Through a program enacted by the Washington State Legislature, we have been approved to run an Open Doors Program at NCTA. This provides students with the opportunity to enhance personal skills in a variety of academic areas while working towards a high school diploma.
We will work closely with students to ensure academic goals are being met, as well as assisting with career and college readiness skills--what we're already doing in our NCTA Skills Center programs! We will monitor each student’s progress regularly and adjusts lessons accordingly.
The curriculum is done in approximately 6 week module workshops so students as a learning community can dive deep into project-based inquiry and make academic gains during this time.
To qualify, students will need to:
- be currently enrolled (or has been previously enrolled) as a NCTA Skills Center Student
- have shown a commitment to and success in their NCTA Skills Center program
- between the ages of 16 and not older than 21
- be committed to earning a high school diploma
- not be on track to graduate, not currently in school (other than NCTA) or at risk of not graduating
NCTA Open Doors, New MVSD Open Doors Program
The Northwest Career & Technical Academy is a Washington State Regional Skills Center comprised of eight consortium districts, over twenty partnering high schools and Skagit Valley College. Since starting in 2010, students have found the contextualized academic content to more accessible when embedded within the industry standards and curriculum. During this time, it has been noted there is a group of students that have not successfully completed their course work at their comprehensive high school during the semester or they may not attended a high school. In keeping with the Open Doors (1418) Youth Reengagement initiative, NCTA Open Doors will provide education and related services building on the student success in contextualized learning and want to complete their secondary education with a high school diploma. This program will:
- Be grounded in student engagement with community partners
- Create a pathway for students to realize their continued success towards a high school diploma and career and post-secondary transition
- Allow for achievement towards a diploma through competency credit as measured by empirical, externally validated assessments
- Provide direct connection and coaching to post-secondary achievement through a context-based support model with performance-based assessments
The intention of NCTA Open Doors is to support successful, career-launching students who are at risk of not completing high school. This program’s participation is by student choice only.
Admissions to NCTA Open Doors
NCTA Open Doors is open to students that have the following attributes:
- Successful participation in their current or former NCTA Skills Center Program
- Not on track to reach graduation with their home high school/district
- Focused on obtaining a high school diploma and being prepared for direct career entry and post-secondary training
As with all student placements within NCTA Skills Center, NCTA Open Doors will continue to work collaboratively with the students’ resident high school (or district in some cases) for student referrals into the NCTA Open Doors Program. Students may also initiate the referral process. Additionally, Students must meet eligibility requirements per WAC 392-700-035.
Students will submit an application to NCTA Opens Doors after a pre-counseling meeting with staff from NCTA and/or their home school/district.
Student success at NCTA Skills Center is driven by student choice to step up and into a career preparation pathway, commitment to a learning cohort of like-minded students and contextualized learning with industry-based instructors and strong community partnerships. NCTA Open Doors is fundamental shift from traditional, comprehensive education and most Open Doors programs. It builds on the already proven successful learning environment for our students. The core of NCTA Open Doors is the replication of these three critical supports for success; student choice, committed learning communities and real-world, project-based context.
Intake – High School and Beyond Plan
The intent of the first unit in which student are engaged, is to develop a strong and committed cohort and a High School and Beyond Plan within an on-going portfolio of students’ goals and accomplishments. A transcript evaluation will be completed and incorporated into the High School and Beyond Plan. Students will complete an aptitude-based career assessment, a baseline math/ELA assessment and career interest inventory as foundational benchmarks for their High School and Beyond Plan. The cohort engagement will include activities to build a culture of inclusion and intentional team building within NCTA Open Doors. These activities will include field experiences, community engagement with partners and opportunities to engage in a real-life problem solving through community service. Each student will be required to develop, maintain and present their High School and Beyond Portfolio multiple times to a panel comprised of industry, community and school representatives. This portfolio will provide evidence of meeting academic and career/education transition goals.
Modularized Learning and Competency Credit
Students at NCTA Skills Center are successful in academics, career development and leadership growth due to deep-dive into career preparation. The NCTA Open Doors instructional model will replicate this learning environment. Students will be assessed and earn credit based on competencies. This is a combination of longitudinal math/ELA assessments, individual learning plans and validated performance assessments based on the High School and Beyond Plan for each student. These include but are not limited to:
- Students would be eligible to earn English Language Arts or Math Credit based on reaching bench mark levels on an growth measures exam such as ACCUPLACER, CASAS, SAT/ACT or other college-level readiness indicators
- Credit may be earned for external, individual plans such as Work-Based Learning, Health and Fitness training, and community partner activities
- Specific academic credits may be earned from the successful completion of standards under the direction of a certificated teacher within the context of a project-based workshop.
- Students would be eligible to earn competency credit such as English, Mathematics Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health and Fitness, and Electives as measured by empirical, externally validated assessments such as Precision Exams through an approved credit crosswalk document
- The World Language or Personalized Pathway Requirement will also be addressed within the students’ High School and Beyond Plan
Students will attend daily, for two and a half hours on every scheduled school day, opposite their NCTA Skills Center career instructional block. Students will participate in four to eight week project-based workshops instructed by business/industry professionals, community agency partners, and other contracted short-term instructors. These workshops will integrate specific learning objectives focused on students preparing to meet the competency measures listed above with project activities that enhance leadership and practice academic skills.
Each student will be assigned to a case manager, who will be responsible to coach the student through the intake process. The case manager will also maintain regular face-to-face meetings with the student and communicate weekly to support each student’s progress. Documentation for meeting participation and indicators of academic progress will be maintained and submitted by each case manager. Specific support services provided by case managers are:
- Intake testing and advisement
- Supporting development of student High School and Beyond Plan and portfolio
- Program orientation and integration
- Transcript analysis and academic advisement
- Supporting student participation in external individualized learning opportunities
- Career planning and transition preparation for post-high school education or employment
- Barrier identification and mitigation
- Connection to external resources for barrier mitigations and supports
Special Education Services
Special education students participating in NCTA Open Doors will have the Individual Education Plan (IEP) re-evaluated, re-written to reflect current level and goals within the career-focused NCTA Open Doors Program. IEP case management and instructional services will be provided by NCTA Open Doors Special Education Certificated Staff.
IEPs would be written to include their areas of qualifications and SDI to be included within the NCTA Open Doors courses. The case manager will oversee, plan, and monitor the Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) using the same model as when special education students are in the general education classes at any high school. There would not be a separate learning strategies or resource room; students could be pulled out occasionally on a case-by-case basis if progress was not being made within the NCTA Open Doors class.