Career Academies are school-based programs that seek to reduce dropout rates and improve school performance and career readiness among high-school youth. A Career Academy (CA) is organized as a school-within-a-school, where students work in “small learning communities.” Each small learning community involves a small number of students working with the same group of teachers for three or four years of high school with the aim being to create a more personalized and supportive learning environment for students. CAs offer students a combination of academic and career-technical curricula and use a career theme to integrate the two. In an effort to build connections between school and work and to provide students with a range of career development and work-based learning opportunities, CAs establish partnerships with local employers. To encourage post-graduate education they also build linkages to local colleges through curricular articulation, dual enrollment programs, and field trips to 2- and 4-year institutions.
Provides small learning communities within high schools, combining academic and technical career curricula, and offering workplace opportunities through partnership with local employers to enhance school engagement and performance and provide students with the credentials and skills needed to make successful transitions to post-secondary education and, eventually, a career.