Career academies are small, personalized learning communities within a high school that select a subset of students and teachers for a two, three, or four-year span. Students enter the academy through a voluntary process; they must apply and be accepted with parental knowledge and support.A career academy involves teachers from different subjects working together as a team.
Career academies include the following essential elements:
A small learning community
A college-prep curriculum with a career theme
Partnerships with employers, the community, and higher education
By design, these three central elements of a career academy lead to a school that is rigorous, relevant, and relational. As such, career academies are an excellent example of a reform model for Florida's policymakers and practitioners to consider in high school reform.
Career academies are one of the very few educational models that have developed National Standards of Practice to encourage continuous improvement. These National Standards of Practice have been adopted by many existing career academies and have led to improvements across the field.