New LAUNCH program offers professional academic experience
*Story first featured in the annual community newsletter, The School Reporter, mailed to all residents in February 2019.
New for the 2019-2020 school year, Wauwatosa School District students will have an opportunity to participate in unique career-based learning experiences as part of the District’s Academic and Career Planning (ACP) initiatives. Wauwatosa School District has partnered with Elmbrook Schools to offer the LAUNCH program - a collection of 10 areas of study - or strands as they’re called in the program - which includes Advanced Manufacturing & Design, Hospitality Innovation, Media Solutions, and Business Analytics.
In each strand, local businesses and companies partner with LAUNCH to drive the learning experience. Businesses present a real-life problem their organization is facing or a project they are seeking input on and then work with students to identify and develop potential solutions.
“This unique way of teaching and learning helps students develop and strengthen skills that are so important for a successful future: collaboration, communication, and critical thinking,” said Innovation Specialist Tina Koch.
During Wauwatosa’s pilot of the program in the fall of 2018, students helped the Medical College of Wisconsin determine referral patterns of medical departments to gain a better understanding of them and then improve efficiency. They also worked with employees from Harley Davidson to identify solutions to improve efficiency in the company’s powertrain assembly line.
Through the professional academic experience, students are able to network with professionals and prepare for college and or careers while businesses and schools work together to help strengthen the talent pipeline locally and regionally, adding value to everyone involved.