Correction: An earlier version of the map misidentified the types of industrial sectors at some of the career academies. The map has since been updated.
Check out our new interactive map on career academies in California high schools for 2013-2014.
The programs typically combine college-preparatory academics aligned to a specific career field – health care, for example – alongside real-world work experiences, including internships, job shadowing or mentoring opportunities. The map is part of an EdSource initiative focusing on preparing students for college and careers, which is the goal of current reforms such as the Common Core State Standards and the Local Control Funding Formula.
Mouse over the map below to explore schools participating in career academies. Clicking on the numbered marker will expand the markers for individual schools. Scroll down for additional information about the different career academies.
Types of Career Programs
A number of different programs operate in California schools, depending on the program they were created under and the funding mechanism that supports them:
California Partnership Academies are a network of schools supported by state grants. The programs offer a three-year program for grades 10 through 12 and typically operate as a small learning community inside a larger high school to offer an integrated career and academic curriculum for students. Several different academies may operate at one high school, offering a variety of options for students.
Assembly Bill 790, a 2011 bill by Assemblyman Warren Furutani, D-Gardena, created a statewide linked learning pilot program. Schools following the linked learning model offer courses tied to a specific career field, and that career theme permeates the curriculum. Students on a health care pathway might take human anatomy for their science course, for instance. Twenty districts and educational partners were chosen to participate in the pilot to assess how the linked learning approach can be expanded throughout the state.
The Linked Learning District Initiative was launched in 2009 in nine California districts to expand linked learning models. The initiative is directed by ConnectEd, a Berkeley-based nonprofit, which provides support and coaching to the schools. ConnectEd receives funding for the initiative from The James Irvine Foundation.*
The National Academy Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit, runs a network of career academies across the nation, including several in California. The programs can be standalone high schools or small learning communities within a larger campus. The academies are organized around one of five career themes: finance, hospitality and tourism, information technology, health sciences, or engineering.
What Career Academies Teach
There were at least 737 career academies in 396 schools in California for the 2013-14 school year. The top three industries of focus within those academies were related to the arts, health and engineering, but there were a total of 15 industry sectors represented in academies, according to the Linked Learning Alliance.
* The James Irvine Foundation also provides financial support to EdSource, but has no say in editorial decisions.