ASU Prep formally announced the Academies at ASU Prep Poly High School for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. ASU Prep Poly STEM Academy High School will be the focus of our second year in our design partnership with Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. You may be aware that we focused year one of the design on the launch of the 7th and 8th grade Spark Institute, our school-within-a-school model for middle school learners. Next, is our focus on the continued enhancement of the high school learning environment.
What are the key enhancements students and families will see for next year?
- Increased College Course Access: ASU Preparatory Academy will expand college course-taking, investing in our high school learners for the first two university courses they take per semester for most courses (subject to approval for some courses). We will encourage all learners to graduate with as many college credits that they are ready to take on their pathways. No other Arizona schools offer such a direct link to a Research 1 University for all learners. Students will no longer need to test for credit; rather they will be able to enroll directly into rigorous ASU courses.
- Choose an Academy: Our ASU Prep Poly STEM students have the unique advantage of being part of the physical ASU Polytechnic campus. We plan to organize our school structure to leverage all that ASU has to offer our students. 9th-12th grade students will select an Academy to join as part of the course registration process. This is similar to a school-within-a-school model or the “house” concept in some other school models. Students will also select a graduation pathway that will help advise their course taking in their academy, and some academies will have multiple graduation pathways.
- New Personalized Approach to Electives: All high school students will take a project based learning course each year. Rather than have to choose from a limited number of electives which are subject to staffing and numbers, students will be able to incorporate several elective areas into their project based learning course. For example: the Business Academy Project Based Learning Elective might incorporate:
- Music-focused project
- Digital photography project
- Sustainability project
What are the Academies at Poly High School?
The Academies connect directly to the different colleges and programs offered right at ASU Polytechnic campus.
Note that the College of Integrated Science and Arts incorporates a broad number of interests including sciences, humanities, communication, and public service.
The counselors and teachers will invest time and programming for our 7th and 8th graders, and this year’s high school students, to learn more about the academies ahead of making a choice. There will be a procedure in place for requesting an academy change at a semester, as we realize students may still be exploring their passions and interests.
What makes the Academies at Poly High School different from other popular East Valley school options?
- The Academies are available to all learners. Our ASU Charter challenges us to ensure that we create opportunities for all learners to be included and succeed.
- The Academies encourage learners to graduate with at least 12 credits of college, though we anticipate more learners may be ready to take additional courses. Universal Learner courses are no cost to our ASU Prep students. No other east valley programs include the cost of college tuition as part of the program.
- The Academies provide direct access to faculty and community resources as part of the project based learning focus.
- The Academies incorporate new and innovative approaches to deeper learning that matters to students through project based learning based on their interests and passions.
- The Academies partner directly with Barrett, the Honors College to uniquely prepare our students to be strong applicants into a college-level honors program.