Theme Descriptions

The Ford PAS curriculum consists of 20 modules that link classroom learning with the challenges students will face in postsecondary education and the workplace of the future. The curriculum integrates academically rigorous, standards-based content with realistic applications in areas such as design and product development, information systems, environmental sustainability, global economics, business planning, personal finance, and marketing. Innovative partnerships that connect local high schools with colleges and universities, community organizations, and businesses provide real-world learning opportunities that are an essential component of the curriculum.

Some schools use all or most of the Ford PAS modules, while many offer a subset of modules within one or more themes. Several modules fit into more than one theme, and many are designed so that they can be used as units in traditional academic courses as well as electives. The Foundations modules are often deployed alongside or as preparation for other thematic sequences. Other modules can provide the core knowledge and skills for career and technical education pathways.

The flexible design of the curriculum allows for the use of the program in a variety of ways:

  • To build students’ foundational academic and workplace skills (problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communication)
  • To serve as the core for a particular career concentration
  • To encourage students to build on and apply in real-world contexts some of the knowledge and skills they learn in academic courses
  • To serve as the framework for an entire school (small learning community or career academy) designed to prepare students for college and careers
  • To introduce middle school students to collaborative, project-based learning experiences (only selected modules are appropriate, and require some adaptation, for middle school use)
  • To provide college students with real-world contexts for reinforcing and applying academic knowledge and skills

There are tables associated with each theme that show the suggested academic subjects and grade levels. Modules with subject area designations are most suitable for integration into existing academic courses; modules without designated subjects also teach academic content but are fully interdisciplinary and don’t focus on a particular academic discipline.