WHS introduces Career Emphasis Program

The Career Emphasis Program is a new resource to help WHS students pursue a career pathway in the science field.

The WHS science department created the CEP program during the 2021–22 school year as a tool to help students get a head start in their science career, according to the WHS CEP website. The department strives to incentivize students to take courses and complete activities that focus on science, develop career–based skills, make content more relevant and provide context for doing the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices. 

“The idea of the program is to introduce kids early on to career paths,” said CEP adviser Scott Holloway. ”The program is a little fluid as we’re working through the kinks, but we’re having students participate in taking the correct classes that line up with their career and then doing extra research and activities that relate to that career.”

The program consists of two steps, with the first step requiring the completion of three science classes in the Course Emphasis sequence. While taking these courses, the student will complete the point system of step two. 

“We’ve designed three different categories we want students to investigate careers through,” said Holloway. “One is on campus, mostly club–based. Another is more of a community outreach, and the third is [the] most flexible, it can be an individual project or a competition that you want to do that relates to the career path.”

Once these steps were completed, students submitted their evidence, which was due on May 2.

“Once you have completed the 3 courses in your Emphasis and accumulated enough points from the Career Emphasis Opportunities, with at least one from each category, you can submit your evidence to earn recognition for completing the Career Emphasis Program.” said the WHS Science CEP website. 

Evidence is an annual reflection through Canvas to your advisor for each CEO you complete. 

“Print the [verification] form and collect your signatures to confirm the completion of each CEO,” according to the CEP website. “At the end of each school year, take a photo of your form to add to your digital notebook, and turn in the signed hard copy of the form to your lead teacher by the submission due date. Seniors, submit your digital notebook and upload your transcripts to Canvas by the due date in May.”

While the CEP program evidence is only submitted by seniors, students are encouraged to get a start as soon as possible. 

“Next year, we’re going to have a big push early in the year [by] talking to our freshman and sophomores and really letting them know the value of this program,” said Holloway. “It is voluntary so not everyone will take advantage of it.”

Students’ eligibility for the program begins with the classes they take in their freshman year.

“The program takes into account all of the things I’ve done the past four years,” said biology emphasis student Katie Chavez ‘22. “This includes my volunteering and the AP science classes I’ve taken.”

Chavez volunteered at a local creek, an activity that relates to her interest in biological engineering, which is a pathway of the program.

“We cleaned [the creek] up and took data from the water,” said Chavez. “We wanted to see if copper pipes were damaging the creek.”

Chavez began the program as a senior, given that the 2021–22 school year is the first year that the CEP program is being offered.

“With everything I’ve done, I believe I’ve completed the program,” said Chavez.