Career Academies

High School Career Academies: A 40-Year Proven Model for Improving College and Career Readiness

This resource from American Youth Policy Forum examines the impact that career academies have had over the past 40 years. The author discusses the need for action and the research that shows career academies improve educational and labor market outcomes. Additionally, the author suggests several policy issues that must be addressed in order for career academies to be expanded.

Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States

This resource from CLASP was developed with the purpose of helping interagency state teams identify and use federal resources to support career pathways. The toolkit was specifically designed to help these teams identify and facilitate "braiding" of federal resources to design and develop career pathways and bridges into them for adults and out-of-school youth. A Funding Options Worksheet is provided with sample tasks for the state teams, though CLASP does encourage the teams to customize the tasked based on their local context.

Career Academies: Impacts on Students' Engagement and Performance in High School

This study from MDRC uses a large-scale, multisite, experimental design to determine the effects of Career Academies on a range of student educational, developmental, and work-related outcomes, including student achievement and student engagement. This report provides information on the implementation of Career Academies.

Meeting Five Critical Challenges of High School Reform: Lessons from Research on Three Reform Models

This report from MDRC looks at how three different high school reform models--Career Academies, First Things First, and Talent Development--addressed five challenges found to be obstacles to successful reform implementation in low-performing high schools. According to this report, the pillars of high school reform are structural changes to improve personalization and instructional improvement. The report offers tangible solutions as well as supporting evidence and various resources.

Local Spotlight: Mountain Home High School Career Academies

Mountain Home High School Career Academies was created in 2003 when the Mountain Home Public Schools in Mountain Home, Arkansas, decided to convert its only high school into a career academy. With approval of the Arkansas State Board of Education and the Arkansas Department of Education, the district moved forward with its plan to create the wall-to-wall career academy.

High School Rigor: Not Just About Taking Advanced Courses

We have some good news and some bad news.

The good news: The recently released U.S. Department of Education NAEP high school transcript study noted that the number of advanced courses (Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate, etc.) students take in high school has tripled over the past two decades.


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