Scholars read Mountains Beyond Mountains and explore Paul Farmer’s quest to bring lifesaving modern medicine and tools to cure infectious diseases in those individuals less fortunate in our world. “One person can make a difference” is the thread that weaves together the English Language Arts, U.S. History, Biochemistry, and Spanish curriculum in junior year.
Scholar teams select and research a disease or genetic disorder amongst various people groups around the world. They analyze the prevalence of this disease/disorder by looking at global demographic data (incidence by country, ethnicity, gender, age, etc.). Scholars examine the same data at the domestic level (U.S. demographics) and then analyze the demographic data of their own community (California, San Diego County, or Escondido, depending on the availability of data). In the end, the goal for each scholar team is to establish a community partnership in order to focus attention on their important health issue.
Scholars are expected to demonstrate their understanding of:
- Biochemistry – the epidemiology of their disease (transmission, symptoms, treatments)
- Spanish – cultural variation and effect of environment on those affected by disease
- Humanities – importance of partnership in creating a more equitable situation
- Math – statistical significance of data
Scholars move beyond college and career awareness to participating in an internship that places them side-by-side with industry professionals. To prepare for their internships, juniors refine their resumes and establish relationships with local businesses. Our juniors submit their resumes and, in many cases, interview for internship positions. Most juniors experience both the thrill of landing a position while some will encounter the disappointment of not being selected by a particular company. Ultimately all juniors are placed in an internship. The application experience deepens their understanding of the world of work. During the internship experience, scholars maintain an Internship Reflection Blog designed to capture their growth and learning. Internship Presentations of Learning serve as the culminating experience for junior scholars. In those Presentations scholars formally present their internship reflections and learning to industry professionals.
A limited number of juniors are invited to participate in a concurrent enrollment partnership with CSUSM. At little cost to the scholar, they take undergraduate course work on the CSUSM campus.