Grand Rapids University Prep Academy’s school model uniquely blends students’ passions and interests with academically appropriate projects and experiences (both on-campus and off) that inspire, motivate and make classroom learning authentic and engaging. By pursuing what they already love, students stay excited about learning, connected to school and interested in graduating from college so they can achieve their dream job.
University Prep Academy’s TEEN CEO program allows students to begin exploring the correlation between their interests and potential careers.
In 6th and 7th grades, professionals representing many different industries visit the school. University Prep Academy partners with Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes to secure these quality speakers.
In 8th grade, each student participates in a half-day, off-site Job Shadow opportunity specific to their interests. The goal is for students to discover the breadth of jobs that may be directly related to those interests. It is an opportunity to expand their horizons beyond what they already know to what could possibly be. While much of this process is self-discovery, it is important for students to have guidance from mentors who can help nurture them along by answering their questions and sharing in their learning.
Beginning in high school, students participate each year in a professional internship where they are off-site at a business or organization for two days each week for ten weeks. Each student’s advisor (teacher) works with the student and the internship mentor to develop a project and timeline that benefits both the student and the host site. The advisor remains actively involved in each student’s internship, visiting the site periodically, as well as checking the progress of the project and the student’s overall participation at the host site. (View WZZM feature on internship from spring 2011) (View WOTV feature on internship from spring 2012)
Here is a YouTube Video of our law students who worked with Cooley Law and various law firms, including Varnum.
Each component of the TEEN CEO program scaffolds off the other to create a sound understanding of career opportunities, skills critical to the success in different careers, college degrees required or helpful for those jobs and direct experience working within various industries.
The TEEN CEO program is also supplemented with multiple college campuses visits annually beginning in 6th grade, participation to college career fairs at local universities beginning in 8th grade, and review of college applications and scholarship opportunities beginning in high school.
Our students receive a vital introduction and intentional, continuous development of career exploration. The TEEN CEO program helps ensure that today’s students become the corporate and civic leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators needed tomorrow.