On September 24 to 26, 2007, the San Diego Met School, a high school located on the campus of San Diego Mesa College, will host a group of Dutch educators and policy makers who are visiting the U.S. to study innovative education models created by the US-based Big Picture Company.
Officially the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical High School, the Met is one of only two schools in the nation that will be visited by the KPC Groep, an educational consulting organization in the Netherlands, who plan to introduce Met schools in that country.
According to principal Mildred Phillips, KPC Groep is very interested is seeing the success of the partnership created between San Diego Unified School District, Mesa College and the San Diego Community College District.
“Many Big Picture Schools are near college campuses, but our school is actually on the grounds of Mesa College,” said Phillips.
The Met, which opened in 2004, is located in the heart of one of San Diego and the nation’s largest community colleges. Met students take college classes at Mesa starting in the 10th grade and accumulate enough college credits to enter college at the sophomore level.
“The support our school receives from Mesa College is unparalleled in any Big Picture school in the country,” adds Phillips.
Key to the Met program is unpaid internships that the students complete twice a week in the business community. According to Phillips, the school’s internship program is considered the most successful Met model in the country.
San Diego business partners hosting Met internships include: the La Jolla Playhouse; the San Diego Police Department; KUSI/Channel 9 News; Ronald McDonald House; several law offices; US District Court interpreters office; Family Health Centers of San Diego; the Midway Museum and the Mesa College Library Resource Center. Many students turn their unpaid internships into a paid summer jobs.
The San Diego Met is one of two stops for the Dutch educators, who will visit the Big Picture's flagship school in Rhode Island following their San Diego tour. The group includes the management team of the KPC Groep, including Johan van der Hosst, General Manager, and a team of 12 assistant managers and senior advisors.