Waikele Elementary School held its 2nd annual academy pathway showcase, which proudly displayed the final projects of its nationally distinct academy pathway program. Final projects included everything from architectural structures, engineered machines, bottle rockets, entrepreneurial brochures, paintings, knitted products, collages, self-portraits, and more.
Waikele Elementary is the only elementary school in the nation to fully integrate academy pathways into its school design. This design prepares students for college, careers and community with explorative learning experiences that spark and shape student passion.
The academy pathways include: arts and communication, health services, business, industrial and engineering technology, natural resources, and public and human services. Examples of the Waikele Elementary academy pathway classes include everything from sewing, movie-making, nature art, basketball, nutrition, finance, STEM, coding, architecture, cooking, veterinary studies, and much more.
This intentional alignment to Hawaii’s
Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with college and career learning experiences through elective courses typically reserved for secondary level students. Student voice is clearly evident, as the relevant and innovative academy pathway classes offered are selected by the students based on their own interests and aspirations. This unique, student-centered design, aligned to CTE career pathways/academies, also features multi-age classes, which provides equity and access to all students.
The integration of academy pathways into their school design fully aligns with and supports the Waipahu Complex’s commitment to providing challenging and relevant educational opportunities to prepare all students for college and career
success. It was established as a result of straight backward mapping from
Waipahu High School’s college and career academy school design. Waikele Elementary students are now exposed to the various college and career options to make more informed decisions as they navigate their paths to success.
National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC), the premiere organization supporting career academy work, will be holding its 23rd annual conference this fall in Philadelphia, PA. Waikele Elementary School will be representing Hawaii as the only elementary school and will be presenting on their innovative academy pathway program at this national conference of secondary and post-secondary educators and stakeholders.