Highline Public Schools, Burien, Washington
Challenge: In a district located amidst more than 200 aviation and aerospace businesses, a constant high demand exists for well-educated and highly skilled workers.
Initiative: The Aeronautical Science Pathway is a partnership between Highline Public Schools, the Museum of Flight, and Green River Community College where juniors and seniors can earn up to 60 college credits. Each year-long pathway offers six college-level courses, all of which can go toward earning an associate and/or bachelor’s of applied science degree in aeronautical science. Students also learn interview, collaboration and leadership skills, and participate in internships and aviation events.
Impact: The 35 students currently enrolled in the program have earned 425 college credits, and have participated in internships ranging from pilot to aviation marketing. “Students are the ultimate benefactors as they are the future leaders of local industries,” says Cathy Thompson, chief curriculum and instruction officer.
Advice: Determine high-demand needs of local industries and find partnerships that invite collaborative course development and field opportunities for students. Be willing to think outside the traditional K12 model.