Secondary Career Academies Overview
Career academies combine a college-preparatory curriculum with a career-themed focus. Academic courses that meet high school graduation and college entrance requirements are linked with technical courses that focus on the academy’s theme and are aligned directly to priority workforce needs of the community. Career academies combine conceptual learning with relevant practical experience thus preparing students for both college and careers. Students enrolled in career academies follow a sequential program of study that leads to industry certification and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit and scholarships. Students choose career academies from 16 career clusters listed below, thus allowing them to make the successful transition between high school, college, and careers.
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Architecture & Construction
Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
Business Management & Administration
Education and Training
Government & Public Administration
Hospitality & Tourism
Law, Public Safety, Corrections & Security
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Several themes offered in these career clusters are also designated as member programs of the National Academy Foundation, an acclaimed national network of high school career academies predominately based in urban districts with rigorous, career-themed curricula created with current industry and educational expertise. M-DCPS offers 49 programs in the four career themes of Engineering, Finance, Hospitality & Tourism, and Information Technology at 24 high schools.
National Academy Foundation (NAF) Overview
The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed national network of high school career academies predominately based in urban districts-schools within schools-with rigorous, career-themed curricula created with current industry and educational expertise. NAF academies operate as Small Learning Communities (SLC). Each year, NAF serves more than 50,000 students in over 500 Academies in 40 states and the District of Columbia through the Academy of Finance, the Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, and the Academy of Information Technology. NAF Academies represent business/school partnerships that prepare young people for future careers through a combination of school-based curricula and work-based experiences. NAF was founded by Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup Inc., as a partnership between business leaders and educators. Employees of more than 2,500 businesses support NAF students by securing internships, volunteering in classrooms, acting as mentors, and serving on local Advisory Boards.
Academy of Finance
Established in 1982 in New York, the Academy of Finance (AOF) introduces high school students to the broad career opportunities of the financial services industry, opening the door to new options and equipping students to make sound choices for the future. One of four member programs of the National Academy Foundation, the Academy of Finance is located in more than 264 high schools nationwide.
Academy of Hospitality and Tourism
Launched in 1987 in Miami and New York, the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) provides public high school students with the requisite knowledge and skills for a successful career in one of the world's largest service industries, through a curriculum that provides an in-depth look at all aspects of tourism and hospitality, including coursework in business, geography, hospitality, and economics. The Academy of Hospitality & Tourism is located in more than 110 high schools nationwide.
Academy of Information Technology
With over 140 academies nationwide, the Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) was created in 2000 and provides a program of study that introduces students to the broad career opportunities in today's digital workforce and equips them with the personal, analytical, technical and communication skills they need to thrive. By introducing high school students to the broad career opportunities of the IT industry, AOIT opens the door to new options, with which students are better able to make sound choices for the future.
Academy of Engineering
The Academy of Engineering was developed in 2007 in collaboration with Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). The goals of the Academy of Engineering (AOE) are to: recruit and encourage more high school students to choose careers in engineering and engineering technology; increase the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in the study of engineering; and prepare high school graduates to enter postsecondary engineering and engineering technology programs fully competent in required mathematics, science, and technical subjects.