The Rapid City Area School District has a growing career-connected and work-based learning program that provides relevant and hands-on learning opportunities for students K-12. Our focus is to provide students with career exposure, exploration, and experiences that will help them to identify their interests so that they are able to develop a plan that leads to a successful transition beyond high school.
What is a Capstone?
Capstone experiences will allow students the opportunity to consolidate and apply the learning from their high school coursework into a meaningful and relevant career-connected experience. This student-driven experience is based on the student’s chosen pathway and is designed to help guide the student’s college, career, and life readiness plan.
What are the benefits of a Capstone?
Capstone opportunities allow students to gain authentic, real-world experience with a business, organization, or industry. Students’ interests, strengths, and chosen career pathway(s) determine the capstone experience and, based on the capstone experience, students will gain insight into their plan for college, career, and life beyond high school.
Within the RCAS Academies & Pathways, Capstone and other Specialized Pathway courses offer learning opportunities that are aligned to guide further career exploration and preparation for life beyond high school.
What is a Job Shadow or Youth Internship Opportunity?
In high school, RCAS Internship Coordinators work with students to identify career interests and gain meaningful experience and exposure through Job Shadow and Youth Internship opportunities. Students in these capstone opportunities are placed with business partners who understand and value career-connected and work-based learning experiences. The opportunities allow students to gain authentic, real-world experiences in business and industry.
RCAS Job Shadow or Youth Internship Experiences
|Internship Turned Apprenticeship||Entrepreneurial Ventures||Career Opportunities|
|During the student’s time with Convicted Designs, they have experienced everything from sweeping the floors, to customer care and service. The student has even completed and received a Blood Borne Pathogens industry certification. Near the end of the first semester, the student took their internship to the next level when they were offered an official apprenticeship with Convicted Designs. The student now works every free hour at the studio to complete state, local, and industry certification standards.||The student took the initial steps in creating their own business by designing a product and working closely with Black Hills Community Loan Fund to develop the product, find a market, and build relationships with potential customers. This experience perfectly integrated the student’s experience in their business class with a work-based learning experience based on their career interests.||The student completed their internship at Timeless Wedding and Events. After doing a good job while helping with their first wedding, the student moved into a paid internship position. A few weeks into the student’s paid internship, they were asked if they would be interested in becoming a full-time employee for Timeless Wedding and Events after graduating high school. The student gladly accepted and anxiously looks forward to the opportunity.|
|Central High School
To Be Determined
|Rapid City High School
|Stevens High School
What is a Service Learning Opportunity?
RCAS is committed to offering students a variety of capstone experiences. In addition to Job Shadow and Youth Internship options, students are also encouraged to explore Service Learning, where students apply academic and real-world skills to plan, implement, and expand meaningful youth-led experiences to benefit the community. These Service & Leadership opportunities empower our students to share their voice, create change, and develop leadership skills that will prepare them for success with their educational and career goals.
RCAS Service Learning Projects
|Sharing the Spirit Project||Kindness is Contagious Project||Music Mural Project|
|The student partnered with the school district and Feeding South Dakota. The student did a Christmas Decoration Drive and then had distribution events at a Family Night at General Beadle, the Mobile Food Pantry at General Beadle, and the School Food Pantry at Rapid City High School.||The student partnered with WAVI and held various hygiene drives at local stores. The student and their volunteer team handed out lists of hygiene supplies needed at WAVI at entrances of the stores they partnered with. The shoppers were encouraged to purchase the items and then give them to the volunteer team as they exited the store. The student then took all 1,827 donated items to WAVI for an estimated value of $9000.||The student partnered with General Beadle Administration and created a plan for a positive message outside of the music room. The student met with administration and janitorial staff to get appropriate approvals and then shared their artistic talents in painting the mural.|
Service Learning and Youth Engagement Coordinator
What are other Specialized Pathway Courses and Learning Opportunities?
Specialized pathway courses allow students the opportunity to consolidate and apply learning from their academy introductory and pathway foundational courses into a meaningful and relevant career-connected experience. These opportunities may include earning college credit in high school through Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses. These opportunities allow students to complete college-level courses based on prior preparation and postsecondary goals and preferences.
Career Preparation Resources
“The cover letter is one of the most challenging documents you may ever write: you must write about yourself without sounding selfish and self-centered. The solution to this is to explain how your values and goals align with the prospective organization’s and to discuss how your experience will fulfill the job requirements.” – Purdue OWL
“A résumé (also spelled resume) is a brief document that summarizes your education, employment history, and experiences that are relevant to your qualifications for a particular job for which you are applying. The purpose of a résumé (along with your cover letter) is to get an interview. Research has shown that it takes an average of ten (10) interviews to receive one (1) job offer, so your résumé needs to be persuasive and perfect” – Purdue OWL
A job interview is a conversation between a job applicant and a representative, or group of representatives, of an employer which is conducted to assess whether the applicant should be hired.
If your business or organization is interested in partnering to offer work-based or service learning opportunities for RCAS students, click here.