Originated by the Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI) in 1969 as a solution to the drop-out crisis, the career academy model focuses on experiential learning, relevance and application. It seeks to:
The model is now in 7,000 high schools across the country. It has primed thousands of students for success through industry- driven instruction, workplace exposure and post-secondary educational preparation; and created a network of adults who take an active approach to providing the type of education young people want and employers need.
People: We support school leaders in the creation of effective teams to lead their own school transformation, and build a school environment that reflects high expectations, industry involvement and college opportunity.
Process: To start school transformation, we help teachers understand the model’s National Standards of Practice by visiting model communities. Once schools are ready, we focus with teachers to create structures and processes that follow the model with fidelity. With initial PAI coaching schools create daily common planning times, data walls, and new student/teacher schedules for small learning communities. Ongoing professional development and annual assessments help schools stay on track and revise goals.
Place: We work with our partner schools to make classrooms vibrant with real world learning opportunities, personalized education, and many opportunities to build their own professional networks. We train an annual cohort of career academy ambassadors who work with the school leadership to create school spirit (and events) for their peers, acquaint guests to the model, and provide student voice to the model.
Our schools partners include:
Key Findings from Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation’s 14-year randomized controlled study of over 1,700 career academy students across the country:
We are not a school.
As a nonprofit youth development provider, we use our 45+ years of programming expertise and implementation best practices to support the All Academy High School initiative with partner schools. And, as a member of the Philadelphia Council for College and Success, we are leading the city’s effort to scale up this effective model so that ultimately 12,000 young people can benefit from the model within our city’s school.