What are Passages?

Passages Course Overview:

This repeatable semester general elective credit course provides enrichment activities for high school students who are interested in expanding their understanding of an area of personal academic interest. This class is open to 9th-12th graders and will emphasize the application of academic knowledge and the development of sound student traits. The course is designed to help develop the academic foundations necessary to be successful in school and help students to transition from high school to college and gainful employment.

Adventure: The focus of the Adventure Passage is a personal quest. This Passage is like the mythical hero’s journey. Leaving a familiar environment (physical, metaphysical, or emotional), he or she is tested through challenges, known and unknown, internal and external. In the end, transformed by success, the hero returns to the world ready for a new role.

Career Exploration: In this Passage you will explore a career related to your interests, passions, talents, and experiences. You may choose a vocation that would allow you to carry out your mission in life “create the world that ought to be.” Essential parts of this Passage are interviews, hands-on-experience in the chosen career, a résumé, an investigation into the training or education necessary to enter this field, and an exploration of related fields.

Community Involvement: This Passage gives you the opportunity to help create the world that ought to be. This is your chance to see that education truly does exist outside the walls of the school. The process of completing this Passage will help broaden your worldview. One person really can make a difference! You are to choose an issue about which you are passionate: one that affects your life and that you believe you can affect. Try to find a topic that you have been exposed to in the past, through classes, trips, or personal life experiences.

Creativity: In the Creativity Passage you will explore a concept, develop a design, and carry out a process to make a unique personal final product. The intent of this Passage is to help you understand the creative process, yours and others’. The ability to create is not “mystical” or a natural gift possessed only by a few. It is a process of generating ideas, planning, solving problems, and making changes and understanding WHY you made them. Creativity is not limited to the arts!

An essential component of this Passage is to extend skills and interests to a level of excellence in an area in which you have previous experience and expertise. Experience and expertise may have been acquired in a variety of ways, including classes, independent studies, or apprenticeships.

Logical Inquiry: A Logical Inquiry Passage is a mental challenge, following a process to discover an answer to a question or problem that has personal meaning and relevance to you. This Passage is about thinking and rethinking a problem, introducing a variable, and measuring the effects of that variable. The process demands the use of reasoning, problem solving, research, investigation, data collection, analysis, synthesis, conclusions, and self-critique.

Practical Skills: Generally speaking, in a Practical Skills Passage you do something for yourself that ordinarily someone else has done for you, such as baking bread or building a 747. Often this involves a manual skill and will yield some product besides a journal or written description of what you have done. If you are a “hands-on” person, you may want to do this Passage first. However, you should not limit your thinking to manual skills exclusively. For example, students have completed this Passage through such activities as learning a second language, living on their own, and improving communication skills.