Today’s high school students have so many choices for their future lives, yet don’t always have the chance to explore their aptitudes. By recognizing that every individual is talented at something, educators in the Roseville Community Schools district have developed immersive opportunities for students at the high school level to dig in, learn what they are good at doing, and see themselves as satisfied future contributors to the workforce.
“One of the things we overlook as parents, and maybe as educators too, is the indecisiveness of youth, especially in today’s world,” says Dr. Patrick Adams, principal at Roseville High School.
“You have to provide an opportunity for kids to find themselves. Everybody has gifts, and we don’t want to pigeonhole students into a path that is inconsistent with their gifts. That’s why we have a multitude of offerings that are academic and work-based.”
Roseville High School upperclassmen have always had the opportunity to challenge themselves with a rich variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which give them the chance to exchange a good AP exam score for college credit at many four-year universities. For the past year, freshmen could also select AP Environmental Science and AP Human Geography, allowing the youngest students the chance to succeed in college-level coursework.
“These science and social studies courses are a real opportunity for freshmen,” says Adams.
Students who are looking to study a discipline not offered at Roseville High School can take advantage of dual enrollment opportunities through a partnership with Macomb Community College, or participate in early college, which helps them earn a high school diploma and an associate degree concurrently in five years.
For students who want to jumpstart their careers while still in high school, Roseville High School offers rich career and technical education (CTE) choices, including auto tech, building trades, machine trades, marketing, web design, woodworking and culinary arts.
A community bond has allowed the district to build a new full-service restaurant at the high school, which means students no longer have to travel to the middle school facility to learn the fundamentals of food preparation, customer service and restaurant management. The high school restaurant will be completed by the end of the year.
In many cases, the hands-on skills students learn are augmented by something that is more difficult to teach, but critical for success in the working world: the ability to solve problems. A skill that sets workers apart from their peers, problem solving is integral to all career technical education offerings at Roseville High School, especially in welding and metal fabrication and Project Innovation, or mechatronics/robotics, two new programs for this year.
As its name suggests, Project Innovation ignites creative problem solving through project-based learning, which engages concepts in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). “Our class will get students involved in STEAM-related topics such as simple robotics and engineering while incorporating students’ creative abilities to make technology functional and aesthetically pleasing,” says Bob Smitka, lead instructor with Project Innovation. “Students will dive deep into engineering challenges sponsored by the Square One Education Network, such as underwater robotics, remote control car engineering, and leading up to autonomous vehicles in our level two class.”
The course is designed to mimic problem-solving opportunities found in the real world, which includes learning through trial and error, something Smitka calls “failing forward.” More than 80 students are currently enrolled in this course and will learn in a new robotics makerspace lab, funded through a community bond.
Welding students will “brainstorm and research ideas, design and draw plans and, finally, manufacture a physical working piece from start to finish,” says teacher Matt Komarowski. “The students will learn and use many different skills plus gain experience throughout the construction of their project. Classes like this provide the skills and experience that can open doors to a future career.”
Roseville High School graduates who have participated in any of the CTE offerings are fully prepared to enter apprenticeships and start earning right away, Adams says.
Content brought to you by Roseville Community Schools. For more information, visit rosevillepride.org.