ACADEMIC HOUSES FAQs
The Academic Houses at Starkville High School strengthen the connection between what our students learn in the classroom and what they may do after graduation – making learning more meaningful and giving them the skills they need to be college and career ready.
Starkville High School offers 17 career pathways organized into three Academic Houses: Technology, Engineering and Construction (TEC), Communication, Arts and Business (CAB), and Health and Human Service (H2S). Each House is a small learning community that provides real-world experiences with local businesses and professionals, linking schoolwork and the workplace. Regular coursework, including math, language arts, science and history, is presented within the context and focus of each Academic House. Through engaging, hands-on experiences with support from business partners, post-secondary institutions and other organizations, The Academic Houses ensure students graduate with a plan for a successful future.
As eighth graders, students will enroll in Keystone where they will learn the skills necessary to be successful in high school. During this course, students will explore college and career options through experiential project-based learning to help them determine their interests and skills. At the end of this course, students choose to participate in one of the 17 career pathways available through the Academic Houses at Starkville High School. A student's chosen career pathway determines which Academic House he or she will call home for their high school experience.
- Smaller, personalized learning environments
- Partnerships with businesses that provide real-world, authentic learning experiences, including work-based internships and opportunities to learn from career professionals
- Focus on 21st century skills students need to succeed in college and life
- A culture of critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity
- Rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum
- Preparation for college or career
Colleges and future employers notice students who have the opportunity to develop real-world career skills through high school transcripts and diploma endorsements. No matter what Academic House our students choose, their courses of study will relate to real problems being faced by real companies. Opportunities like job shadowing and internships will provide hands-on experiences that help our students understand career options and provide increased technical and soft skills. In addition, pathways associated with a CTE course sequence offer students the opportunity to earn industry-related certifications that are valuable to employers in the field.
The Academic Houses model is designed to prepare all students for a successful future – whether that includes post-secondary education or a direct path to a career. Students who want to go to college enjoy opportunities to take advanced coursework, earn college credit and explore careers, which will allow our students to see the relationship between academic subjects and how to apply them to a broad field of work. When it’s time to head to college, these opportunities and experiences ensure our students are successful.
Each career pathway and Academic House at SHS offers dual enrollment and Advanced Placement course options for students who want to pursue an academic diploma or who seek distinction as an AP Scholar. This more rigorous course of study offered as part of The Academic Houses at Starkville High School also includes the MSU Early Honors Academy, a partnership with the Shackouls Honors College at Mississippi State University designed to challenge advanced learners during their senior year of high school.
The Academic Houses at Starkville High School are part of the Starkville Oktibbeha School District's strategic approach to career exploration and emphasize the importance of experiential learning as part of our students’ preparation throughout their school experience. Even our youngest Jackets explore the question, "what do I want to be when I grow up?" through hands-on activities in MakerSpace, field trips and enrichment camp experiences.
Middle school and junior high students attend career expos in which they are exposed to many kinds of employers that will allow them to engage in meaningful conversations about the kind of education and experiences they will need for that profession.
During sophomore year, students will participate in coordinated learning experiences through site visits with area employers that match their interest in a particular profession. Students will also have an opportunity to visit a post-secondary college or university.
During junior and senior year, students can begin to earn college credit through dual credit/dual enrollment options. Students can also earn specialized certification and endorsements by completing a sequence of Career and Technical coursework in health, construction and other areas. Job shadowing, an experience that allows students to observe and ask questions of a career professional, is available to upper classmen. Students also have the opportunity for individual work experiences through job internships with our community Partners in Excellence, and students may earn the ACT WorkKeys National Career Readiness certificate, which measures and certifies essential work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations.
A performing arts pathway is part of the CAB (Communication, Arts, Business) House, and students may choose band, choral music, piano or theatre. Additionally, all students, regardless of the Academic House they choose, have the opportunity to participate in fine arts electives, such as band, chorus, theater, fine art and more.
Yes. Students will be allowed to change Academic Houses once during their 10th, 11th, and/or 12th grade year. It is just as important for our students to know what they want to do after graduation as it is for them to know what they do not want to do. Students who are considering changing Academic Houses should prepare to meet with their counselor, administrator, and parents/guardians to explore opportunities available and discuss how specific learning needs may be met.
Yes. All Academic Houses allow for varying amounts of credit to be earned through electives and other course offerings.
No. While Career and Technical (CTE) courses are suggested, students may choose other courses such as dual enrollment to pursue their specific career interests.