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Preparing for the future

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Preparing for the future

Junior Mariana Peña works on her original PCIS project to showcase on Dec. 12. Peña is focusing on surgical oncology.

Junior Mariana Peña works on her original PCIS project to showcase on Dec. 12. Peña is focusing on surgical oncology. "PCIS is a really good course to take," Peña said. "For people that have an idea of what they want to do as a career, it's an opportunity to get experience in the real world."

Kennedy Wyles

Junior Mariana Peña works on her original PCIS project to showcase on Dec. 12. Peña is focusing on surgical oncology. "PCIS is a really good course to take," Peña said. "For people that have an idea of what they want to do as a career, it's an opportunity to get experience in the real world."

Kennedy Wyles

Kennedy Wyles

Junior Mariana Peña works on her original PCIS project to showcase on Dec. 12. Peña is focusing on surgical oncology. "PCIS is a really good course to take," Peña said. "For people that have an idea of what they want to do as a career, it's an opportunity to get experience in the real world."

Kennedy Wyles, Reporter

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The “Prosper Career Independent Study” course offers upperclassmen an elective that allows them to experience and learn about a professional career field – before those students have to commit to a college major. 

Students enrolled in the class work on individual projects and then showcase their achievements in December. As part of their work, the class participants also create LinkedIn profiles and find internships.

“You fill out an application, and it’s only for juniors and seniors,” teacher and PCIS sponsor Tiffany Ballard said, concerning how to gain entrance into the course. “It’s a weighted class, so you get the AP weight, but you don’t have to take the AP test.”

The application includes an essay, a personal short-answer portion and a printed copy of the student’s schedule. The students also must conduct an interview with the teacher. All application resources will be available and are due to the counseling office in the spring.

“The hope is that they’ll find a mentor,” Ballard said. “That mentor will work with them five or six times next semester on seeing if that’s really what they want to study when they go to college.”

Junior Sophia Giasolli is a first-year member of the program and focuses on exotic veterinary medicine.

“I took notice to the program after seeing flyers in the hallway,” Giasolli said. “When I asked more about the program, I was intrigued that I could research and involve myself in what I wanted to do while I was in high school.”

Throughout the first semester, students learn how to make connections with professionals in the field they are interested in and how to set up interviews.

“Many people can’t wait to get out of high school because they can finally focus on course material that prepares and gets them closer to their goal,” Giasolli said. “This class gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in your desired career before college.”

PCIS also helps undecided students experiment and research professions that may spark their interest.

“I initially joined PCIS to study Surgical Medicine, specifically cardiothoracic surgery,” senior Khayla Silverio said. “I learned throughout the process that I could use PCIS as a platform to dabble into the other specialties, as well.”

Students can schedule interviews and meetings with professionals during school hours after receiving a pass from the office.

“I think that it’s encouraged individuality and ambition,” Silverio said. “I see PCIS as a platform by which any student can benefit from, whether they intend to pursue a medical, scientific, artistic, corporate, or political professions.”

There is no prerequisite required, but the student must complete the application process and have teacher approval. No late applications are accepted.

“We have definitely benefited professionally from PCIS, as we are constantly interacting with professionals in our field, whether it be through email etiquette, conversational etiquette, interview etiquette, or public speaking,” Silverio said. “We’ve not only been exposed to the professional realm, but actively participate in it as well.”

About the Writer
Kennedy Wyles, Reporter, Photographer, News Team Leader

Kennedy Wyles was born in Annapolis, Maryland and currently lives in Prosper, Texas where she resides with her mom and dad, while her older brother attends...

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