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Column: RWHS works to prepare students for life

As I write this article I am listening to President Obama speak of the need for affordable college education for learners. He went so far as to mention students earning an Associate's Degree simultaneously to earning their high school diploma.

Red Wing High School aims to prepare every learner for the future, for the rest of his or her life. We recognize that each student has a gift and talent that needs to be fostered and nurtured. Learners have talents and gifts that include exceptionally strong cognitive abilities, leadership gifts, creative skills or kinesthetic talents.

In an effort to prepare each student for post-secondary and career planning, Red Wing High School offers an extensive program of advanced courses and Post-secondary Enrollment Options to our students.

Post-secondary Enrollment Options or PSEO is a Minnesota Department of Education program which allows high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to earn college credit while in high school. High school students can participate in PSEO in several ways:

1) they can take courses at a post-secondary institution,

2) they can take courses offered online taught by a college instructor, and

3) they can take courses offered at Red Wing High School that are taught by a qualified high school instructor.

Post-secondary college credit options offered at Red Wing High School include Advanced Placement Courses, Concurrent Enrollment Options, College in the Schools, and courses for which we have articulation agreements with a college. In addition, students may earn college credit through their participation in CASE, ProStart and Project Lead the Way.

Advanced Placement or AP is a nationally and internationally-recognized program with college-level courses and exams that are standardized by the College Board. Students have the potential to earn college credit and placement based on end of course AP Exam score.

Current AP courses include: AP Studio Art, AP Art History, AP Calculus, AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, AP US History, AP World History, AP Economics, AP Human Geography, AP Language and Composition, and AP Literature and Composition.

Concurrent Enrollment is a program in which students earn high school and college credit simultaneously by participating in courses at RWHS taught by RWHS faculty. RWHS teachers teach to the standards set forth by Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical. The credits earned through participation in these courses are then transferable throughout the Minnesota State College and University system. (MnSCU is a system of 31 public colleges and universities with 54 campuses in 47 communities throughout the state of Minnesota).

Concurrent enrollment course offerings include psychology, organic chemistry, AP language and composition, and AP literature and composition.

College in the Schools is University of Minnesota curriculum taught by teachers at RWHS. Again students earn high school and college credit simultaneously. CIS courses are available in German and Spanish.

Articulation Agreements are formal agreements with a college to accept credit transfers towards a specific academic program.

The multiple pathways by which students can earn college credit while in high school includes programs in agricultural science; restaurant and food service industry; and science, technology, engineering, and math.

CASE, an acronym for Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education, focuses on agriculture, food, and natural resources. RWHS offers college credit eligible coursework in the areas of environmental science, plant science, and animal science.

ProStart offers a restaurant and food service industry program that connects the classroom to the industry. Courses include introduction to culinary arts and advanced culinary arts with college credit coming with successful completion of coursework and side by side internship experience with a professional already working in the industry.

Project Lead the Way offers rigorous and innovative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education programs. Current courses offered in the STEM area include introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering, digital electronics, and civil engineering and architecture.

Preparing students for college level work is accomplished in advanced courses offered in grades eight and nine. These courses are available to students who demonstrate the required skills, knowledge, and capability. Available courses include pre-advanced placement language arts, pre-advanced placement algebra i, pre-advanced placement geometry, pre-advanced placement physical science, gateway to technology, and introduction to engineering design.

Preparing each student for the rest of his or her life, preparing each of them through post-secondary and career planning is the role and the goal of Red Wing High School. Red Wing High School aims to prepare every learner for the future, for the rest of his or her life.