This fall, VANTAGE Public Policy made its debut as the eighth strand in Minnetonka High School’s VANTAGE Program.
“We are excited to offer VANTAGE Public Policy for 2021-22 after receiving feedback from students at the high school and learning more about what they are passionate about,” said VANTAGE Director Roger Andre.
With its rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum, VANTAGE consists of multiple advanced-level courses, accompanied by real-world projects, expert guest instruction, personal mentors and site visits. Through its unique class structure, VANTAGE fosters personal growth and professional skills unparalleled by any other curriculum, preparing students for higher education and career opportunities after high school.
The new Public Policy strand encompasses the world of public relations, issue-advocacy organizations, political parties and many other entities, investigating public policy formation in local, state and national governments.
“I decided to enroll in VANTAGE Public Policy because I have always loved learning about our government and learning different ways we can get involved locally and nationally,” said Katrina Tadros ‘22. “The communication skills I am gaining as well as the professional atmosphere of VANTAGE Public Policy have been preparing me well for my goal of studying criminal justice or political science and eventually becoming a lawyer.”
The course, offered for grades 11 and 12, includes two classes: AP Seminar, which fulfills one English credit, and the University of Minnesota’s College in the Schools (CIS) American Democracy in a Changing World course, which fulfills one social studies credit. As Minnetonka’s first partnership with CIS at The University of Minnesota, students are able to earn four credits from the University of Minnesota in lieu of the Political Sciences 1001 course, as well as collaborate with other students around the state enrolled in the same course.
“The students are eager to begin their project work with a variety of sponsors ranging from non-profits and government agencies to environmental conservation groups,” said Leah Dasovich, AP Seminar instructor. “The focus on local policy seems to be exciting, as students can see the changes happening in real time.”
“Collaboration has been my favorite part of VANTAGE Public Policy,” added Tadros. “Both Ms. Dasovich and Ms. Meehan [Instructor for American Democracy in a Changing World] strongly emphasize learning and growing from each other, and it has made the class all the more enjoyable.”
As the school year progresses, Public Policy will engage in a number of hands-on projects, as well as a site visit to the State Capitol during a legislative session in February.
“It’s exciting to be launching a new strand in the VANTAGE program and refreshing to see student interest so early in the school year!” exclaimed Dasovich.
To learn more, visit the VANTAGE Public Policy webpage.