To address high school dropout rates and increase the number of students who graduate from high school, educators, policymakers and community business leaders are supporting the strategy of high school career academies. Professional academies are not the latest craze; it’s been around for at least forty years. The experts at the career academy know what works and what doesn’t. The Career Academy Toolkit is a book that describes in detail the process of founding and establishing a career academy.
So what are the pros and cons of these career academies? Benefits to career academies are that students have improved high school attendance, additional credits earned, higher GPAs and graduation rates, and are better prepared for careers and college. Disadvantages include that career academies are more expensive to set up and implement, are difficult to plan for, and require partnerships between education and the community. Let’s discuss each of these pros and cons in more detail.
Advantages of the vocational academies:
1. Improved School Attendance: As students choose to attend academy, they are more willing to attend school. The more students stay in class, the more motivated they are to learn. The more motivated the students are, the more engaged they are in learning. The more engaged the students are, the more they learn. This becomes a circle for them: the more they learn, the more they are motivated to learn more.
Motivation is one of the most important keys to the success of academies. Academies follow several motivational strategies, such as B. Integrating the curriculum between academic and technical courses. Now the students not only learn the knowledge, but also have the opportunity to apply it. At Bright Futures Press, we call this “sticky learning”. Because academies have partnerships between the academy and the community, students can then go into the “real world” to see how their learning really fits there. This is exciting for the students and reinforces learning in the classroom.
2. Additional Credits Earned: Based on Pro #1, students who stay in school tend to earn more high school credits and the more high school credits the students earn; the more likely they are to graduate.
3. Higher GPAs: This brings us to pro number three. Students need credits to graduate, and students who stay in school earn the credits to graduate. Students on their way to graduation have more self-esteem and are more motivated to study more, which increases their grade point averages. Students who graduate from high school are generally encouraged to attend college or post-secondary education.
4. Better Career and College Readiness: Students who feel college ready make an effort to attend college or receive post-secondary education. Students who go to work immediately are more likely to receive company policies and additional training provided by the company.
Now let’s discuss the disadvantages of career academies. Career academies have three major disadvantages. For one, they are more expensive to set up and implement. Second, they are difficult to plan for and, finally, they require partnerships between education and the community.
Disadvantages of vocational academies:
1. More expensive to set up and implement: Because academies involve a “real” subject with community partners, this application of the learning process requires more money for student field trips and internships, as well as funds to pay for teacher internships. Additional resources do not end there, funds are needed to fund teachers’ time collaborating on curriculum development and time collaborating with business partners and post-secondary educational institutions. And all this requires more professional development of educators. While career academies are more expensive to operate, the ROI (return on investment) is worth it (ie additional revenue from improved student attendance).
2. Difficult to plan: Due to the curriculum integration, the student field trips and internships, teaching teaming activities, career academies are a nightmare to plan. However, many vocational academies have overcome this obstacle and are willing to support high schools that have decided to establish academies. Other resources include co-op advisors who are experts in the field and will help schools for a fee. Since these experts save both time and money, they should be considered as a viable option.
3. Partnerships between education and society: This is the trickiest of the three disadvantages of vocational academies. Business and education speak different languages and there has to be someone who can translate what everyone is saying. These partnerships require both an igniting and nurturing process. Building the partnership is harder than it seems. Most schools prefer “affair” to “marriage.” They tend to ask for money (short term goal) rather the value the company can bring to the relationship like mentors, real life learning on the ground etc what the “marriage” is. Once the partnership begins, teachers need time to move the relationship forward, and time is something more schools are unwilling to pay for. The school, believing that the teacher will stop and visit the shop on the way home from school (at the teacher’s own expense), dooms the relationship between education and business.
Vocational academies work! They require more time and resources to succeed, but they’re worth the effort. They are a proven strategy that results in more students graduating on time and both/or ready for a career or college.
Thanks to Sandra Mittelsteadt | #Advantages #disadvantages #vocational #academies