Campbellsville High School is offering another program for students to prepare for life after graduation. Students chosen to participate will be immersed in internship training for their future careers, while at the same time completing their classroom studies. The program is part of a Big Picture Learning initiative, which began on a full scale at CHS in the 2019-2020 school year. Students who apply to participate and are accepted can choose to attend school on three days per week and work at internships for the other two days. Students who want to participate in the Big Picture Learning program, but want to remain on their current academic schedule, can work at internships for a few hours each day. With the addition of the Big Picture Learning program, there are now four learning pathways available for CHS students, including the Big Picture Learning full and hybrid programs and college and career preparatory pathways.
All pathways allow students the opportunity to take Advanced Placement and dual credit college-level courses.
Big Picture Learning Pathway
In this pathway, students will attend classes at CHS on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, to complete their core content and graduation requirements. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students will work at their internships.
Big Picture Learning Hybrid Pathway
They will also prepare a culminating activity to present what they have learned during their internships.
College Preparatory Pathway
In this pathway, students can pursue a wide variety of Advanced Placement and dual credit courses to help them prepare for college. AP courses include human geography, government and politics, U.S. history, biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, language and composition, literature and composition, computer science principles and computer science. Dual credit courses are college algebra and trigonometry, chemistry and freshman composition I and II. Through taking AP and dual credit classes, students can earn college credits while still attending high school.
Career Preparatory Pathway
In this pathway, students can earn industry-recognized job certificates, along with college credit. Programs are offered on the CHS campus in computer science and family and consumer sciences.
At the Green County Area Technology Center and Central Kentucky Career Academy, students can participate in welding, industrial maintenance, pre-nursing, marketing, auto maintenance and repair, machine tool and dye, wood manufacturing, phlebotomy and pharmacy technician programs.
Campbellsville Independent Schools Superintendent Kirby Smith said the discussion about offering the Big Picture Learning program began about four years ago, when he was principal at CHS. He told students and parents attending Big Picture Night that he and other administrators want to change the way students receive their instruction and expand their experiences and opportunities. Smith said he is excited and happy that CHS students will be able to participate in what will be a great opportunity and learning experience. He said he and several CHS administrators have visited Big Picture Learning schools to see the program firsthand.
“So it’s something we’re invested in. We think it’s great,” Smith said. “We think it’s going to be great for the kids.”
Smith said “school” today must be different, because students are learning differently.When students get to high school today, he said, many say they don’t know when asked what they want to do with their lives.
“Well, why would they know, if they haven’t been given opportunities,” he said.
Smith said he believes the Big Picture Learning program will truly help students develop their career interests and discover where they will be led after leaving their high school. CHS Principal Weston Jones said he is excited about the opportunities the Big Picture Learning program will offer his students.
“CHS students will have a unique opportunity to learn through real world experiences and internships while participating in the Big Picture Learning program,” he said.
“Education is constantly evolving, and we want our students to be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the career path they choose after graduation.”
Jones said students have expressed excitement about the Big Picture Learning program, in that they can explore a variety of career paths while making connections with local business owners and community members through internships. At Big Picture Night, Jones said students can truly learn via their internships what career they would like to pursue in the future. They can also learn what they would not like to pursue.
“We want to encourage students to think outside the box,” he said.
There are many internships available, Jones said, and at many types of businesses.
“This is for any student at Campbellsville High School,” he said, whether the student wants to become a mechanic, nurse, attorney, teacher, veterinarian, banker, chef, cosmetologist or work in any other career.
He said students won’t be limited to participating in only one type of internship.
“We want them to explore and truly find out what they want to do after high school,” he said. “That’s the main goal of this.”
CHS Guidance Counselor Richard Dooley said he is excited to see the Big Picture Learning program begin on a full scale, and be open to all CHS students.
“It’s really exciting to get this great program up and running,” he said. “This program can really benefit not only our students, but the community as well, as business and industry leaders get the opportunity to help develop their future workforce.”
The program allows for a true partnership between CHS and the community, Dooley said.
“This isn’t us as a school looking for a monetary donation, but rather a donation of time and influence on the lives of young people.”
Applications to participate in the Big Picture Learning program are available at the CHS main office.