This fact sheet provides an overview of career academies as one approach to delivering CTE. The brief offers a working definition of career academies, a history of their implementation, and research that supports the approach. In addition, the piece includes profiles of two states' (Florida and California) efforts and a description of one local career academy.
Career academies are a widely replicated and well-researched model for college and career preparation in high schools. The UC Berkeley College & Career Academy Support Network (CCASN) has just published a longitudinal description of students enrolled in state-funded career academies in California, also known as California Partnership Academies (CPA). Among the key findings of the new report:
This report presents a review of improvement strategies and reforms that educators and policymakers can develop and implement to support low-performing high schools. The report explains the theories that drive each reform strategy, reviews the evidence supporting the strategies, and provides suggestions for implementing the reforms. Some of the reform strategies include dual enrollment, early college high schools, learning communities, career academies, and charter high schools.
In June 2013, the National Center for College and Career Transitions (NC3T) surveyed Career Technical Education (CTE) and Career Academy practitioners at the school, district, and state levels to learn about the state of pathways programs: Where they were, where they had been, and where they were headed. In August, NC3T published the results of that survey, which show regular organic growth over the past few years, with growth forecasted for the future, despite little support in the policy arena.
Some notable findings from the report:
The District of Columbia has allocated $2.8 million to allow eight high schools to develop nine career academies in 2014. The purpose of the career academies is to help students develop skills necessary for the workforce. The career academies will also offer internships and training to students in hospitality, engineering, and information technology.