Big Picture Learning

San Diego Met is one of 80+ schools in the United States, Australia, and Europe that exemplifies the philosophy and practices of Big Picture Learning. The design of the Met is integrated with California State Standards, San Diego Unified curriculum/graduation requirements, and principles of the Big Picture Company, which is located in Providence, Rhode Island. This model has been successful in creating small, student-centered high schools across the country and abroad. We believe that a student's interests and passions are the key to his or her successful high school education and life-long learning and that learning best takes place when each student is an active participant in his or her education. San Diego Met's focus is not only on knowledge acquisition, but also on knowledge utilization. We believe that school-based learning is most effective when blended with outside experiences which broaden and deepen student understanding. Therefore, we strive to develop life-long learners with the ability to apply academics in practical and creative ways to real-life experiences and challenges. Big Picture schools create a structure, instructional methods, and a learning environment that develops students into self-motivated, competent, life-long learners.

Students at San Diego Met earn attendance credit through independent study contracts. Three days per week students are engaged in academic study on campus; the other two days each week are devoted to Learning Through Internships (LTI). Students complete academic projects under the guidance of a workplace mentor. San Diego Met partners with more than 475 businesses in the San Diego area. Additionally, students usually present two exhibitions a year in which they demonstrate how they have mastered the content standards and integrated the five Big Picture learning goals through their academic work and internships. Parent engagement is required at the exhibitions and in the development of the customized learning plan.

San Diego Met does not offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Because we are a middle college high school, students begin to take college classes in their sophomore year and have the opportunity to earn up to 46 college credits prior to graduation. Students work closely with the San Diego Met Counselor, as well as a Mesa College counselor.

San Diego Met High School is a unique collaborative program between the San Diego Unified School District, the San Diego Community College District and Mesa College.


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