Q: Why organize a High School into Academies?
A: Current data is clear. Students are not leaving many High Schools with the tools necessary to be successful in today's economy. Crippling college student loan debt, students with no post high school plan, and workers with no passion for their career have shown up in current workforce data as a lack of skilled workers in many fields, high turnover rates for employers, and gaps in the labor force. Having students rethink the old-school model of: 1. Graduate from HS, 2. Pick a College, 3. Choose a Career and moving to providing opportunity to explore interests, aptitudes, internships, gain industry certification, and build relationships with community partners equips them to make informed decisions about their future in a much better way than we ever have before!
Q: What if I want to switch Academies?
A: There is a process for students to switch Academies if absolutely necessary. We find that the need to switch academy pathways is very rare after going through our 5 week process in the Freshmen Seminar. Using YouScience, students learn about their unique aptitudes and the careers that match these personal attributes. Aptitudes are very stable over time and are a preferred method for making these decisions over interests as interests are very malleable, changing multiple times throughout your life! Our ultimate goal is for students to have great experiences in both academics and career readiness activities so if there is a need to change we are definitely open to working with students!
Q: I want my student to experience lots of different things. Will they be able to take electives?
A: Yes! Students will still have elective courses. The intent is not to delete anything. In fact, we plan on continuing the great work that we have done preparing students academically AND providing them with the tools and skills necessary to make a good decision about what they should do next after High School. This is not an either "rigorous academic college prep courses" or "pathways for career readiness"-It is BOTH!
Q: Can I do my Internship/Vantage in the summer so that I do not have to do it during the school year?
A: As a rule, we currently do not have the ability to have our students do Internships/Vantage projects in the summer and get school credit for them. This is something that we are working on to possibly offer in the future, but at this time this is not an option.
Q: I want to do my Internship/Vantage project with my mom/dad at their work. Can I do this?
A: Maybe. The goal of our Internship/Vantage program is to provide an experience in advanced professional studies solving real world problems. Part of this program is developing the most critical 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity in real world settings, solving real life problems that our business partners are having. To make this as authentic and meaningful as possible we believe that doing this within our framework is the best way to accomplish this.
Q: I already took Personal Finance, do I still have to take the 21st Century Skills class?
A: Yes, 21st Century Skills course is made up of several components, financial literacy is only 1 portion of the course. Students also learn 21st century skills, career and college readiness, and spend time developing their capstone project in this course. There are certifications from Precision Exams tied to each one of these areas so it is possible for a student to pass the Precision Exam for Financial Literacy and then start working on the other components.
Q: I want to take classes in other pathways. Can they count as my pathway courses?
A: Generally, no. There are some rare exceptions where pathway classes might crossover and be allowed to be counted if there is a legitimate reason for doing so. Remember, you are allowed to take any pathway course in any pathway as an elective. For example, if you were in Health Sciences but wanted to take the AFNR Drones course in Production, that is totally fine if it fits into your schedule. Drones would not count as your pathway course in Health Science, however.