Pathways and Types of Courses

The are many pathways to success and class approaches that allow Pickerington students to create their own program for learning. Every student deserves an education that unique and tailored to each.

Curriculum Types

What is "curriculum"?

A curriculum is a systemic approach designed to outline what students should be learning, why they should be learning it, and articulate means of assessing that learning.  It also encompasses the nature of teacher preparation and training.

When someone is describing a “level” or “type” of course, they should focus on the curriculum that is being used rather than the students or teachers that participate.


Curriculum types

State of Ohio Curriculum

The Ohio Department of Education executes the policies of the Ohio State Board of Education and creates the Ohio Learning Standards and Model Curriculum for grade levels and content areas.  Honors courses are designed by district teachers to enhance and exceed the state curriculum.

Click here to review the State of Ohio curriculum


Project Lead The Way

Project Lead The Way uses a “hand-on” approach, which blends independent learning of content with in-class learning activities that allow collaborative experiences with the teacher serving as mentor and learning coach.

Click here to review PLTW’s approach to education


Pre-AP Curriculum

Developed by the College Board, the Pre-AP Curriculum is the foundational basis for courses that may use this trademarked designation.  The courses are not designed to cater to “higher performing” students; they are designed to foster an approach accessible to all students to grow confidently into their postsecondary educational goals.

Click here to review the Pre-AP curriculum


Advanced Placement (AP) Curriculum

Also developed by the College Board, AP courses are designed to provide direct instruction that reflects a college course.  AP courses are available to everyone, but carry expectations of individual learning ability and academic preparedness. Courses last the full year and are designed to prepare students in a rigorous way for the demands of college coursework, while providing the supports of a high school environment.  Students may earn college credits through the AP exam offered in May.

Click here to review the AP curriculum


College Credit Plus (CCP) Curriculum

CCP courses are college courses offered in partnership with an accredited Ohio public college.  The college, in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission, develops the curriculum.  Teachers, even locally, are teaching on behalf of a college.  These postsecondary courses must exceed the K-12 curriculum and award high school credit in their content area.

Click here to learn more about CCP

Advanced Standing Courses

College Credit Plus (CCP)

College Credit Plus courses are taught by teachers who hold graduate credentials and serve as adjunct instructors for an Ohio college or work directly with college faculty members.  CCP is funded by the State of Ohio.  Successful completion of coursework in the CCP program allows students to earn college credit that is accepted by all of Ohio’s universities and colleges and many out-of-state and private institutions.  Location, manner of delivery, and scheduling of courses may vary; regardless of where or how CCP courses are taken, the class is a post-secondary level course as defined by law.

These are not high school courses – these are college courses offered for concurrent high school credit. 

Parents and students should expect differences in the learning process and plan accordingly.

  • Students must meet qualifying grade averages and ACT (or equivalent) scores to take CCP courses. As these are college courses, qualifications are set by the university or college awarding credit and vary between courses and programs.
  • Courses follow the same schedule as their college counterparts and are a semester long, and more material is learned independently by the student using course texts. Lectures give context, not information
  • Students taking CCP classes do not take a national exam for college credit at the end of the course, nor is end-of-course AIR testing required for History, Government, or Science
  • By state law, students are not charged for courses in the program, unless courses are failed or students withdraw after two weeks

Changes in Student Privacy: FERPA and CCP

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), parental rights transfer to a student who turns 18 or enters post-secondary education.  This encompasses all dual enrollment classes offered by the district in cooperation with a college or university, including those offered within the school buildings by district faculty serving as college adjuncts. Parents still maintain the right to access student records (e.g., final grades, attendance) if the student is a dependent student for tax purposes, but any communication about student work, performance, or other issues from the normal course of instruction are kept between the instructor and student.

Students are accountable for their own behaviors and actions. Compliance with the rules of the school, including attendance, will be addressed directly with the student. Correspondence from the school will be sent directly to the student via the district-provide email.  It is the expectation of the student to keep his/her parent informed.


  • The signed annual Declaration of Intent form for the student must be submitted to the counseling office of the student’s school prior to April 1st for students to take CCP courses on a college campus or online the following school year. If the Declaration of Intent is not on record prior to the end of the school year, students will not be eligible for participation in CCP courses the following year.
  • Students must have completed an application to the partnering college for the CCP courses in which a student wishes to enroll. College deadlines for application will be honored by the school district.  Student need not reapply to a college.  Students that have not applied to the college partner for locally-offered CCP courses prior to the end of the school year will not be eligible for participation in such courses.
  • Different colleges use different college-readiness assessments and set their own policies about testing. For all CCP courses within the district, students must have college-ready scores on record within the district prior to Spring Break to enroll in courses the following year.
Advanced Placement (AP)

Advanced Placement courses are taught by teachers using a curriculum approved by the College Board.  Successful completion of coursework in the AP program allows students the opportunity to take an exam in May.  Students who earn a passing score on the AP exam receive credit that is accepted by all of Ohio public colleges.  The number of credits and how they apply towards a degree vary depending on the test and the college.  Students can only receive such credit if they take the AP test.  Private colleges and universities outside of Ohio have specific policies in place that may vary from Ohio’s public institutions.

  • AP courses are more rigorous than traditional high school courses and are designed to develop the skills needed for future success in college. Students must be prepared to take on the additional responsibility.
  • The AP curriculum prepares students for the AP exam at the end of the year-long course. The AP exam gives students the chance to demonstrate competency and potentially qualify for college credit based on exam performance.  The AP exam is used in lieu of end-of-course AIR exams in some cases as well.
  • Students that do not participate in the AP exam will not be eligible for college credit
  • Testing fees or costs may be adjusted or waived on the basis of need. Contact your school counselor for more information.

About the AP Exam

Students are encouraged, but not required, to take the AP exam to receive weighted credit for their courses.  The AP exams in American History and American Government replace the state-required end-of-course examinations for points toward graduation.

The optional AP test will be offered for each course; in the case of Economics and Physics C, there are two exams. Students will be automatically assigned a test upon enrollment in the course. If a student wishes to opt out of the test, their parent/guardian will be required to do so in writing to the AP Coordinator no later than the due date provided at the beginning of the school year. College Board averages $94 per AP test but this fee is subject to change each year. PLSD will reduce or eliminate the test fee for those that qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program pending available funding and the number of students enrolled in the AP program.

More information about the exam process, timing, and nature of each specific course made be found at the College Board’s AP Course and Exam website linked here.

The Ohio State University - John Glenn College of Public Affairs

High School Internship Program

An invaluable and life-guiding experience for the civic-minded student, he John Glenn College of Public Affairs High School Internship Program (HSIP) is a unique public service internship program that allows high school students in the fall term of their senior year to gain first-hand experience within organizations in the public service sector.  Students must first apply to the OSU Academy for admission into the college’s College Credit Plus program, then apply for the John Glenn High School Internship.

Students may participate in the HSIP year-round (Summer, Fall, or Spring Semesters).



Describes the purpose of the program, which is covered in the text.

Information Technology

University of Cincinnati Early IT Program


Image describes the program detailed in this guide

Infographic detailing information in page text

For more information on applying to the program, please contact Ms. Alana Calhoun (

The Early IT Program is an innovative partnership that challenges the status quo for college access and affordability while significantly increasing the quantity, quality, and diversity of IT talent. The information technology sector is a strategic component of economic development in the State of Ohio. The demand for skilled information technology professionals continues to grow beyond the current capacity of the educational system. An effective, scalable, and sustainable talent development system is integral to Ohio’s economic competitiveness.

This program is centered around key innovative concepts that significantly reduce the total cost of a bachelor’s degree (economic efficiency) while improving the level of job readiness for the graduates (educational excellence). The programs key concepts include:

  • Teach the first year of the bachelor’s degree in high schools
  • Provide automatic guaranteed admission to the bachelor’s degree for those students who successfully complete the first year in high school
  • Use competency based graduate certificate to train high school teachers, enabling them to teach college courses
  • Integrate a 20-month paid work experience (co-op) with average pay of $45,000
  • Deliver the bachelor’s degree on community college campuses to increase transition and completion rates
  • Provide an accelerated bachelor’s plus master’s degree option to eliminate an additional two years of education
  • Utilize competency and project-based pedagogy to provide hands-on information technology education

The University of Cincinnati School of Information Technology partners with school districts to offer a pathway for high school students to work towards completing college and a career in Information Technology.

Students complete their first year of college while still in high school. The program reduces the number of years to graduate and the total cost. All students who complete their first year of classes in high school and complete these classes with a C or above average will be automatically admitted to the University of Cincinnati Information Technology program.

Business and Marketing Pathways

Business Pathway at Pickerington North
9th Grade Finance Foundations and Business Foundations
10th Grade Strategic Entrepreneurship
11th Grade Digital Marketing and Management
12th Grade Operations Management


Image describes the course pathway in the text below or business at Pickerington North

Marketing Pathway at Pickerington Central
9th Grade Finance Foundations and Business Foundations
10th Grade Marketing Principles
11th Grade Marketing Research and Marketing Applications
12th Grade Professional & Technical Sales

Image describes the text detailing the course plan for marketing at Central

Project Lead The Way Pathways (Engineering and Biomedical)


Infographic depicting the text below

From launching space explorations to delivering safe, clean water to communities, engineers find solutions to pressing problems and turn their ideas into reality. PLTW Engineering empowers students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program’ s courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

Introduction to Engineering Design

Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. They work both individually and in teams to design solutions to a variety of problems using 3-D modeling software and use an engineering notebook to document their work.

Principles of Engineering

Through problems that engage and challenge, students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

Computer Integrated Manufacturing

Manufactured items are part of everyday life, yet most students have not been introduced to the high-tech, innovative nature of modern manufacturing. This course illuminates the opportunities related to understanding manufacturing. At the same time, it teaches students about manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation. Students can earn a virtual manufacturing badge recognized by the National Manufacturing Badge system.

Digital Electronics

From smartphones to appliances, digital circuits are all around us. This course provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.

Engineering Design and Development

The knowledge and skills students acquire throughout PLTW Engineering come together in Engineering Design and Development as they identify an issue and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their solution to a panel of engineers. Students apply the professional skills they have developed to document a design process to standards, completing Engineering Design and Development ready to take on any post-secondary program or career.


Infographic describing text below

By immersing students in activities like practicing suturing and constructing body structures from clay, PLTW Biomedical Science empowers students to build knowledge and skills in biomedical science, as well as in-demand, transportable skills like problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration.

Principles of Biomedical Science
From design and data analysis to outbreaks, clinical empathy, health promotion, and more, students explore the vast range of careers in biomedical sciences. They develop not just technical skills, but also in-demand, transportable skills that they need to thrive in life and career.

Human Body Systems
Through projects such as determining the identity of a skeleton using both forensic anthropology and DNA analysis, students examine the interactions of human body systems and apply what they know to solve real-world medical cases.

Medical Interventions
Students delve into activities like designing a prosthetic arm as they follow the life of a fictitious family and investigate how to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease.

Biomedical Innovation
Students build on the knowledge and skills gained from previous courses to design their own innovative solutions for the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century.

Computer Science


Infographic depicting the text below

Employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The research and development work of computer and information research scientists turns ideas into industry-leading technology. As demand for new and better technology grows, demand for computer scientists will grow as well.

Rapid growth in data collection by businesses will lead to an increased need for data-mining services. Computer scientists will be needed to write algorithms that help businesses make sense of very large amounts of data. With this information, businesses understand their consumers better, making the work of computer and information research scientists increasingly vital.

A growing emphasis on cybersecurity also should lead to new jobs because computer scientists will be needed to find innovative ways to prevent cyberattacks.

In addition, an increase in demand for software may increase the need for computer scientists who create new programming languages to make software writing more efficient. (Source)


Cybersecurity is an introductory course on the PLTW Computer Science pathway and introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.

AP Computer Science Principles

AP Computer Science Principles is an introductory programming course in the PLTW Computer Science Pathway and engages students in the creative aspects of the field by allowing them to develop computational artifacts based on their interests. Students will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills by working individually and collaboratively to solve problems and will discuss and write about the impacts these solutions could have on their community, society, and the world. In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The creation of computer applications is integral to this process.

AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A serves as the last step on the PLTW Computer Science pathway, emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using Java language at an advanced level. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. This advanced computer science course introduces students to college-level computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing.


Global Scholars


Infographic depicting the text below

Program Breakdown

The Global Scholars Diploma is a three-year program that develops globally competent High School students by building the awareness and skills needed to take action on a global issue and to become responsible citizens of the world. The first two years are spent at face-to-face events where local experts share their personal experiences with culture, jobs with global components, and issues around the world. Students engage in various collaborative activities within the theme of the event, learning and exercising their cultural fluency and competency.

Program Themes

While the overall objectives of the program evolve as students progress through each year of the program, the framework through which those objectives are met remains the same across all years of the Global Scholars Diploma. Students build global competency by exploring three key themes: Global Issues, Global Cultures, and Global Careers.



Navigate to Nursing (through Chamberlain College of Nursing)


Beginning your senior year of high school, you can qualify to take college courses online and on-site and earn credit towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from Chamberlain University’s College of Nursing. The Navigate to Nursing (N2N) Scholarship Program is your chance to explore a rewarding career in nursing while earning college credit.

Link to video presentation from Chamberlain


Infographic describing text below

Sample curriculum and details are available at this link.