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Career Academies. Rationale, Structure, Planning, Implementation and Sustaining . Career Academy Workshop Objectives. Participants will know and be able to: Explain the rationale for Career Academies Define Career Academies and their 4 criteria Explain the steps to planning Career Academies.

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career academies

Career Academies

Rationale, Structure, Planning, Implementation and Sustaining

career academy workshop objectives
Career Academy Workshop Objectives

Participants will know and be able to:

  • Explain the rationale for Career Academies
  • Define Career Academies and their 4 criteria
  • Explain the steps to planning Career Academies
Indicate your role at your school
  • P = planning career academies
  • I = implementing career academies
  • Years of implementation 1st, 2nd, etc.
career academies1

Career Academies

In a Talent Development High School


Four defining characteristics of Career Academies

  • Prepare all students for any post secondary option
  • 2. Small Self-Contained Learning Community
  • (own space, faculty, students,
  • administration, and support team)
  • 3. Business Partners for advice and authentic experiences
  • 4. Student self-selection, open to all students
why career academies
Why Career Academies?

Small learning communities foster more

positive relationships - personalization

Improved school climate

“Safe, serious, student mobility”

Increased student motivation

“Relevant program with less apathy”

Improved student attendance and

promotion rates

Greatly reduced dropouts


Research shows that students experience:


They do not see the

relevance of school.


Career connections


Many students feel anonymous in their schools.

Personal relationships

A sense of community

organization of a talent development school
Organization of a Talent Development School

Central Administration


Ninth Grade


Career Academy


Career Academy


Career Academy


Academy Leader


Academy Leader


Academy Leader


Academy Leader














Team Leader

Team Leader

Team Leader


Talent Development High SchoolsCareer Academy Pathways

Career Academy

250 – 350 Students

14-16 Teachers, 10 Advisories


Pathway 1

Career Focus

150 Students

7-8 Teachers

Core Curriculum

“Real World” Experiences

Team Leader

5 Advisories

Pathway 2

Career Focus

150 Students

7-8 Teachers

Core Curriculum

“Real World” Experiences

Team Leader

5 Advisories

Goal: Common Prep. Period for Majority of Staff with a

Team Leader Who Has a Reduced Schedule


A pathway identifies the more specific careers that are covered under the broader Career Academy themes. Each pathway has a sequence of courses.



Career AcademiesPlanning Criteria

  • Survey student interest and skills
  • Build Upon School Strengths (staff and facilities)
  • Consider Local Labor Market
  • Provide Variety of Career Academy Choices
career academies are reflective of faculty strengths
Career Academies are reflective of faculty strengths

Encourage staff members to work together with faculty who have similar interests

Generate enthusiasm among the faculty for establishing Career Academies. This leads to ownership for planning and leading academies.


Engineering & Design

Energy & Utilities

Fashion & Interior Design

Educ, Child Dev, & Family Services

Building Trades & Construction

Finance & Business

Career Technical Education Industry Sectors

Health Science & Medical Technology

Arts, Media & Entertainment

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation


Information Technology

Public Services

Manufacturing & Product Development

Marketing, Sales & Service

Career Clusters

A variety of Career Academy themes allows for each student to find a Career Academy that suits the individuals’ strengths and interests.
the planning year
The Planning Year

Step 2: SLC Formation: October-November

Step 3: Faculty SLC Selection: December

Step 4: SLC Marketing November-January

Step 5: Student Selection/Placement: December-January

Step 6: The Nitty Gritty – January to May

  • Staffing & Scheduling
  • Facility Reorganization
  • Baseline Data Collection
  • Professional Development Plan

Step 7: Summer Work & Faculty Retreat

implementation years
Implementation Years

Deepening of SLC/Teaming Practice

Putting the Career in Career Academy

Ongoing instructional improvement supported by peer coaches

Ongoing systems and Leadership Development


Scheduling Goals:

  • Self-Contained SLCs with Teams
    • All Teachers scheduled within the academy
    • 4 x 4 Schedule
    • Common prep time for teaching teams
    • Extra prep time for Team Leaders
    • Double dose in Math and English for students who need it
    • Cross Academy Courses for specialty and Advanced Courses

Career Academy Checklist

  • All students choose a pathway revolving around a career interest.
  • Each teacher in an academy is identified as a part of a pathway.
  • Pathway students are in pathway advisories.
  • Pathway advisors stay with advisory from year to year and receive professional development in mentoring strategies.
  • Room assignments are clustered by pathway identification of teachers and advisories.

Career Academy Checklist

  • A three-year course sequence of career focused pathway courses is identified and students are scheduled into these courses.
  • Staff Development time is provided for pathway teams to meet and discuss team development strategies and student issues.
  • Pathway teams (SLC teams) develop pathway/SLC culture with room decorations, newsletter, all-team meetings, awards programs, trips, and other teaming strategies.
  • Each SLC develops an “advisory council” made up of partners in business, universities, government, and community.

Career Academy Checklist

  • A parent advisory group is formed to work with the team for support and to encourage parent involvement.
  • The master schedule allows for pathway teams to share a common prep time to discuss pathway issues.
  • The team leader and academy counselor work with each pathway team to locate job shadowing and internship experience during junior and senior years.
advisory board structure and management

Advisory Board Structure and Management

Information from NAF

National Academy Foundation (

role of advisory board
Role of Advisory Board
  • Helps define the mission of the program
  • Assist in the development of Academy policies
  • Provide paid internships for qualified students
  • Provide industry expertise to support curriculum
  • Business/Industry tours for teachers & students
  • Mentoring and job shadowing opportunities for teachers and students
role of advisory board1
Role of Advisory Board
  • Assist in budget development
  • Assist in fundraising in support of the Academy
  • Assist in promotional activities
  • Curriculum review and development
  • Development of competencies for career paths
  • Provide awards and incentives for teachers
  • Provide scholarships for students
  • Assist in the development of a strategic plan
ways to be engage board members
Ways to be Engage Board Members
  • Advisory Board Committee member
  • Paid internship provider / supervisor
  • Classroom speaker
  • Mentor
  • Job-shadow venue
  • Coach, judge (Senior Projects)
  • Speaker at Student Conference
don t forget outreach involving
Don’t forget outreach involving
  • Universities
  • Service projects
  • Parents
  • Cultural institutions
  • Local, city and state government
  • School district
  • Alumni
working in table groups

Think about a career themed

interdisciplinary unit/project/idea

for your academy.

Be prepared to explain to the group

including how each subject area

teacher will be involved

(Extra credit will be given for creativity of idea and creativity in sharing)

thank you
Thank you!

Comments, Questions, and Contact Info:

Tara Madden