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Los Osos students turn group projects into real-world experience

los osos studentsApplying career-based learning in the classroom has peaked the imaginations of students at Los Osos High School in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District.

This spring, students from four of Jennifer Nicastro’s Expository Reading Writing courses have presented 30 group projects where they created mock non-profit organizations and pitched their ideas to a panel of “investors,” like the popular TV show, “Shark Tank.”

“I have two primary goals with this class,” Nicastro said. “I want students to have something to put on their resumes, and I want them to be prepared and confident in tough situations.”

The Expository Reading Writing course is directly tied to California’s new rigorous state standards and the Linked Learning approach, which expose students to college and career opportunities by integrating academics with career-based learning and real-world workplace experiences.

Nicastro’s innovative curriculum idea is the byproduct of requests by the California State University system to get high school students to read more non-fiction, and build experience writing for business and other professions. Even one of the projects, “The Ocassio Project,” tackled the concept of increasing college-readiness and college-going rates.

“The class is tough – tougher than others because it’s different,” Nicastro said. It has its rewards in the experience and project-learning foundation it provides to students.

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