Skip To Main Content

Overview of Guidelines for the Utilization of Career & Academic Pathways


 Northern Highlands Regional High School
Overview and Guidelines for the Utilization of Career & Academic Pathways
N.J.A.C. 6A: 8-5.1 (a) 2

The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) recognizes and acknowledges that all students will not achieve all of the required NJDOE approved learning standards in the same manner and/or with the same level of success. The Career & Academic Pathways Program enhances and enriches our traditional high school curriculum and involves in-depth and meaningful experiences. Career & Academic Pathways may include, but is not limited to:

  • Senior Internships
  • Work-based Learning Experiences
  • Community Service and Volunteering
  • On-campus College Programs
  • Virtual Learning Programs
  • Dual Enrollment Programs
  • Apprenticeships
  • Independent Study
  • Study Abroad Programs

To this end, The Career & Academic Pathways Program endeavors to offer learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom, which are stimulating and challenging, while enabling students to meet or exceed the NJDOE approved standards. 

Pursuant to N.J.A.C.6A:8-5.1 adopted in June 2009, district boards of education shall establish a process to approve individualized student learning opportunities that meet or exceed the NJ Student Learning Standards (NJSLS). This regulation requires a set of policies and procedures that permit a student or group of students to meet or exceed the core standards in any subject area through alternative activities. Documentation of the student’s achievement of the curricular objectives is required. 

Career & Academic Pathways Scenarios:

Courses may be taken for credit for the following six reasons:

1.  The course/experience is not offered at Northern Highlands Regional High School. Students may choose to take courses related to an area of interest, elective courses, and/or courses that are not offered at Northern Highlands (for example: Cyber Security, Electrical Trades, Veterinary Science). An application must be completed prior to enrollment in the course. No credit will be given without prior approval. With the exception of Personal Financial Literacy, all academic courses that will count toward graduation, including Health and Drivers Education, must be taken at Northern Highlands unless there are extenuating cirumstances that require administrative approval. Career & Academic Pathways is not intended to replace offered courses;  rather it should enhance the existing curriculum.

2.  The student may opt to enroll in college-level courses. This option may also be used for students in grades 10- 12 as a means of providing remedial courses and/or enrichment courses. A certified content area teacher must teach the course. Courses should cover the same objectives of the NJSLS  and the respective Northern Highlands courses.

3.  Independent Study. An Independent Study program is intended for an individual who seeks intense study in an academic area not currently offered by the Northern Highlands Regional High School curriculum. Independent studies may not replace a course listed in the NHRHS Program of Studies.

4.  Senior Internship. Seniors may only apply for internships.  The student will work with the Career & Academic Pathways staff to secure a work placement, and students must arrange for their own transportation. Internships do not count toward the GPA. Internships may take place outside of the school day, or students may have “release time” during the school hours to intern (e.g., leave after lunch).  Those granted release time have additional responsibilities that are outlined in the Intern Request documentation.

5.  Wellness Physical Education.  N.J.S.A. 18A:35-7 requires every NJ public high school student to take courses in health and physical education. N.J.S.A. 18A:35-7&8 requires that high school students receive 150 minutes (or two and one-half hours) of health, safety, and physical education per week, prorated for school holidays.  With regard to the standards, the principal must ensure that the student has met local district curricular objectives and should carefully document the student’s achievement. To ensure that the learning experience meets or exceeds the NJDOE approved learning standards, students granted this option have additional responsibilities that are outlined in the Wellness Physical Education Request documentation.

6.  The student failed the course and must remediate. Students who fail a course, or lose credit for any reason, can choose to remediate, or "make up," the course during the summer, instead of taking it during the following school year. The course must meet for a minimum of 60 hours to qualify.

Career & Academic Pathways Courses Must Be Pre-Approved:

Applications for Career & Academic Pathways programs can be obtained on this website under the appropriate course of study link or from the Career & Academic Pathways Supervisor. Applications must be submitted on time in order to secure placements on time. Late application forms will not be accepted.

  • For coursework in summer, applications are due by April 1.
  • For coursework in fall, applications are due by April 1.
  • For coursework in spring, applications are due by December 1.

In order to be rewarded credit, prior administrative approval by the appropriate academic supervisor, Career & Academic Pathways Supervisor, Guidance Counselor, Director of School Counseling, and Principal must be obtained before enrolling in any Career & Academic Pathways program. Email notification will be sent to the parent/guardian and the student.

Career & Academic Pathways Courses Must Meet NJ Student Learning Standards:

Learning opportunities based on specific instructional objectives must meet or exceed the NJ Student Learning Standards and be certified by the Principal. The NJ Student Learning Standards may be accessed here: NJ Student Learning Standards 

Student Responsibilities:

If approved, the student shall fully participate in the appropriate Career & Academic Pathways experience and submit the necessary documents to verify completion. These documents shall include any or all of the following: evaluation report, attendance report, completed coursework and capstone project, and any other elements agreed to in the Career & Academic Pathways application.

Students are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the site if relevant. No special parking privileges will be given to students participating in Career & Academic Pathways at NHRHS.


Any costs incurred as a result of the Career & Academic Pathways program will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian. The Board of Education will not assume any responsibility for any fees associated with this program.