A Culture of Collaboration

Collaboration is a vital and regular theme in the Arlington Career Center.  Two recent small, but important examples, highlighted this key practice.  First, HILT teacher, Ms. Cummings, brought her students into Colonel Dierlam’s AFJROTC class to allow her beginning English learners to practice their English with fluent English speakers of their own age. Students got into small groups and practiced saying and spelling their names and addresses to each other. This gave the Hilt students real-life practice in conversation and pronunciation.  It also gave both groups the opportunity to get to know students in other ACC programs. It was a fun and practical activity. The two classes are hoping to collaborate again in the near future.   The students discussed the possibility of the cadets teaching the students basic drill maneuvers.  Second, Project-based learning is new educational model geared towards preparing students not only succeed in a collegiate environment but also in the workplace. Since there is a focus on trying to teach students skills that apply to the real world, the Career Center endeavors to nurture cross-curriculum collaborations, like the one between Arlington’s Tech Biology and Culinary Arts Science (CTE) programs. Integration of CTE with academic courses enhances the learning by creating a real-world client. Students in the biology class applied biochemistry concepts to create a new, delectable, cost-efficient dish for the annual pop-up restaurant, “Off the Pike.” The students completed in a simulated Chopped competition, where judges from several different Career Center programs evaluated each dish for final submission to Chef Randolph. For some of the students, it was the first time they had ever cooked a dish. So, the process was a real-life experience for some students. Finally, the students were working for a client: patrons to the restaurant and the toys for the “Toys for Tots” drive.