The mission of Philadelphia Academies, Inc. (PAI) is to expand life and economic options for Philadelphia public school students through career-focused programming that prepares young people for employment and post-secondary education.
PAI exists to make high school more relevant for students, and increase their chances of graduating ready for success in careers and post-secondary education. We are the city's only youth development organization that helps to implement and support the career academy model, an evidence-based approach to increasing high school graduation rates. Since the model's founding, it has been adopted throughout 2,500 high schools throughout the country.
Embedded in the model are three core activities – career connected programming that motivates young people, the active development of social adult networks to help students' make a successful transition into adulthood, and professional development for principals, teachers and school administrators to use the model as a tool for successful school reforms. These efforts work together to produce the outcomes that we desire for students.
Our role is to serve as an intermediary, bringing the financial and human resources of the business community into Philadelphia public schools. For students, we provide work and college preparation readiness skills, connections to internship experiences, and scholarships that provide a path toward a productive life. For teachers and school administrators, we provide tailored professional development supports to help them integrate the model throughout an entire school so that all young people may benefit.
- Consistently, 85 to 90% of Philadelphia Academies, Inc. graduates surveyed report that they are productively engaged (i.e., working, in the military, or in post-secondary education) 6 and 18 months after graduation from high school.
- For the class of 2012, the Academies, Inc. graduation rate by cohort (in same school for four years) was 84%, whereas the non-Academies, Inc. cohort graduation rate was 61%.