10 months to complete his high school
diploma and electrician training. “The first four months—the beginning
courses—it was learning about the science part of it, the atoms and everything,”
he says. “Then it transitions you into the more advanced where you start
learning about controls, motors, code, which is a big thing.”

Summit’s instructors are
all professionals in the field, and Morett said that having electricians and
journeymen as teachers really helped him with his training. “They teach you a
lot about safety procedures and what not to do and what to do at a job site,
who makes the rules and everything.” It wasn’t all work, though. “Sharing
experiences and everything else was really fun. It was a really good

Most challenging, perhaps,
was learning NEC (National Electrical Code), the U.S. standard for safe
installation of electrical wiring and equipment. “Summit really goes into
detail about the NEC code book and how to read it. That’s what helped me out a
lot because before I was just going off what my uncle was teaching me,” Morett
says. “At Summit, I learned how to navigate through NEC. I don’t think you’ll
ever be able to go through the whole book and memorize it, but you know how to
navigate it.”

Currently, Morrett is the
lead electrician for his uncle’s LLC, an electrical and general contracting
company. He and the rest of the crew have been doing a lot of remodeling on
exclusive houses north of San Diego. “They are fully automized, and it’s been a
big challenge for me,” he says, but “It’s been really good.” He prefers working
on commercial projects, however. “I like bending conduit and running wires and
high voltage. It’s less of a hassle than residential where you have to cut open
walls, deal with the dust, and all that stuff.”

Electrical work isn’t for
everyone, Morett says, and it’s important to have a passion for it. “Having the
opportunity to work with my uncle opened up a whole new world for me. “In the
beginning, it’s always about the passion for the job. Seeing what he’s doing,
memorizing what he’s doing, learning why he’s doing it—the why of everything.”

Summit’s electrician training through the ECP
program gave Louis Morett a strong foundation for building his career. “I love
it,” he says. “Now I have the knowledge and the experience.”

A rewarding career—and a
high school diploma—can be right around the corner for you, too, when you take
advantage of Summit’s Eligible Career Pathway programs. Available in San
Bernardino, El Cajon, and Santa Ana, the ECP program offers career training in
five fields: Medical Assistant Administrative & Clinical; Payroll, AP/AR
& Human Resources; Electrician; HVAC; and Welding. All train students for
in-demand professions. In addition, you can earn your diploma through an
accredited private adult high school diploma program provider that has
partnered with Summit.

Contact Summit
 today to learn more about the benefits of the ECP (Eligible Career Pathways) program that trains you for an in-demand career.