Preparing students for university life and beyond

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It is becoming increasingly clear that students need real-world skills to succeed in the future of work as we dive deeper into the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The ability to apply knowledge from the classroom and into the real world is no longer something nice to have, but a necessity.

Episcopal High School (EHS) is one such school in the United States that provides students with a comprehensive education that shapes their growth and uniquely prepares them for success in college life and beyond. EHS is a 100% private boarding school for boys and girls in grades 9-12.

“We provide an immersive experience that no other school can provide,” said Jeremy Goldstein, the Executive Director of EHS’ McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage . The school is nestled on a 130-acre residential campus, located just minutes from the heart of the nation’s capital – Washington, D.C. – which serves as an extension of the classroom under The Washington Program.

An immersive learning experience in a metropolitan center

Episcopal High School is a setting that fosters a supportive learning environment for students where lasting friendships are formed. Source: Episcopal High School

The Washington Program is an experiential learning opportunity where students explore Washington, D.C., through the lens of four concentrations: Cultural Awareness, Entrepreneurship, Public Policy, and Sustainability.

As part of the program, the Metropolitan Center serves as a “classroom” where students learn, stretch, and grow in their personal and professional abilities. Students can engage in a weekly exploration of the city to learn new things, such as how the US government works and how cultural heritage shapes society.

Students gain different sets of skills and experiences that will broaden their horizons and better prepare them for the real world. Goldstein notes that students take weekly trips to Washington, DC, in small groups for deeper learning aligned directly with their college studies.

Since the opening of the 2021-2022 school year, faculty and students have accessed Washington, D.C., in curriculum-related experiences that include the Interactive Advanced American History Study of Mount Vernon (the home of George Washington); Advanced Chemistry by visiting the historic Apothecary of Alexandria to study the development of compounds in medicine; and Advanced Global Studies Course: Food History and Politics by spending the day on an organic farm to learn about sustainable agriculture.

Senior internships that prepare students for university life and beyond

Source: Episcopal High School

With Senior Externships, students encounter challenges outside of the classroom in a work environment. Source: Episcopal High School

The final stage of the student EHS experience includes the four-week Senior Clerkship, which provides qualified senior students with “professional” experience during the last month of their academic year. This gives them a chance to engage with a business or organization in the greater Washington metropolitan area.

Their carefully designed evening programs prepare students for a real-world experience. Students participate in a myriad of activities, from self-defense classes to financial literacy workshops and cohort meetings.

Many of their students complete internships at EHS partner companies, government agencies, nonprofits, among other organizations. This year’s externship hosts include DC Superior Court judges, a New York Times bestselling author and a neurogenetics specialist at Children’s National Medical Center.

Some students engage in freelance work or take online courses to learn workforce-ready skills such as coding and design. Others are enrolled in Launch 2021, an EHS entrepreneurship course delivered in partnership with humble ventures, a venture capital firm.

Despite the busy schedule, senior day schools are not all work and no play – students also have the opportunity to have fun together during their last days in Washington, D.C. It is an experience that has proved useful to many of their students.

“With our clerkship being the cornerstone, it provides an opportunity to explore early on what students can expect to become in the future. We have a number of stories that led to them being hired and continuing their later careerssays Goldstein, who oversees the externship program.

The program also aims to ensure that students from diverse backgrounds benefit from the opportunities Washington, D.C. has to offer. Goldstein said the school noted that access to some externship and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C., often centered on students’ established family relationships, which meant that not all students had access. to high-level day schools.

In response to ensuring both equal access and diverse externship opportunities for all, EHS has strategically expanded its network of partners to include more traditionally marginalized businesses and individual-led organizations, Goldstein explains.

“Now, with students connected to more diverse leaders, the benefit is twofold: students of color can see their own identities reflected in current leaders, and white students can work in diverse teams with a wide range of identities,” says Goldstein.

Ultimately, internships help students explore their career interests and ease their transition to college and beyond. To learn more about Episcopal High School, Click here.

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