The Center for STEM

Education Our Children Need to Succeed

Most administrators like to plan for the future. They study the culture, the trends, and their own strengths and weaknesses to determine the right course of action. However, sometimes things just sneak up on you and surprise you with a direction that you are almost forced to take.

Such was the case recently at Cherokee Christian High School. While reviewing the majors that CCHS students were choosing in college, it seemed to the leadership team that an unusually high percentage of them had chosen majors in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Checking the national statistics, it was found that 32% of the CCHS graduates were in STEM majors compared with the national average of 17%!

CCS-STEM-LogoThis was not a planned emphasis for the leadership at CCHS, but one that was most welcome (see Proverbs 16:9). You see, during the next decade, U.S. demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase at four times the rate for all other occupations.

Why was CCHS having this great success? One would not have to search long or far to get the answer. The quality of teachers (see box), the high standards, the excellent teaching environment, and the involved parents were the factors that resulted in producing highly qualified graduates.

With all of those factors falling into place and with a demand for preparing students for the future of jobs in America, the school decided to launch a new school called the Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at Cherokee Christian High School.

CCHS will continue its highly successful college prep track, but with the new STEM track, students will receive an intense preparation for the college of their choice and a major which will prepare them for a future of success. Under the existing college prep track, students graduate with 25 credits. Under the new STEM track, students will earn credits by taking additional classes such as 3D Modeling and Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Design, and advanced dual enrollment for AP courses in math and science such as Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, Chemistry, Biomedical Engineering, MatLab, and various programming classes.

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Equally important, the students’ exposure to various STEM studies will give them a greater chance of discovering what area of future study they enjoy. This will enable them to choose a college major and not change their mind later. Furthermore, colleges will be highly impressed with the academic rigor of the STEM program and students can anticipate being highly recruited.

For CCHS, the new STEM program is a defining moment. It is likely that the demand for such an education will be high in the community. What a joy it is to prepare students for a great future and have an impact on the world around us.

Summary of Graduation Requirements

Bible 4.0 Bible is required each semester a student is enrolled at CCHS. The number of required units will be adjusted for students who transfer to CCHS after the freshman year.
English 4.0 See course listing
Social Studies 3.0 Must include at least 1 unit of world history, 1 unit of US history, and 1 unit of government/ economics
Mathematics 6.0 Algebra I (middle school), Geometry, Algebra II, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, and another advanced math elective (examples: AP Statistics, Linear Algebra, Numerical Analysis)
Science 4.0 Chemistry, Advanced Biology, AP Physics 1, and another AP science elective (examples: AP Biology, AP Computer Science, or AP Environmental Science)
Foreign Language 2.0 Must be two credits in the same foreign language.
Physical Education/ Health 1.0 See course listing
Fine Arts 0.5 Conceptual Drawing
Technology 1.5 3-D Design, Introduction to Computer Programming I and II
Engineering 3.0 Principles of Engineering I and II, STEM Capstone

Typical Course Sequence

Bible Old Testament New Testament Christian Doctrine Philosophy and Ethics
English English 9 World Literature AmericanLiterature British Literature
– or –
AP Literature/ Composition
Social Studies   Modern World History US History Government/Economics
Math* Geometry and Algebra II Pre-Calculus AP Calculus AB AP Statistics
Science Chemistry Biology AP Physics 1 AP science elective
Foreign Language     First Year Language Second Year Language
Technology 3-D Design 1 sem Introduction to Computer Programming I and II    
Engineering   Principles of Engineering I Principles of Engineering II STEM Capstone
PE/Health PE/Health      
Fine Arts Conceptual Drawing 1 sem      
TOTAL 7.0 7.0 7.0 7.0

* Algebra I must have been taken in Middle School