By Terry Rogers
Milford School District has released their new course catalog for the 2017-18 School Year. The new catalog is markedly different from catalogs used by the school in the past and details the changes made to curriculum that the district hopes will better prepare students for college and careers after graduation.
“The new catalog dedicates a two-page section to each offered major and has a profound focus on providing students with a roadmap through their high school education and into postsecondary college and career options associated with each high school major or combination of majors,” Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent, said. “the two pages devoted to each major describe a program of study including a sequence of academic and major-specific courses, suggested electives, student organizations associated with the major, potential college credit earned through dual enrollment and Advanced Placement offerings relative to the major, senior options or work-based learning possibilities and associated technical certifications or other credentials that may be eared as part of the major. This course catalog is updated to reflect a holistic view of Milford High School offerings for students and families. The catalog is student-focused and even includes a four-year plan component in the back for students to fill in and refer to within their yearly scheduling process.”
Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, students will no longer choose “pathways” as they have in previous years. Instead, the students will choose a “major” much like they would be required to do at the college level. In addition, various departments in the high school will be referred to as schools as most colleges and universities do. Dr. Dickerson said that these terms more align with college nomenclature so that students become more familiar with college-level academics. He said that this will help students understand the link between their high school studies and their options at the post-secondary level. Students will study at Schools of Agriscience, Business and Finance, Education and Career Studies, Health Sciences, Modern Studies, Art and Design, as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
“The revisions to major offerings provide our students with more educational options, educational opportunities that better align with present and future post-secondary needs and extensive flexibility in the determination of their educational plan,” Dr. Dickerson said. “Within the majors, five areas of locally approved majors and four state approved career-technical majors are either new or recently revised.” With the 2017-18 school year, the district has added College Scholars, Performing/Visual Arts, Humanities, Sports and Health Sciences as well as Pre-Engineering, locally approved additions that align with student interest surveys, community emphasis and postsecondary options.
In addition to these locally approved majors, Milford High School has taken advantage of the state’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative and support, which include start-up funds, to add four new career technical programs. Allied Health is in direct response to the Milford community’s healthcare excellence and employment opportunities within an array of local healthcare provers and services. Computer Science provides students with learning experiences relative to the expanding IT industry nationwide and much needed STEM program offering. The K-12 Teacher Academy provides students with exposure to education fields, connections to the Educator Rising student organization, dual enrollment course offerings and partnerships with in-state post-secondary educational institutions. Dr. Dickerson said that there are already many students at Milford High School who belong to the Educator Rising Student Organization. The Academy of Finance major encompasses many aspects within the business world, including economics, accounting, sales, international trade and financial services, which relate to various high need and high demand workforce areas. This major replaces the current accounting major and expands opportunities for students interested in related fields.
“Each major allows students to create custom programs of study, or course sequences, from a selection of courses,” Dr. Dickerson said. “For example, a College Scholar major has flexibility to engage in one of a number of combinations of Advanced Placement and dual enrollment courses to complete the major. In trying to offer as much programming as possible to meet our students’ unique needs, students may elect to study dual majors to get a head start for their future college program of study or career field. A student aspiring to be a Civil or Mechanical Engineer may study both Structures and Systems Technology and Pre-Engineering with a focus on Physics. Students interested in studying the Arts, for which Milford has a rich tradition of excellence, will have the opportunity in our locally approved majors to have a well-rounded foundation by choosing majors in Humanities, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Digital Design Technology and/or Marketing.”
Dr. Dickerson said that the district welcomes input from the community as well as dialogue between business owners regarding what skills are necessary in the workplace. He said schools have been supported extremely well by local business and that they very much appreciate the support. The district participates in Chamber of Commerce Committees that include local business and industry representatives, receiving feedback and information from business leaders regarding what knowledge students will need to enter the workforce. Businesses are welcome to reach out to the district with any information regarding skills necessary for their industry by calling 302-422-1600 or email Dr. Dickerson at email@example.com, Dr. Jason Peel, Director of Secondary Education, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Bridget Amory, Director of Elementary Education at email@example.com.
Copies of the new course catalog can be picked up at any time from the Milford High School Guidance Office. It is also available in an online version at within the Academic heading on the Milford High School website. Each Milford High School student will receive a copy of the catalog during the scheduling process. Counselors have begun meeting with groups of students to discuss their course options and interests for the upcoming school year. During the process, students utilize the course catalog as a guide in selecting courses that best align with their major and program of study as well as their postsecondary goals. Students are encouraged to take the catalog home and use it in discussions with their parents. The district is also mailing a course catalog to each eighth-grade family so they have it in hand for the March 9th scheduling meeting at Milford High School. The meeting begins at 6 PM and is open to all eighth-grade students.
“As we continue reshaping our menu of majors, we realize it will be vital for us to seek much Greater Milford area business and industry input within the development of future new majors and educational opportunities for our students,” Dr. Dickerson said. “We have made some important strides but we still have continuing work to do in this area to best serve our students and the community. We want to thank and acknowledge our many instructional lead teachers, school counselors and school administration for their input on the new course catalog. We plan to continue to update the catalog on a yearly basis and work to offer students the best programs available. This has been a collaborative effort and we are grateful to the many stakeholders who helped create it.”
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