Learning styles have changed dramatically since I graduated from Scotlandville Magnet High in 1987.

Then, teachers were still using chalkboards and overhead projectors. We took tons of notes longhand and completed English term papers using the card catalogue at the local library, where most students hung out.

But even then, during its early magnet days, my alma mater offered students a lot, including hands-on programs in journalism and engineering.

As Scotlandville Magnet’s academic programs have grown, they’ve helped prepare countless students to choose and attain their career goals.

Students can take courses and do internships in law and government, entrepreneurship and in engineering programs, says Beatrice Arvie, who heads up the four academic programs at Scotlandville.

Students do real-world training in courtrooms with lawyers; help engineering firms work on designs for commercial buildings and partner with businesses to help create mobile apps.

Scotlandville senior Derrosic Allen, who is in the school’s engineering program, is probably more career ready than most students his age. He completed an eight-week internship at Wardlaw and Lasseigne, a structural engineering firm.

“During my internship, I was in an actual work environment.” Allen says. “I was treated like a full-time employee, and I was trusted to work on projects that were billable to clients. The experience provided me with a unique opportunity for exposure in the work environment.”

Arvie says Allen’s experience is the goal of the program. Scotlandville Magnet is among the nation’s leading schools for providing a large number of engineering-related internships for its students. She said 47 students were placed in paid summer internships last summer.

The engineering program also has won the National Academy Foundation’s Distinguished Academy of Engineering Award in 2014 and in 2015, she says.

Students in law and government are also being prepared for the real world. They compete in a string of events, including Youth Legislature and Moot Court. And they partner with judges, lawyers, law enforcement and lawmakers in courtrooms, law offices or at legislative hearings, Arvie says.

Business and entrepreneurship students will compete in “Shark Tank”-like competition — they won last year — and help develop mobile apps for Microbusiness Enterprise Corp. of Ascension, where they will learn to run and start a microbusiness, Arvie says.

On Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Scotlandville will hold its Magnet Career Extravaganza, showing eighth-graders just how much the school has to offer.

Chante Dionne Warren is a freelance writer. She can be reached at chantewriter@hotmail.com.