Career Pathways: One of our key programmatic elements is the International Baccalaureate Career Program which students formally begin in their 11th grade year of high school.
In 9th grade students are exposed to both career path offerings through engaging projects; at the conclusion of the school year, they will decide about the path. We chose this framework because of its emphasis on global and career skills, as well as inquiry learning and service. It is a hybrid of the rigor of the IB program courses which are conceptual, and the career paths, which are authentic. Students in this program are more likely to attend 4-year colleges, more likely to attend more competitive and selective colleges, and more likely to persist and succeed in college.
We chose two career paths, Engineering and Business, because they are in high demand for workers, are broadly applicable across several job sectors, and do not currently have high numbers of women of color.
The 9th grade Introduction to Engineering Design Course uses activity-project-project-based (APB) teaching and learning pedagogy where students design a new product or improve an existing product that directly impacts our school community.