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The Rapid City Area School District is launching a pathways approach that will provide all students with access to career-connected learning experiences.
In fall 2020, RCAS will offer several pathways organized into six Career Academies, as well as a Freshman Academy, tailored to our regional needs. Each academy includes one or more career pathway programs as well as an advisory board comprised of education and industry leaders.
Freshman Academy
Freshman Academy
Students will explore each of the six RCAS Academies and engage with content in digital citizenship, computer applications, and workplace skills.
Business, Entrepreneurship, & Hospitality
Business, Entrepreneurship, & Hospitality
Pathways to include: Business Management & Entrepreneurship, Finance & Accounting, and Hospitality & Culinary Arts.
Computer Arts & Sciences
Computer Arts & Sciences
Pathways to include: Media & Design and Computer Science.
Construction & Technical Trades
Construction & Technical Trades
Pathways to include: Construction, Technical Trades, and Architecture & Design.
Health Services
Health Services
Pathways to include: Pre-Health Professional and Allied Health.
Human Services & Education
Human Services & Education
Pathways to include: Education as a Profession, Public Service, Social & Mental Health Services, and Life & Workplace Readiness.
Science & Engineering
Science & Engineering
Pathways to include: Engineering, Natural Resources, Animal Science, and Plant & Environmental Science.

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:

  1. Building strong connections with employers, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations, and families; 
  2. Creating a K-12 approach to career awareness and exploration;
  3. 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.