Students in Rhode Island are earning credit for achievements outside the classroom

The administrators at the Providence School District in Rhode Island are finding creative ways to keep their students engaged.

The district has partnered with the nonprofit Providence After School Alliance (PASA) to provide the opportunity for the district’s 23,500 students to earn class credit and digital “badges” for applying skills and achieving outside of the classroom.

The students can do activities ranging from pitching business plans to local companies to learning how to make phone apps at Brown University, according to an article in Education Week.

The district is one of the first in the nation to so directly connect the real-world experience with the academic one.

“Districts are challenged in balancing the need to meet fiscal realities and policy regulations, while addressing the academic needs of students and making certain they have access to the types of courses they need to be prepared for college and a career," said Paula Shannon, the district's chief academic officer.
"But good learning is learning that is relevant and rigorous that takes place in and outside of school," she said. "Expanded learning opportunities provide real potential to move the needle forward in education by blending the line between the two worlds."