Career Education Department Courses

This includes School-to-Work, Intro to Education, APEX and iJAG courses.

School-to-Work Class
Offered to grades: 12
Length: 1 Term
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Acceptance into STW Internship or administrator approval
DMACC Dual Credit Course – Hybrid (blended online) learning: WBL110 Career Development Skills

This class is designed to prepare the student to become a highly effective member of the workplace. Students investigate careers, workplace expectations, and other topics including résumé writing and preparing for an interview. This class is the prerequisite to the School-to-Work internship and learning will revolve around preparation to succeed in the internship.

School-to-Work Internship
Offered to grades: 12
Length: 3 Terms (2 blocks each term recommended) – 2 Terms (2 blocks required)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Application is made during the junior year. Successful completion of School-to-Work class or instructor approval.
DMACC Dual Credit Course: ADM936 Occupational Experiences

Students receive credit and a grade for each block of work completed in School-to-Work. Nine credits are possible for the completion of all parts. Students choosing the internship opportunity must apply during their junior year and complete all paperwork by the determined deadline.
Acceptance is conditional upon:

  • Recommendations from three teachers
  • A record of excellent attendance during the junior year
  • Demonstration of good citizenship – as recorded in the Assistant Principal’s office
  • A history of quality academic performance and support relative to the student’s career interests. Students interested in architecture should have taken or been enrolled in Architectural Drawing. Students interested in medical careers should have adequate preparation in science. Certified Nursing Assistant training is recommended.
  • Available space in the student’s senior schedule
  • Internship availability

Interns must provide their own transportation and may need to supply workplace appropriate attire. Employers may require drug tests, health screenings, background checks, and credit examinations. Failure to pass drug tests, dishonest actions, deceitful behavior, or poor attendance would result in the student being removed from School-to-Work.

Introduction to Education Class
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 1 Term (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Application is made during registration
Added: DMACC Dual Credit Course: EDU210 Foundations of Education
This class presents a broad view of the field of education including foundations of American education, roles of teachers, history and philosophy, and curriculum. As part of this class, students will complete a 35-hour clinical observation at another Waukee school. Students will provide their own transportation. Strong reading and writing skills are needed for this class.

Introduction to Education Internship
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 1 Term (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Students must successfully complete the Introduction to Education
Added: DMACC Dual Credit Course: EDU218 Education Field Experience

The internship provides opportunities for students to assist in a school as a teacher aide to assess one’s potential and interest in teaching as a career. As part of this class, students will complete an 80-hour clinical classroom observation and attend seminars with the instructor.

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG)

Grade 11, 12
Elective Course
Multiple terms recommended

Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates helps students build the skills they need to be successful in school, on the job, and in life.  Programming is delivered in the classroom and is offered during the school day, for elective credit.  Our areas of focus include life skills, critical thinking and productiving, work-based learning, character and self development, communication and technology, self advocacy and conflict resolution, and career readiness.  We work towards these essential learning constructs through project based learning, trauma informed care, and elite employer engagements.  Our ultimate goal is to support students in finding their why, creating impactful relationships within the community, and have meaningful connections during and after their high school career.

APEX – Finance, Banking & Investments
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Completion of Algebra II (Highly Recommended)

DMACC Dual Credit Course: MAT162 Principles of Business Statistics; Excel Certification Option

Do you want to explore investment strategies to reach financial goals? Do you want to gain strategies to avoid debt? Want to buy a car or a house someday? Where can you get a loan? In what markets can you buy stocks, bonds, real estate, or grains? Would you like to meet professionals from Fortune 500 companies as well as other successful organizations in the Des Moines area? Learn the answers to these questions and many others as you survey personal, public, and corporate finance as well as products and services that banks and credit unions offer.

APEX – Foundations of Insurance & Actuarial Science
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: MAT900 Field Experience in Actuarial Science

Did you know Iowa is a national leader in the insurance industry? Students in this course will learn foundational concepts of life, property/casualty, and health insurance as well as how actuarial science is applied in insurance. As students learn foundational concepts, they will be given opportunities to apply their learning to authentic problems and will have the opportunity to work with executives at some of Iowa’s leading insurance companies. This experience, combined with guest instructors, will provide students with a comprehensive look at possible career opportunities available in insurance and actuarial science, which are consistently recognized as career fields searching for highly skilled young professionals.

APEX – Global Food Systems: Harvest to Health
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: AGC420 Agricultural Issues

Do you love food? Nutrition? The environment? The Global Food Systems course is an inquiry-based class to explore food, nature, plants, conservation, bioscience, and agriculture. You will love this class if you enjoy hands-on activities and being outdoors. Students will focus on projects and learn about agriculture industries, which employ one out of six people in Iowa. Every person is impacted by global agriculture and food systems. This course teaches how food gets from the “farm gate to the dinner plate.” This is a great exploration course for those interested in plant science, ecology, environmental science, culinary arts, nutrition, health, agriculture, and solving the world’s hunger and conservation issues.

APEX – Animal & Veterinary Science
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: AGS114 Survey of Animal Industry

The Animal & Veterinary Science course serves as an in-depth, focused course studying animal science, animal agriculture, and veterinary science. Projects covered include topics such as animal production systems, animal nutrition, animal reproduction, veterinary medicine, regulatory issues, global trade, biodiversity, human nutrition and meat consumption, economic trends in animal production, food processing, and animal, bioscience, and agricultural careers. Experiences will involve working with animals alongside veterinarians, farmers, and zookeepers.

APEX – Designing Communication Solutions
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: GRD301 Intro to Desktop Publishing and GRD403 Communication Design I

Designing Communication Solutions combines creativity with communications, design, and marketing and is a cutting-edge sector of the design world that changes rapidly and connects people worldwide. In Designing Communication Solutions, students are paired with organizations for which they prepare materials such as marketing strategies, logos, business cards, graphic design pieces, videos, and social media campaigns. Students will assume the role of a “professional creative consultant” and will also begin establishing their own personal branding and portfolio.

APEX – Developing Web-Based Technologies
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: CIS204 Intro to Website Development

How does the Internet work? When you tap an app on your phone, what’s going on behind the screen? This course takes an in-depth look at the vast world of digital technology that is quickly becoming known as the foundational language of the world. Student associates in Developing Web-Based Technologies have the potential to build websites, test beta versions of software, and get exposure to multiple programming languages alongside knowledgeable experts here in our own booming “Silicon Prairie” metro area. Every company, from construction to hospitals, must use digital technology daily in their businesses. Blend your passions with digital technology to be ready for college, career, or maybe even your own entrepreneurial venture.

APEX – Business Startup
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
College credit through the University of Iowa is an option for this course: ENTR:1030:0001 STEM Innovator
The APEX Business Startup course will connect students with a network of mentors to learn about topics such as the business model canvas, market research, design thinking, financing and funding models, patent support, and planning for successful scaling and growth while exploring a business startup opportunity. Presenting a final “shark tank” style pitch would be the culmination project at the end of the course.
Students will have the option to sit for the STEM Innovator® Proficiency Exam and Portfolio Assessment. This means they can qualify to receive three College of Business credits, ENTR:1030:0001 STEM Innovator, offered through the University of Iowa. If the student passes the exam, there is a fee of $150 to earn the credits. Students who have financial need can apply for help to pay for the credits.

APEX – Exploration of Health Sciences & Medicine
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: HSC109 Exploring Health Careers/Building Teams and HSC114 Medical Terminology

Exploration of Health Sciences and Medicine is a scientific, opportunity-based experience to advance the student’s understanding of health science, including patient care, human physiology, disease process, public health, professionalism, medical terminology, and ethics. The goal is to develop the student’s knowledge of a healthcare setting and further a better understanding of patient relationships. Students will observe and learn about patient care through experiences that familiarize them with a healthcare or health sciences area. In addition to gaining some basic clinical skills, students will also receive insight into schooling and skills needed to perform different healthcare jobs. Students will be exposed to a variety of healthcare professions, allowing students to see the advancements and the business side of medicine within projects.

APEX – Exploration in Exercise and Sport Science
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: PEH110 Personal Wellness; Possible industry certifications

The foundation of this course is about improving the quality of life through the scientific basis of physical activity, exercise and sport. This class teaches students about in-demand careers that are more exercise-based such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy, sports medicine, orthopedics, and chiropractic.

APEX – Medical and Bioscience Research
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: BIO191 Intro to Biotechnology with Lab

The Medical and Bioscience Research course is hands-on, inquiry-based research within health and biosciences including a laboratory component. Students will interact with business partners that have laboratory project needs in the area of tissue cell culture (examples: cancer cells, animal cells, or plants), DNA, natural products discovery, antibiotics discovery, and more. These biotechnology concepts can transcend medicine, biology, chemistry, and all health and bioscience research career areas. Students will become familiar with using biotechnology equipment such as an incubator, laminar flow hood, biological safety cabinet, micropipettes, gel electrophoresis, thermal cycler (PCR), sterile technique, and DNA transformation.

APEX – Architecture & Engineering
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None
DMACC Dual Credit Course: EGT900 Field Experience in Architecture and Engineering

Architecture & Engineering students will become part of cross-discipline teams that work alongside industry professionals on real-world projects for healthcare, industry, education, government, and commercial clients. Students will be exposed to multiple design professions related to building systems development, including commercial, residential, and landscape architecture, interior design, structural, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering. They will also gain experience with industry design tools and processes.

APEX – Next Generation Energy
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None

This course will focus on all forms of energy from an engineering perspective. Studies will focus on the mechanics of each form of energy and the issues preventing growth. Experiences will look at the energy grid system domestically and around the world and identify barriers to alternative energy adoption. The main focus of the course will be to understand the infrastructure needs and careers within each form of energy.

APEX – Engineering Technology & Robotics
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None

This course focuses on automation and robotics as applied to the manufacturing industry. Participants will learn about high-demand and high-paying careers in advanced manufacturing such as robotics and control systems technician, CNC machinist, electro-mechanical technician, and industrial technologist, as well as a variety of engineering disciplines, including mechanical, manufacturing, industrial, automation, systems, electronics, electrical, hardware, computer, and software engineering. Project work will involve elements of engineering design, fabrication, automation, electronics, and programming.

APEX – Construction Leadership
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None

Construction Leadership will expose you to the skills you’ll need to become a successful engineer, supervisor, project manager, or trade professional. This is your opportunity to learn and experience more about the rewarding and high-demand careers that exist for young men and women in the construction industry. Many people in this industry will eventually become self-employed entrepreneurs and start their own successful companies in the construction industry. This course provides opportunities for participants to dive into both technical and business exploratory projects in the area of construction that interests them the most. Topics such as construction engineering, industry safety standards, building codes, industry math, tools, home maintenance, plumbing, green building projects, planning and scheduling, improving productivity, managing project costs, business management, and leading teams will be addressed.

APEX – Automotive
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: None

In collaboration with Waukee Stivers Ford Lincoln, this course introduces basic operations at a new vehicle auto dealer. Students will gain hands-on experience and knowledge of all dealership departments, including sales, financing, repair service, parts, collision repair, and accounting. This course will focus on automotive mechanical operation, maintenance, and repair.  Students will obtain the skills for basic maintenance of personal and household vehicles in addition to certifications for future work within an auto dealership.

APEX – Certified Nursing Assistant
Offered to grades: 11, 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Human Anatomy & Physiology (Recommended)
DMACC Dual Credit Course: HSC172 Basic Nurse Aide and HSC182 Advanced Nurse Aide

This program will provide students the opportunity to explore careers in nursing and work toward CNA certification. DMACC credits and clinical hours needed for certification are available upon completion of all course offerings.
Students must be able to complete a background check, physical, TB test, and immunizations prior to the course start. Students must be able to physically lift, bend, and perform other motions to assist in patient care.
Daily attendance is required in this course to complete all the necessary hours for course completion. There will not be many available opportunities for make-up hours. Some extended clinical sessions may be in the mornings, evenings, and/or weekends.

There will be a family orientation for this course before the start of the school year to review the mandatory requirements and complete forms.

APEX Emergency Medical Technician
Offered to grades: 12
Length: 2 Terms (Requires 2 Blocks)
Category: Elective
Prerequisite: Biology and Chemistry (Highly Recommended)
DMACC Dual Credit Course: EMS214 Emergency Medical Technician

In partnership with Waukee APEX, DMACC, and the City of Waukee, we offer our new course in Emergency Medical Technician. Emergency medical technicians provide out-of-hospital emergency medical care and transportation for patients who access the emergency medical services (EMS) system. EMTs have the basic knowledge and skills necessary to stabilize and safely transport patients ranging from non-emergency and routine medical transports to life-threatening emergencies. EMTs function as part of a comprehensive EMS response system under medical oversight. They perform interventions with the basic equipment typically found in an ambulance and are a critical link between the scene of an emergency and the health care system.

In addition to attending class at Waukee APEX, students should anticipate experiencing 12 hours of ambulance ride time, 24 hours in an emergency room, and approximately 10 hours per week of classroom work. These hours typically happen outside the normal school day.

Students must be able to complete a background check, physical, TB test, and immunizations prior to the course start. Students must be able to physically lift, bend, and perform other motions to assist in patient care. Daily attendance is required in this course to complete all the necessary hours for course completion. There will not be many available opportunities for make-up hours.

Students may be exposed to emotionally challenging and traumatic situations that are part of emergency situations. Confidentiality with experiences is expected, and counseling services will be available to participants.

Career Education

APEX