Newly found pathways program, almost up and running

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Photo by Stella Bertsch

Innovations team meeting after school to discuss the pathways program. Pathways is expected to serve as a course-filter to focus on a specific career path of a student. This program will be fully effective fall of 2020.

Rosie Nichols, Layout Editor

This year, a new program has made its way to stillwater the high school after being discussed in recent years. The Pathways program aims to prepare students for their future careers with a flexible layout of classes that should be taken to help them better achieve their aspirations.

Pathways was started by a group of students and school faculty who hope to expand opportunities for students attending and graduated from high school. The program will launch gradually during this years second semester registration and go into full effect next year.

Right now we can change the registration guide and see what everything looks like, but we would love to end up changing the whole setup of how the school works. I think they’re working to get in a levy later in the year or something like that. It’s awesome.”

— Mara Doe

The Pathways program started in the spring of 2017 to discuss possible course pathways students could take to focus on their passions. Now, two years later, the program has progressed to a fully functioning resource for students to utilize for the 2020-2021 school year. The process to launch this program has been long and stressful, but members say “it’s worth the wait”.

“Right now we can change the registration guide and see what everything looks like, but we would love to end up changing the whole setup of how the school works. I think they’re working to get in a levy later in the year or something like that. It’s awesome,” junior Mara Doe said.

The idea behind such an impactful program is to encourage students to take classes that support and benefit their future in whatever career they choose. The post-high school benefits are what drives the pathways program to succeed. The four career paths that are focused on are: industry/technology, arts, business and health sciences.

“We’ve identified four different pathways that we want to highlight here in Stillwater. For year number one, so for this upcoming year, we know that we can’t totally reinvent the wheel,” Principal Robert Bach said. “That’s a lot of work and involves a lot of people. We’re going to get there, but that’s too quick a timeline for us to be able to turn that around. So what we’ve said is okay, let’s take a look at all of the existing courses that we have right now, and figure out how to those fit into those four pathways.”

Another aspect of this program is to focus on getting students college-ready. A common spark for stress and anxiety in teenagers is what they want to do after high school, but with the new pathways program they can begin their journey before they step foot onto a college campus. This program aims to take a weight off of students’ shoulders in pursuit of discovering their educational passions.

“I feel like kids probably won’t be coming into college unprepared, and just have a better understanding of what they really want to do and really have someone helping them along the way,” senior AJ Schoenecker said.

With or without an immediate improvement, this program will reach throughout the entire school and student will choose weather or not to take part in one of the four pathways offered. Students should see a noticeable change in their efforts to succeed in what they are passionate about. The program consists of around 30 members is focused on the main goal of creating an opportunity for young adults to explore their passions and find their own educational pathway.

“Pathways allows you to continue to achieve academically the same way everyone always has. But give you a greater sense of relevance for the courses you take and the things you talk about in class,” Bach said.