- Feature small learning communities in low-income high schools, combining academic and technical or career curricula
- Each Career Academy serves between 150 to 200 high school-aged students at a time
- Aims to improve academic and career success by ensuring that the high school experience is rigorous and career-relevant
- Offer workplace opportunities through partnerships with employers, often with curriculum organized around one occupation or industry
Strength of evidence
Evidence level: Proven (highest tier)
Proven (highest tier)
Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, Social Programs That Work, the National Institute of Justice; the second-highest level of evidence by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse
High school-aged children
$3,800-$7,600 over 3-4 years
Outcomes and impact
- Increased grade point averages
- Increased average annual earnings by 11% ($2,555 per year in 2017 dollars), sustained over 8 years after high school graduation
- Gains concentrated among men (17% earnings increase); not effective for women
- Increased the number of months employed, hours worked per week, and hourly wages one to four year years after graduation
Keys to successful implementation
- Note: This content is under review
- Access to funding from the school district and local, state, and federal government is essential for sustaining Career Academies.
- Career Academies benefit from partnerships with local employers, employment agencies, mentoring groups, and local governments.
- To ensure strong enrollment, outreach strategies should be culturally attuned to the makeup of local communities.
- Additional supports should be provided to help students manage rigorous academic and skills training curriculum.