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What is a career academy?

A career academy is a personalized small learning community within a high school, selecting a subset of students and teachers for a two-, three-, or four-year span. Students enter through a voluntary process; they must apply and be accepted, with parental knowledge and support. While academies vary in size, they usually have from one to three sections of students at each grade level.


A career academy involves teachers from different subjects working together as a team. Teams usually participate in professional development, particularly in implementing the key features of the model and gaining exposure to the career field. Team members have shared planning time. The joining of a group of students for several periods each day with teachers who they come to know well provides a family-like atmosphere, nurturing close student-teacher ties. An academy functions within the larger high school and requires administrator and counselor support. Academy students may also participate in required and elective classes outside the academy, as well as other activities such as clubs and sports.


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