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PCSSD Students Get Jump Start on College, Careers

Academy format allows them to take regular courses along with electives in the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math) or classes such as marketing, education and business.
MAUMELLE, AR - Students in the Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) are getting a jump start on college and careers as the district moves to an academy format next year. 

Students are preparing for their futures and could be saving some money as they head off to college as well. 

While it's hard enough to get your teen to remember to take out the trash or clean their room this concept pushes them to decide on a college major and career goals in high school.

"It's hard to really want to do them, you go home and you want to play with your friends," says student Perryn Andrews. "It's definitely difficult because that decision is gonna be, it's going to reflect what you want to do for the rest of your life."

To help students like Perryn (who's decided to be an engineer) narrow careers down a bit, Maumelle High School was one of the first PCSSD schools to shift to an academy format for incoming freshmen this school year - pushing college and career readiness.

Deputy PCSSD Superintendent Dr. Laura Bednar says students can choose to take courses in STEM or classes such as education and marketing.

"This gives students the chance to work with potentially future employers, experience and shadow, if you will, careers and jobs that they are interested in now in high school," she explains. 

Maumelle High School has also teamed up with three colleges and Universities in Central Arkansas. One of them is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. They give Maumelle students who are enrolled in the program college credit.

"I think the success of this, when you meet these students and hear the real world experience that they're having with these mentors and community leaders, there's nothing that can take the place of that," says Dr. Bednar.

"In college you're paying for classes you might not be interested in two years later," says Perryn.

Nothing can take the place of getting a jump start on life after graduation by saving time and money.
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