STEM Pathways

Academic Pathways
Academic Pathways are programs of high school study that connect learning in the classroom with real-world applications outside of school. They integrate rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and field-based learning—all set in the context of two of California’s 15 major industry sectors: Biomedical Science and Computer Science.

Research shows that pathways increase academic achievement and learning, and early studies show an increase in students’ earning power when they graduate. Equally compelling, studies show that students enrolled in pathways perform better than traditionally educated counterparts on key standardized tests.

Since 2001, St. Francis High has been committed to empowering students to achieve their fullest potential. In keeping with this mission, St. Francis High School has introduced new learning opportunities designed to enhance our already outstanding college preparatory curriculum to allow your student to achieve their fullest academic potential.

Through our Academic Pathways, students may choose a specific area of interest in which they will participate in advanced level coursework and project-based learning experiences over four years.

Biomedical Pathway
This program is designed for students who excel in mathematics and natural sciences and are interested in the fields of biology or medicine. Students must possess well-developed academics skills, have a desire to engage in challenging course work, and aspire to pursue higher education leading to a career in medicine or other related fields. In addition to rigorous classroom instruction in advanced math, health sciences, physical sciences, and chemical and biological sciences, students will gain considerable clinical knowledge through working with professionals in a hospital setting. Students will conduct independent research, participate in medical simulations, and attend guest presentations provided by physicians, research scientists, and other medical personnel.

  • 9th Grade: Principles of Biomedical Science
  • 10th Grade: Human Body System
  • 11th Grade: Medical Interventions
  • 12th Grade: Biomedical Innovation

Computer Science Pathway
Computer Science empowers students to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology that surrounds them. In the Computer Science pathway, students enjoy a rigorous curriculum and collaborative projects, develop deep computer science knowledge, gain essential skills such as problem-solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance, and leave St. Francis with a path for success in today’s technologically centered world. Students will learn a wide range of topics including coding, artificial intelligence, and app development.
  • 9th Grade: Computer Science Essentials or AP Computer Science Principles
  • 10th Grade: Computer Science Principles and/or AP Computer Science Principles
  • 11th Grade: Computer Science A and/or AP Computer Science Principles
  • 12th Grade: Cybersecurity and/or AP Computer Science Principles


*All students are encouraged to choose a pathway.
Students take the annual pathway course in conjunction with 6 other college preparatory classes each school year.