New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, or NOCCA, has long been known as a leading arts education program. But the staff there began to notice a trend. Students came to NOCCA from schools all over the city and had dramatically different experiences.
“And there were a lot of sad moments at the end of somebody’s senior year where they’d be given a scholarship based on their art, or get into a school based on their arts audition, and then not be able to accept it because they weren’t admitted academically,” says Dr. Kate Kokontis.
Two years ago, Kokontis and several other teachers were brought in to start NOCCA’s academic studio. Now students can enroll full-time at the school, instead of just coming for arts instruction.
Kokontis teaches Integrated Humanities and serves as Assistant Chair of the school’s Integrated Humanities Department. In this month’s Voices of Educators, she talks about building a curriculum for students from a range of backgrounds and experiences.
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