FIRST: Fostering Innovation & Relevance Through STEM and Trades
Project Lead: The College and Career Academy at Pruden
Program Focus: The program at the Governor’s STEM Academy focuses on the integration of STEM concepts and engineering embodied in industrial trades, health sciences, automotive technology, information technology and human services career fields.
Academy Website: The College and Career Academy at Pruden
Application: Board of Education Approved Governor’s Academy Application (PDF)
Partnership Members: The College and Career Academy at Pruden; Suffolk Economic Development; Paul D. Camp Community College; Hampton Roads Research Partnership; Suffolk City Public Schools; City of Suffolk Public Works-GIS, Storm Water, and Planning Divisions; Old Dominion University; MYMIC; Virginia Cyber Alliance; and VMASC.
Lead Entity: The College and Career Academy at Pruden
Fiscal Agent: City of Suffolk Public Schools
Mrs. Connie Burgess, Principal
The College and Career Academy at Pruden
The College and Career Academy at Pruden
4169 Pruden Boulevard
Suffolk, VA 23434
Number of Students Served: Forty-five high school students.
Career Pathways: Engineering & Technology, Diagnostic Services, Personal Care Services, Facility & Mobile Equipment Maintenance, and Network Systems
Academy Goals and Description: The program of study for the FIRST Academy includes two career pathways: Interactive Media with a specialization in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Engineering and Technology with a specialization in Modeling and Simulation. The Pruden Center focused efforts for the 2008-2009 school year on implementing the Modeling and Simulation Support Specialist instructional program, as part of the Engineering and Technology career pathway. Implementation efforts for the 2009-2010 school year focused on GIS, as part of the Interactive Media career pathway. Long-range plans include developing additional programs of study in the Information Technology cluster.
The FIRST Academy instructional programs focus on the integration of academics and Career and Technical Education (CTE), enhanced career development/guidance services, work-based learning opportunities, industry credential opportunities and transition agreements, thus creating a seamless transition to postsecondary education and/or high-demand, high-wage, high-skill employment.
The goals of the FIRST partnership are to:
- Increase opportunities for students to receive rigorous academic instruction contextually as a component of career and technical education program offerings.
- Increase emphasis on STEM career pathways.
- Develop individualized high school plans to ensure course selections that are aligned with student postsecondary education and career aspirations.
- Ensure that graduates complete a college and work readiness curriculum, minimally at the level of the Standard-Technical Diploma-Course of Study.
- Incorporate and access Virginia's Workplace Readiness Skills.
- Support student attainment of related industry credentials.
- Support student attainment of dual-credit for CTE and academic coursework.
Highlights of the Academy:
- Dual enrollment opportunities will be available through Paul D. Camp Community College.
- Students completing the Engineering and Technology pathway will have the option of pursuing an Associate of Science degree in Modeling and Simulation Technology through the Virginia Community College System. This degree prepares students to enter the work force, and/or transition to a baccalaureate program at Old Dominion University.
- Students completing the Interactive Media pathway will have the option of pursuing a Career Studies Certificate in Surveying and/or an Associate of Liberal Arts degree through the Virginia Community College System, enabling them to transition to a baccalaureate program at Old Dominion University.
- FIRST Academy students will receive enhanced science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction through: contextual application/course integration, monthly contextualized STEM focus sessions, related career and technical student organizations (CTSO) activities and enhanced career planning/development.
- The FIRST Academy students will complete a cap-stone project including a portfolio, research paper and project components. As part of completing program requirements, graduates of the FIRST Academy will achieve one or more of the following benchmarks: industry credential/certification, student portfolio, and/or transferable college credit.
- The design of the Modeling and Simulation Support Specialist I and II and GIS courses will support a variety of learning experiences such as project-based learning, simulations, field trips, virtual partnerships, and guest speaker presentations.
- The design of the Modeling and Simulation Support Specialist I and II and GIS courses will also support a variety of external workplace learning experiences such as Student Technical Internships (STIs), job-shadowing, and mentorship experiences.