Last Labor Day (2019), on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Rose Charter Academies of Tucson, the ROSE Management Group announced the formation of a separate Apprentice High Schools of America (AHSA) initiative.
While the original vision was to see the first charter high schools using the AHSA methodologies, facilities design, and curriculum launch by THIS Labor Day (2020), the unexpected Corona-19 virus upended that timetable.
Prior to the pandemic, AHSA management met many of the building trades unions, councils, and associations regarding operating tuition-free public charter schools in various states. These schools include not only the required high school academics, but also the learning (and earning) component of completing a full apprenticeship in a selected career path. It was anticipated that these schools would be offered on an in-person self-paced learning basis.
The AHSA initiative was based on three key factors:
1) While the goal of the vast majority of charter high schools is their students' acceptance into college, only about one third of today's graduates will complete even a bachelor's degree.
2) With two thirds of high school graduates seeking a non-degreed career, these students need to see that their classes have actual applicability to that career to be motivated to master the material.
3) Adding an embedded apprenticeship within the AHSA initiative can only be accomplished via a) the option for three shifts of classes per day, b) students armed with their own technology and personalized self-paced mastery curriculum and c) an innovative team of curriculum developers, administrators & instructors—all of which the ROSE Academies have utilized and perfected for over twenty years.
The pandemic has forced remote learning in many areas (including Arizona). However, the AHSA team realized that because their teaching methodology and technology maximized flexibility for students, the ROSE Academies already had vast experience in remote learning, primarily for students who were sick, injured or pregnant, and thus not physically present in the school buildings.
Thus, for this school year, ROSE students are free to choose either in-person or remote "personalized learning," switching between the two as needed. (see www.go2rose.com)
Based on this, AHSA is now offering potential operators the chance to launch apprentice-based high schools commencing on its remote or in-person personalized learning platform in the 2021-2022 school year for the freshman class.
We are also announcing that several construction trades labor unions have indicated they would like to participate by offering their apprenticeship instructors and proprietary curricula within the AHSA initiative, but not necessarily operate a charter school. Therefore, we are expanding our search for charter operators to many more types of organizations, such as non-trade labor associations, contractor organizations, educational non-profits, and universities.
Under this program, by the end of the second year most students will have completed not only their first two years of applied required academics, but also the introductory "pre-apprentice" courses overviewing the various careers and apprenticeships available to them.
The third year and beyond will encompass doing the 400-500 hours of "book work" required by an apprenticeship, as well as actually working and earning in their chosen field.
In many situations, completing the required on-site apprenticeship work in the fifth, sixth and seventh year, the student will earn over $100,000, plus an opportunity for college dual credits. An AHSA graduate may then go on as a union journeyperson at a higher paid trade rate, advance through more college, or a combination.