Career Academy Overview

Polk Career Academies are small, personalized learning communities within a high school that select a subset of students and teachers. Students enter the academy through a voluntary process; they must apply and be accepted with parental knowledge and support.

A career academy involves teachers from different subjects working together as a team.

Staff teams, who often share common planning time, work together to implement the key features of the academy and provide students with training in the career field. Students may be grouped together for several periods every day with a core group of teachers. This promotes a family-like atmosphere and results in close student-teacher ties.

A career academy includes the following essential elements:

  • A small learning community supported by a local advisory committee
  • A career theme that may include a college-prep curriculum and lead to industry certification
  • Partnerships with employers, the community, and higher education

By design, these three central elements of a career academy lead to a school that is rigorous and relevant.

Career Academy Goals

  • Increase student achievement and graduation rates through integrated academic and career curricula.
  • Focus on career preparation through rigorous curriculum and industry certification.
  • Raise student aspiration and commitment to academic achievement and work ethics.
  • Promote leadership development through participation in Career Student Organizations.
  • Support the revised graduation requirements by providing creative, applied majors.
  • Promote dual enrollment, articulated credit, or occupational completion points so that students may earn post secondary credit while in high school.
  • Support the state‚Äôs economy by meeting industry needs for skilled employees in high-demand occupations.

More Information

For more information, admission requirements, a current list of Polk Career Academies or to apply online, please visit the official career academy website at