What is an academy?
A career academy is a small, personalized learning community focused on a career theme. These programs include a college-prep curriculum and a path to career and industry certifications. An academy functions as a school within a school, grouping students into cohorts to follow a program of study. Each career academy involves teachers from different curricular areas working as a team. These smaller learning communities foster closer relationships between teachers and their academy students and between academy members. As students pursue their interests in their chosen academy, they are more engaged in learning and find relevance in what they do.
All academies require a core curriculum of English Language Arts, Mathematics, Physical Education/Health, Science, and Social Studies; various general/global electives fulfill the remaining requirements for graduation. Additionally, career academies may offer opportunities for job shadowing or internships, and some classes will be offered with the option to earn college credit while in high school.
What does this mean for the 2022-2023 school year?
There is a lot of planning and discussion and training and more planning that goes on to undertake a project like beginning an academy model. The class of 2024 (our fall 2020 freshmen) will be the first Dickinson High School class to complete four years of an academy, beginning with the Freshman Academy during the 2020-2021 school year. We intend to continue to implement programs as we grow into a full academy model. We will continue to work with our students over the course of each school year to get them placed into the academy that will be the fit best for them.
What are the goals of career academies?
- Prepare students for the workforce by working with local businesses to provide students with hands-on experiences
- Help students develop skills that the local workforce needs
- Give students a better idea of what career they would like to pursue — before they graduate
- Help students attain certifications and/or internships in their chosen career field
- Show students real-world applications of their studies
- Foster student relationships with teachers and peers who share similar interests
- Make connections in the community