our real world learning model

At Pathways High School, we accomplish our mission via a Real World Learning Model comprised of mutually reinforcing components: Interdisciplinary Seminars, Foundational Skills, and IMPACT Experiences with industry/community partners which foster students’ development as whole people. Socioemotional, physical, academic, and 21st Century, EMPOWERskill development is accomplished in a real world context. The challenges facing us today demand more from us than ever before -- more creativity, more diversity of perspectives, more intersection of concepts and ideas, more productive collisions, more collaboration. Pathways High students are on pathways to success in the real world because they are immersed in it.







graduation requirements

support services


At Pathways High we deliver the required high school academic standards through multi subject experiences called interdisciplinary seminars. Students' learning is shown through final projects and evidence of standards proficiency as opposed to a test score or grade.

Students select seminars that contain the academic pathways they need in order to graduate. Students are supported by their Academic Advisor in selecting the seminars to keep them on track for graduation.


Each seminar contains the following components:  

  • IMPACT EXPERIENCE: Real world connection opportunities. These could include field experiences, speakers and community service learning

  • EMPOWER SKILLS: Seven essential life skills to prepare students for future success

  • ACADEMIC PATHWAYS: Each seminar contains 6-10 (national and state) standards with the ability for students to "kick it up a notch" by adding additional standards with staff approval

  • FINAL PROJECT: The deliverable that demonstrates a student's understanding of the seminar objective

  • MILESTONES:  Students will have specific milestones to achieve throughout the seminar.  Often these milestones generate evidence of learning

  • EVIDENCE: Student-driven content that publically demonstrates proficiency/mastery of standards



Relationships and networks are powerful. They can open doors to limitless opportunities.  Unfortunately, far too often students of lower socioeconomic status have restricted and shrinking networks. Therefore, at Pathways High we are committed to providing IMPACT opportunities for students to grow their networks across industries and the community. We believe that connecting students to adults and career opportunities in our region creates a pipeline of exceptional young adults who want to remain here and contribute to a thriving community. IMPACT takes the form of experiences within the interdisciplinary seminars,  internships and/or apprenticeships and an optional fifth/IMPACT year.


IMPACT diploma students have the opportunity to design a fifth/IMPACT year which could include additional apprenticeships or internships, certification programs and up to 2 dual enrollment courses per a semester. Students spend the majority of their time outside of our school but still retain the full support of our staff and resources.


Students identify how they plan to make an impact on the world, and with the aid of staff, create developmental goals and reflect on their experiences -- processes necessary for long-term success.


Students are required to complete a Capstone project during their Impact Year which includes a give back to the local, national or global community. Students will showcase their critical thinking and EMPOWER Skills in settings outside of school; their ability to identify, plan for and explore challenging problems; and their connections to the community. 




At Pathways High we believe strong, positive relationships develop through a trusting, authentic mutual exchange between individuals. These relationships are built during Advisory and create a supportive environment to spur growth and cultural competence across the school.  Students benefit from 1-1 mentoring and are held accountable for their academic progress towards graduation.



Our diverse student body, emphasis on life as well as academic skill development, and standards based grading provide students with unique advantages. Our Cohorts of multi-age students focus on the development of organizational, academic, foundation, and EMPOWER skills tailored to each student's individual learning needs.



On a weekly basis, students have time to refine their seminar projects, further their research, collaborate and pursue passion projects.  During this time students receive meaningful feedback from our staff, their peers and the community around them.




When we trust and equip, not enable, students with the skills to make good decisions about their learning, and support them through missteps, they become successful, independent decision makers.


We are committed to fostering the development of relationship building and networking skills. As globalization rapidly increases, students and staff will have the self-knowledge and relationship building skills to thrive in our interconnected world.



We are intentionally bringing together young people and adults from wide-ranging communities with diverse socioeconomic, ethnic, racial, cultural, sexual, and social identity backgrounds in order to provide broader perspectives with which to formulate, view, and solve real world problems.



We strive for excellence by doing work that has purpose and meaning. Furthermore, we believe excellence is determined by assessment of performance on real world projects. Assessment includes teachers, peers, self, and authentic audiences, as often as possible.




Students demonstrate their knowledge during interdisciplinary seminars by submitting evidence into our learning management software.


For each standard taught a student is required to have at least one piece of evidence in order to demonstrate proficiency or mastery. Students continue to submit evidence until they are consistently showing at least Proficiency (P) of a standard. No credit or partial credit can be given until proficiency, at minimum, is met for a standard. 


Students are encouraged to seek Mastery (M) prior to receiving the final mastrey credit. Therefore, completed standards will be transcripted at the end of a students Junior year.

We are a member of the Mastery Transcript Consortium and have been selected as one of nine high schools to participate in the pilot for the new model transcript.


graduation requirements

All graduates are required to earn 26 credits across six foundational areas. Students demonstrate their strengths by earning one or more advanced credits (22 available) in areas of high interest.

Required, 26 Credits:

  • Communication Arts (5 Credits)
  • Civic Engagement (6 Credits)

  • STEM Science (3 Credits)

  • STEM Math (3 Credits)

  • Design Thinking (4 Credits)

  • Future Readiness (5 Credits)

Advanced, Up to 22 Credits:

  • Communication Arts (5 Credits)
  • Civic Engagement (3 Credits)

  • STEM Science (3 Credits)

  • STEM Math (3 Credits)

  • Design Thinking (4 Credits)

  • Future Readiness (4 Credits)

Typical Credit Attainment by Pathway

dual enrollment

Dual enrollment classes are available at UW-Milwaukee (UWM) and MATC and each have their own set of specific eligibility and age requirements.


Pathways High will pay for one (1) college course each semester for Seniors and two (2) courses each semester for IMPACT Year students.  


We will also cover the costs of book rental(s) or purchase (used, if available.) All purchased class materials remain the property of Pathways High after course completion.


Pathways High eligibility requirements for dual enrollment include: good academic/behavior standing, consistent attendance, a signed expectations contract, parent meeting, and completion of one semester at Pathways High




Special education is provided to students at Pathways High. The special education department is staffed by a special education teacher. Special education is provided to students through a special education teacher who works closely with seminar teachers, paraprofessionals, administration, and parents to ensure that each student reaches their potential.

academic interventions

Academic interventions in the areas of reading and language are offered to students who demonstrate the need. These interventions are provided through the Cardinal Stritch Literacy Center with reading specialists and instructors and through a Speech & Language Pathologist. Students work in 1-on-1 sessions on skills that are prioritized after an assessment is completed.

Pathways High
3022 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53208
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No person may be denied admission to any public school or be denied participation in, be denied the benefits of or be discriminated against in any curricular, extracurricular, pupil services, recreational or other program or activity because of the person's sex, race, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability.