• Riverchase Career Connection Center (RC3)

    "Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession." (G. Bernstein)

    GRAND OPENING AUGUST 2019!

    Q: What is RC3?
    A: RC3 is an acronym that stands for Riverchase Career Connection Center.  It is located at 853 Willow Oak Drive, Hoover 35244. This was formerly Riverchase Middle School and Pelham Middle School.  

    Q: Who can go to RC3?
    A: Any 10th, 11th, or 12th-grade student who has a particular interest in the skilled trades and professional career fields that are taught at the center.  Students must apply and participate in an interview, just as they would if they were applying for a job. The application and interview are not for the purpose of disqualifying students.  They are necessary to simulate real-world experience.

    Q: Can freshmen (9th graders) attend RC3?
    A: Unfortunately no, but students can participate in Career Prep classes in 9th grade at Hoover HS and Spain Park HS that are embedded in the RC3 academies.  These Career Prep Academy classes are not mandatory for attending RC3, but they will help students progress through early skills within an area.

    Q: I’m going to be a senior next year.  Is there any value in my coming to RC3 for only one year?
    A: Most career programs require a student to work over a two-year period before they are eligible to earn an industry-recognized credential.  However, there is benefit for a student even if they only have one more year of high school left. Even one year of experience can help the student determine if they want to continue pursuing a career in that field and will give them a head start in postsecondary training.   

    Q: What about transportation to and from RC3 from Hoover HS or Spain Park HS?
    A: Shuttle bus service will be provided between high schools, or students with a valid license can drive.  Students using the shuttle bus service will have access to wifi to work during the transition times.

    Q: How is the school day organized at RC3?
    A: Two shifts per day: Morning and Afternoon.  The student will pick a shift that best compliments home campus needs.  One shift will earn three credits, and the other shift four credits (elective).  Possible electives: Health/driver's ed; Spanish for the Workplace; X-Build Team; Small Business Management.

    Q: What career programs will be offered in 2019-20?
    A:  In the first year, there will be five anchor programs:  Culinary Arts and Hospitality Academy (cooking, serving, event management), Cyber Innovation Academy (programming, network administration, cyber-security), Fire and Emergency Services Academy (firefighting, emergency medical assistance), Health Science Academy (nursing, pharmacy, emergency services), and Skilled Trades Academy (building construction, electrical, HVAC, and welding).

    Q: How will the RC3 environment be structured?
    A: This will be a simulated working environment.  Students will be treated as "employees" while on campus.  There will be an application and interview process. There will be no bells; flexible scheduling will be adjusted by staff on a weekly basis.  Students will clock in and clock out of workspaces. Industry partners will establish workplace rules and provide real-world mentors. There will be an emphasis on soft skills that will help students get and keep a good-paying job.

    Q: Can I attend for only part of a shift?  
    A:  No. Because of the flexible schedule, classes will change start and end times within a given shift on an ongoing basis, so it would be impossible for you to only attend particular classes within a shift.  

    Q: What about extracurricular activities like football, band, or student government?  
    A: At RC3, the school day will be organized into two shifts, morning and afternoon.  Students will spend the other half of the day at Hoover HS or Spain Park HS, so students can still participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities at their base school.

    Q: Besides my career class, what else will I be doing during my shift at RC3?  
    A: Students in the morning and afternoon shifts will also complete English and Mathematics credits.  The English and Mathematics courses will be the same as those offered at Hoover HS and Spain Park HS, but there will be a greater emphasis on practical applications within each student’s area of career interest.

    Q: What programs might RC3 have in the future?
    A: Automotive technology, Biotechnology, Heavy Equipment, Landscaping, and Advanced Manufacturing are all programs that have potential for future development at RC3

    Q: What if I want to be in two career programs?
    A: If you are in the morning shift, you can select a second career program as your elective.  However, only one of your career programs will be integrated with your English and Mathematics courses.  

    Q: Can I complete college credits while I’m at RC3?
    A: Yes, dual enrollment opportunities will be offered for students who want to earn both high school and college credit at the same time.  The morning shift will feature an elective for academic dual enrollment. Parents must pay the cost of tuition and books to the participating community college, but these costs are typically substantially less than they would be at a four-year college or university.  Other opportunities for college credit in both shifts will be added as programs expand in future years.

    Q: Is there a cost?   
    A: The career academies will charge a $25 fee for consumable materials, and some academies will require students to purchase particular clothing and/or personal safety items.  See the course descriptions to learn more.

    Q: I’ve heard that I will have to ‘clock in.’  What does that mean?
    A:  RC3 will be a simulated workspace, so students will clock in and clock out in the same manner that they would have to do for most jobs.

    Q: Can I be fired from RC3?
    A: Yes.  If your behavior is determined to be unsafe or not in keeping with work readiness standards, then you can be dismissed from RC3.  You can apply again the next year.

    Q: What academies are moving to RC3?
    A:  Of the current career academies at Hoover HS and Spain Park HS, Health Science is the only one that is moving to RC3.  All the other academies at RC3 are new to our school district.

    Q: Will I be in classes with students from other schools?
    A:  Yes.  Classes will not be segregated by school.

    Q: When and where will I eat lunch?
    A:  Lunch will be served at Hoover HS and Spain Park HS, so RC3 students will either eat lunch when they return to campus from morning shift or before they leave for the afternoon shift.  

    Q: Will there be opportunities for adults to receive career training?
    A: Not in the first year, but after that, we hope to partner with another institution that can manage career training for adults in the evening hours.  


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