Mike Town, one of Tesla STEM High School’s founding teachers, is a recipient of the Patsy Collins Award for Excellence in Education, Environment, and Community.
College and Career Preparation
As you plan your high school career, it’s important to look beyond just making sure you get the right number of credits in the right subject areas. What do you want to do after high school? Are you looking for greater rigor or an opportunity to earn college credit while in high school? Are you looking for opportunities to explore careers? Here are some things to consider when planning your high school career. Check your high school’s course catalog for more information on which courses they offer in these areas:
- College Admissions Standards and High School Courses
- Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
- Career Technical Education
- Career Counseling and Exploration
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) Classes
- Tech Prep Courses
- WANIC Skills Center Programs
Courses that meet the College Academic Distribution Requirement (CADR) are marked with the designation CADR in high school course catalogs. To ensure their high school course credits will meet the minimum college admission standards, students should check their course plans against the Minimum College Admission Standards for four-year institutions in Washington state.
Are you ready for a unique learning experience that will help you succeed in college? Through AP’s college-level courses and exams, you can often earn college credit and advanced placement and stand out in the admission process These courses are typically offered in 10th, 11th and 12th grade, however some are open to earlier grades.
What’s an AP class like?
There’s more to AP than you ever imagined. Drive the discussion, discover for yourself how things work and get ready for college. With AP, you don’t have to wait for college to start contributing, because AP is college in a high school setting. Choose from AP courses in subjects that directly connect you to what you want to do now and with your future. They not only give you the knowledge and skills to help you at your college or university, but scoring well on the AP Exam can get you credit and placement there too.
In AP’s immersive courses, you don’t just read about things, you get to learn how things really work. You won’t just be memorizing facts and figures that you’ll forget moments after the test. In AP you’ll tackle concepts and do things that will stick with you long after the class is through. AP teachers’ hands-on approach to learning takes you out of the typical classroom and into an experience that will prepare you for college and beyond. You’ll be asked to add your unique perspective because the dialog and debate contributes to the knowledge that’s shared by everyone. You’ll help drive the class and sharpen your skills by learning to express yourself before you get to college. With AP, you’ll explore new ideas side-by-side with your classmates and AP teachers.
When you get to college, you’ll be asked to manage your own time and study habits, while tackling challenging problems and subject areas. This is what you get when you take an AP class, with the added benefit of your AP teacher helping you throughout the journey. AP courses let you to see and feel what college work is like, while receiving the support to help you get there. You can set bigger goals for yourself, and find yourself doing things you never thought possible. By doing college-level work in high school, AP students can test themselves and take risks in a familiar setting, gaining confidence and a rewarding experience in addition to college credit and placement.
How Do I Enroll?
Once you’ve decided to take the AP challenge it’s easy to enroll. Find an AP Course in the catalog. Talk to the AP teacher or the AP Coordinator or your counselor about the course you want to take. Discuss the course’s workload and any preparation you might need. Visit www.collegeboard.org.
Career and Technical Education supports and guides all students, whether you need or want to go straight to work following graduation, or you already know that you are headed for a two- or four-year college. Educators, guidance counselors and parents can use CTE to help any student plan ahead, for two- or four-year college degrees, for industry certifications or for registered apprenticeship options. CTE can help students get a head start on earning college credits and specific options sometimes provide immediate career preparation as well.
Career exploration and life skills planning, form the foundation of Career and Technical Education programs. The CTE program and its career specialists and tools can help you create a very strong and balanced plan. They can assist you with career interest inventories and exploration of careers, college selection and applications, and access to industrial training and apprenticeship options.
Career and Technical Education provides you with the technical skills and academic knowledge you will need to prepare for life after high school—future employment and/or a successful transition to post-secondary education. You will prepare for your future by exploring careers. Acquire job specific skills through technical training, hands-on learning and participation in work-based learning activities. While obtaining advanced technical training you can receive college credit while in high school, saving you time and money.
CTE classes are offered in many different fields, and many of them offer you an opportunity to earn college credit now, through Tech Prep and other institutions. Examples include Firefighting, Forensic work, Culinary, Environmental Science and AP Environmental Science, Health, Nursing, Psychology and AP Psychology, Computer Programming and AP Computer Science, Graphic Arts and AP Studio Art, Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Architectural Drafting, Business and Marketing, Finance and Economics, and AP Economics. These classes integrate academics with technical skill development to help prepare students for higher-level courses in college. Middle schools and high schools offer a wide range of CTE classes, so check school course catalogs to find actual offerings in schools.
WANIC Skills Center offers high school programs that serve multiple school districts and delivers industry-defined Career and Technical Education programs in fields ranging from firefighting and police work to computer game design and healthcare. Courses are available to prepare for careers in Agriculture, Science & Natural Resources; Art, Media, Communication & Design; Business, Marketing & Management; Engineering, Science & Technology; Health & Human Services; Information Technology. Some courses may also be available in the summer.
Skills Center classes are offered at many local high schools in our area, at DigiPen Institute of Technology, and at the Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Many skills center programs are offered both during and after the regular school day. Students may attend their home high school for part or all of their day and also attend skills center programs to earn additional high school credits at no cost to the student