CRHS awarded $100,000 Career Pathways grant
NJ Department of Education award to enhance career pathway academy programs at CRHS
Cumberland Regional High School (CRHS) has been awarded a $100,000 New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) grant, renewable for each of four additional years to total $500,000 in career pathways grant funding from 2016 through 2021. The award will allow CRHS to develop and implement a Biomedical Life Sciences Academy program and enhance its existing academy programs to provide students with opportunities to cultivate knowledge, skills, experience, and credentials leading to college and career success in high-demand fields of study and employment.
The Biomedical Life Sciences Academy, encompassing areas of study including human medicine, physiology, genetics, microbiology, and public health, will serve as a sixth career pathway option available to CRHS students, which currently offers academy programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Information Technology, Justice Studies, Dramatic Arts, and Agriculture.
The grant, awarded through the NJDOE Building Capacity for Career Pathways: A Pilot Program for Comprehensive High Schools program, will provide Cumberland Regional with vital professional development resources and funds to create state-of-the-art Biomedical Life Sciences facilities and enhance academy resources at the high school, provide hands-on experience in a range of areas of study within the targeted fields, and coordinate academy-focused curriculum and instruction with the Cumberland Regional constituent districts.
“Our academy programs are offering pathways to success that make Cumberland Regional High School the premier local option for students eager to build bright futures,” said Bonnie Powers, CRHS Supervisor of Curriculum. “In providing key support for the expansion of these programs, including the addition of a Biomedical Life Sciences Academy, this grant will provide Cumberland County youth a jump-start on advancement in highly needed and greatly fulfilling fields of study.”
The multi-year grant will kick off with an intensive capacity-building period of professional development and program planning to take place now through early spring 2017, to occur in conjunction with enrollment of a first cohort of students who will complete the initial course in the academy sequence during the 2016-17 school year, followed by full implementation and evaluation of the Biomedical Life Sciences Academy program between March 2017 and July 2021. CRHS plans to enroll a new cohort of Biomedical Life Sciences Academy students each year and strengthen the existing career pathways in accordance with community needs during this grant period.
Enrollment in the CRHS academies is open to all incoming ninth-graders from the Cumberland Regional constituent districts of Deerfield, Fairfield, Greenwich/Stow Creek, Hopewell, and Upper Deerfield, in addition to out-of-district students for the Agriculture Academy through School Choice. The Biomedical Life Sciences Academy is currently enrolling eighth-graders for program implementation beginning in the 2016-17 school year.
Like the CRHS STEM program, the Biomedical Life Sciences Academy will offer core program courses that follow the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way curriculum, which emphasizes collaboration, research/evidence-based approaches, and problem-based learning that encourages students to be engaged, active participants in their educational experiences. Core classes will cover principles of Biomedical Science, human body systems, medical interventions, and biomedical innovation; this curriculum will be supported with coursework in math, science, language arts, social studies/history, physical education/health, and electives such as foreign language and fine arts. Classroom instruction will be supplemented with participation in national career and technical education organizations, job-shadowing and internship experiences, and advanced learning opportunities developed in partnership with institutions of higher education and industry leaders.
“The academy model elevates the opportunities at CRHS to a whole new level of excellence,” said Superintendent Steven W. Price. “The educational experience at Cumberland Regional truly couples traditional strengths of the comprehensive high school, such as Advanced Placement courses and extracurricular activities, with the benefits of trailblazing programs that address the urgent need to prepare effectively for the future at the high school level.”