Rapid City Pathway Approach
The Rapid City Pathways Approach (RCPA) is the effort underway (launched in 2018) to bring career pathways into RCAS schools, as well as build strong connections to employers, institutions of higher education, and community-based organizations.
The purpose of the RCPA is to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to explore career options in high school. This approach will help students develop a plan that leads graduates to a successful transition beyond high school including postsecondary education and training, careers, and life responsibilities.
The RCPA entails three areas of work:
- Building strong connections with employers, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and families;
- Creating a K-12 approach to career awareness and exploration;
- Enhancing our course offerings by developing pathways programs for our students.
What is a Career Pathway?
An academy is a small learning community offering multiple pathways.
A pathway is a course of study housed within one of six academies (high school graduation requirements will be embedded) offered in our high schools or in partnership with institutions of higher education. When fully developed, each career pathway will include two or three courses organized around a career theme and offered in a planned sequence of courses that move from general knowledge to deeper skills.
Identifying Student Career Interest
In our RCPA, during elementary and middle school, each student will be learning about a full range of careers, and during their 8th grade year, will identify a “career interest” to guide further exploration. This career interest will be revisited each school year and can evolve or shift. The student’s career interest will influence their choice of career academies, career pathways, work-based learning experiences, postsecondary education and training, and employment opportunities.