Hope College and Career Readiness Academy
Location & Hours
Traditional education routes are not working for all youth in the Phoenix Metropolitan area.
Traditional education routes have led to failure, isolation, and hopelessness for 33% of our
South Phoenix Community teens and young adults. In contrast, MCRSD has built its reputation on providing comprehensive and rigorous educational programs in a non‐traditional manner to meet the needs of a population of students who have gone underserved and overlooked. Disconnected Youth need opportunities to return to school and receive specialized training while obtaining their high school diploma, Hope College and Career Readiness Academy will make a significant impact on the lives of youth currently not invested in education or the workforce.
Hope College and Career Readiness Academy will deliver an educational program built on the
founding principles of Big Picture Learning. The most important element of the education at a
Big Picture Learning school is that students learn in the real world. The main component of
every student’s education is the LTI (Learning through Internship/Interest). In this internship
with an expert mentor in the field of the student’s interest, the student completes an authentic project that benefits the student and the mentor at the internship site. The projects are connected to the student’s interests and meet the needs of the mentors, and are the main root to deepening student learning and academic growth. There are three primary reasons for connecting real world, adult mentors to the schooling process: 1. Students learn how to be adults by being with adults. Teenagers are on the brink of adulthood, and we believe the best way for them to learn how to be an adult is by being immersed in the adult world. With
mentoring, a young person steps into that adult world on a regular basis, and interacts with a
variety of adults. Mentoring moves a young person beyond the familiarity of the adults in his or her personal life and provides a broader range of role models. 2. The expertise is out in the real world. Advisors know a great deal about human development and their own specialties. The expertise of a mentor in her/his field is valuable to both the student and to the advisor.
Mentors become living examples of the careers that students are thinking of pursuing. 3. The
guidance is invaluable. The mentor‐intern relationship is special for people of all ages. The
guidance and direction that mentors give is personal, and based on the intern’s own particular needs, talents, and interests. There is a level of comfort in this kind of guidance that makes it possible to learn through both accomplishments and mistakes. For teenagers, it can be an especially important haven during the tumultuousness of adolescence.
Learning at Hope College and Career Readiness Academy is not constrained by the school day or to the school year – it is constrained only by the guiding principle that learning must be personalized, educating one student at a time. The philosophy of educating one student at a time expands beyond “academic” work and involves looking at and working with each student holistically. Each student’s work is documented on an individual learning plan created and updated each quarter (or trimester) with the learning team (the student, parent(s), advisor, and whenever possible, internship mentor) in a learning plan meeting. All the components that make up the student’s learning experience – the curriculum; the learning environment; the use of time during the school day; the choice of workshops or college classes; the focus and depth
of investigation through learning goals – is developed based on the student’s individual
interests, talents, and needs. Personalizing education is about doing what’s best for kids –
pushing and pulling at the right time, not dictating or punishing, but problem‐solving and
mediating. Overall, the school’s job is to know each student well and to provide the right
measures of challenge and support for each student in order to promote growth. Students must also take responsibility for and ownership of their learning by pursuing their interests and
passions deeply in the real world and at school.