Career Academies

Academies provide students with a jumpstart on post-secondary experiences and future plans.

Photo of Trever Reeh
8 5

Written by

Partnering with Facebook:

School name Facebook group partnered with small businesses and companies with students and teachers.  Provides a platform for students to connect with businesses and see skills that make them successful.

This environment where students and businesses are focused on "internships" that are passions for students moving forward.  Students develop skills and post these skills on Facebook letting potential colleges and future jobs know what skills they currently have. 


Image title

Creating a Facebook group will allow students and companies to interact in an open environment and give students the opportunity to see what companies offer skills that work for them.

Image title

Having companies interact with career academies in this type of open format allows students more opportunities to advance their skills in high school.

Overview: (What’s this idea about)

Career academies provide an opportunity for students to be exposed jobs and training that they are passionate about.  Students get the chance to work along professionals and teachers that are currently working in the field of their choice.  

For example, If students are interested in sports medicine, they could assist in the training room and at athletic events caring for injuries, taping, and providing rehabilitation.

Potential For Impact: (Why is this an idea that provides ongoing support?)

  • Academies provide students with a jumpstart on postsecondary experiences and future plans
  • Academies provide an opportunity for students to learn and explore career fields by integrating core academic education

Value Prop/Pitch: (How would you pitch this to other teachers in your school? Your principal? Etc)

How often are students given the chance to learn what they want or passionate about  in a traditional high school setting?

With career academies students are able to experience “authentic” real world learning and see if a profession is right for them without having to go to college first.  In traditional high school settings students are learning a set curriculum that has seen the same for possibly years.  In career academies everyday is different, because it is a different day in that profession. In a hospital setting, students are seeing new patients so everyday is different from the last.

Which experience would you rather your students have?

How’d I get this idea off the ground?

  1. Talk to parents and students about what they want out of education.
  2. Go to local businesses to see if they would partner with schools.
  3. Go to local colleges to see if they would also partner with school.
  4. Get teachers to design curriculum around the workplace for students.
  5. Get administration on board with outside help, such as state and local governments.
  6. Funding and “Get Noticed” get newspapers and local news in to do reports on students.

How you can get started:

  1.  Start with a hack-a-thon, get businesses and teachers in a place where they can talk openly about curriculum and needs of each other.
  2. Go to a local area businesses, see what they are doing in the form of curriculum that you are already teaching.
  3. Take that back to your students, show them real-world context for what they are learning.
  4.  Get one business to help students internship at.
  5. Have students take an online skills assessment and where their passions are at:
  6. Once students are in businesses, have teachers move outside the classroom and teach students at the job location.
  7. Go to local area colleges and see if there is money to get an adjunct faculty member to offer dual-credit classes at your school.


See which local businesses you can get to participate. (Hack-a-thon)

Find participation rate in introduction survey.

Conduct business surveys, have teachers go to the workplace to help students succeed.

Teachers at lower-levels can help students with prior-knowledge and help students get a step forward for college or job after high school.

Materials to get this idea off the ground:

Local businesses

Teachers willing to put in time for curriculum mapping and changes.

Collegiate faculty willing to teach dual-credit classes.

Future funding for extra teachers, adjunct faculty, and skills for future students.

Original Post:

What if we combined the two together and made learning at work and school the same.  Students get on the job training that prepare them for college and work.  Students learn among workplace professional and teachers in the field.  If students are interested in sports medicine, students could assist in the training room and at athletic events caring for injuries, taping, and providing rehabilitation.  Students could also become certified in first aid and adult CPR/AED.

At Papillion La-Vista High School they have a number of different career academies where they prepare students for college and their future by giving them high-school internships. These range from:

  • Working and earning their Certified Nursing Assistant, so that during the second year they can participate in rotations where they will work side by side with healthcare professionals throughout the hospital.
  • Omaha Doorly Zoo: Students will experience first-hand careers such as zoology, genetics, ecology, vet science, horticulture, animal behavior, marine biology, zoo management, business and marketing.
  • Welding: You’ll focus on welding techniques, including gas metal arc welding and cutting, while earning a Specialist Diploma.
  • And much, much more.

You can find more here: 

Academies provide an opportunity for students to learn and explore career fields by integrating core academic education.

Have a doc or slides that you're collaborating in? Link it here.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Trever Reeh

Paula Marra Donna Teuber the Google Doc should be set up... can you think of anything else?

Photo of Paula Marra

I just saw the doc! YAY!!! I also shared with Michael Schurr we shall start together to flesh it out!!! See you there!

Photo of Donna Teuber

So glad that you set up the doc! I look forward to contributing!

View all comments