Real-World Career Clusters Examples
The Government and Public Administration Academy at Charles E. Shea Senior High School in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is a unique learning experience for high school seniors. The academy currently enrolls 28 students in two sections. During the three trimester course, the students are active participants in a varied, "real world" based curriculum. The 2008-2009 academic year included the following:
A public administration internship component. Students leave the high school early to participate in internships two days per week. Placements are college-level slots provided by the Rhode Island State Government Internship Program.
A "Capitol Forum" government experience. Teams of students (4-5) work on a trimester-long project. This year it was a "choices" program created by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. International issues such as terrorism and immigration are examined from a foreign policy viewpoint.
A "Hiroshima Peace Project" was worked on and hosted by the academy in conjunction with other school departments. A survivor of the bombing spoke at a school-wide assembly.
A voter registration project was integrated into the curriculum to dovetail with the past presidential election. The Pawtucket City Board of Canvassers worked closely with the academy students in a "real life" election.
Other projects included a research project investigating the building of our school as a "WPA Project" and its relationship to future school improvements. An academy website was created by contributions from the entire class that included photos, information blocks, and so forth. The academy website highlights its history, activities, and future academy projects. The active faculty members include Mr. Edward Kostka, Mr. Glenn Hopkins, and Mr. Keith Wilk. Mr. Michael Connolly, founder of the academy, currently supports the academy from his position in the Pawtucket School System's Central Administration.
Shea High School currently has 1000 students and seventy-five percent minority rate. The academy students over the past five years have all graduated and have a ninety-five percent acceptance rate into higher education.
Well done, Rhode Island!
In Colorado's new 2009-2010 Career Clusters Course Description booklet, the courses are color-coded according to the Cluster(s) they are connected to, making the booklet easy for students, parents, and advisors to navigate. For example, foundation/academic courses are marked in periwinkle; courses that go with the Agriculture cluster are tabbed in blue; courses that go with the Arts cluster are tabbed in gray; and courses that go with multiple clusters display the colors of each of those clusters.
Cool idea, Colorado!
Click here to view Colorado's course description booklet: