Career Academy FAQs

Why has Blake High School Reorganized into Career Academies for 10TH- 12TH Grade?

A Federal Grant has made it possible for Blake to join the growing national education movement toward organizing large high schools into Smaller Learning Communities (SLC), referred to as Academies. This federal initiative has proven successful in preparing students for real world careers and entry into rigorous post-secondary education.

Academies promote connections among students and teachers, build teamwork and leadership skills, guide students in course selection, encourage academic challenge through rigorous courses, and prepare students for future careers through relevant course content and connections to the community and workplace.

What are the Career Academy Choices?

There are four career academy themes at Blake:

  • Arts and Communications

  • Business and Consumer Services

  • Humanities and Public Service

  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

Each Academy includes multiple Pathways to careers. Pathways are clusters of coursework focused on information and skills that support further academic study and future employment. For detailed descriptions of each academy, see Academy Descriptions.

Who Makes the Decision about a Student's Career Academy Affiliation?

Students and parents make the academy choice, with guidance from teachers and counselors.

The interests and needs of each student determine what academy program they enter and what courses they choose to take. Once an academy is selected, a student takes a series of courses in the chosen career focus area, called a Pathway. Each Career Academy offers many pathways to careers, with courses focused on information and skills that support further academic study and future employment. The pathways guide students in selecting courses that support their personal and academic goals.

What is an Academy Certificate and what are the Requirements?

Students enter academy programs after 9th grade, and they receive a Certificate when they complete all Academy requirements. A certificate is granted upon completion of three (3) academy courses and a capstone experience. This may be an internship, senior project, research project, or college course(s) that relates to the career focus.

Certificate courses may be from related pathways within an Academy. Certification is not required for graduation, but it is noted on official documents and acknowledged at the graduation ceremony.

Will a Student be allowed to change Career Academies and/or Pathways?

Students may change pathways and academies when appropriate, as determined by counselors, academy team leaders along with parents and students. They may also take courses in related academies or pathways.

What are some Benefits for Students involved in the Career Academy Pathways?

Academies help students receive a more relevant, rigorous education and make connections to other students, teachers, mentors, and future employers. Career pathways focus on coursework that connects academic learning to real world applications and include Advanced Placement course options. Capstone experiences allow students to individualize their focus with a culminating experience or project. Several pathways include industry certification indicators or affiliation with national or regional professional associations.

Academies promote teamwork among teachers, relationships among students with common interests and link high schools to career professionals, communities and higher education. Each Career Academy will have multiple business, education and community partners who support student success through mentorship or contribution of resources.