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Key Features of College and Career Academies (chart)

Small Learning
College-Prep Curriculum
with a Career Theme
Partnerships with Employers,
Community, and Higher Education
Several academy-only classes in grades 9-12, 10-12, or 11-12

Self-selected cross-disciplinary team of teacher-managers, with a lead teacher/ coordinator

Voluntary enrollment, cross- section of students; size limited to maintain personalization

A family-like atmosphere with a motivating, supportive, disciplined instructional tone

When possible, academy classes blocked back-to-back in the daily schedule

Support from district and school administrators and counselors

Students given opportunity to engage in full range of non-academy courses, electives, and other school activities
Several academic courses per year that meet high school graduation and college entrance requirements

One or more courses per year in a broadly defined career field that lets students explore a full range of career options

Academic classes that illustrate applications in the career field

Common planning time for teachers to allow curricular integration

Projects that bring together skills across academic and career classes, possibly a school-based enterprise

Counseling to ensure post secondary plan which may include college, work, or both

Articulation with postsecondary curriculum
Locally selected career field with a cadre of employer partners

Steering Committee that governs program operation

Parental involvement in students' decision to enroll, and in various program activities

Business representatives who provide role models, show students career options and paths

Field trips/job shadowing to illustrate work environments

Mentors, employee volunteers that serve as career-related "big brothers and sisters"

Workplace experiences (paid or unpaid internships, community service) in the last year or two

Postsecondary institution articulation, concurrent enrollment