RCAS to blueprint high school learning overhaul

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The transition to college may shock the more indecisive high school seniors, but an education overhaul aims to better prepare students for their future.

Rapid City Area Schools and the National Center for College & Career Transitions will work together as the Pathways Task Force to redesign high school learning.

The partnership plans to create dedicated career pathways that students can follow according to their interests. STEAM-centered curriculum has already been accepted into the program. Paths leading to art, business and construction fields, among others, are under consideration.

RCAS Superintendent Dr. Lori Simon said that the pathways will provide real-world work experience, which can help hammer out any post-high school anxieties about career choice.

"We're all mobilizing around this idea of making sure we've got prepared workers for our workforce, " Simon said. "Our students [will] leave our high schools with the knowledge and the skills and the experiences to make great decisions about their future and to be an asset to our local community."

NC3T President Hans Meeder said that students feeling uncertain about the future need not stick to a definite pathway. He said that the program aims to showcase multiple careers in an exciting light, but students will not be railroaded to their first choice.

"They are going through a career exploration process. They're not necessarily making a final decision about what they want to do," Meeder said. "They're learning how to make decisions and ... fewer missteps along the way once they finish high school."

The pathways program was introduced with the help of a $177,000 donation from the John T. Vucurevich Foundation.

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