Marion City Schools is committed to preparing students to be college/career ready.
Its Diploma Plus Acceptance pillar focuses on making sure that all Marion Harding High School graduates leave high school with not only their diplomas but acceptance into one of the following four areas:
- Two- or four-year college or university
- Adult education or apprenticeship
- In-demand job paying sustainable wages
- Armed forces
Marion City Schools, in partnership with community representatives and local educators, has worked to identify career clusters that best fit the Marion area. Three clusters have been identified:
- Arts, business and communication
- Automation, manufacturing and engineering
- Health and public service
Marion Harding High School hosts Marion County's only Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. The program is a pathway for students who hope to join the military after high school and also teaches leadership skills.
Marion City Schools has also launched Graduate Pathways to Success (GPS), which gives high students extra guidance as they experience college classes while still in high school. The program, a partnership with Marion Technical College, lets them take college classes for free.
GEAR UP at Marion City Schools, located at Harding High School, works with students to make them aware of opportunities to attend college through activities including tutoring, mentoring, academic preparation, financial education, and college scholarships.
Simulated Workplace, an initiative shared by Marion City Schools and Rushmore Academy, aims to transform traditional career technical education students into work-ready employees. A simulated workplace classroom gives career technical education students experiences similar to what they would have in the workplace.