What are the College and Career Academies of Rockford?
Redesigning the high school experience helps to ensure that graduating students are better prepared for either college or the workforce. Academies are small learning communities that provide real-world experiences with local businesses and professionals, linking schoolwork and the workplace. Regular coursework, including Core Curriculum, Global Electives, and College and Career Pathways, is presented within the context of the academy’s focus.
Students chart their unique “pathway” during 8th and 9th grade, exploring career choices. They select one of the following academies to enter during their sophomore year: Business, Arts, Modern World Languages and Information Technology (BAMIT), Engineering, Manufacturing, Industrial and Trades Technologies (EMITT), Human and Public Services (HPS), and Health Sciences (HS). Students choose one of these four academies to enroll in for tenth through twelfth grades. Auburn High School is unique in that it has two additional College and Career Academies: Gifted and CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) which students enroll in through a testing and/or audition process.
In 2011 Rockford Public School District 205 Board of Education voted unanimously to implement a district-wide high school redesign, adopting the Academy model. Jefferson High School was the pilot school and implemented the model beginning with the freshman class in the 2012-2013 school year. The remaining four high schools, Auburn, East, Guilford, and Roosevelt began with Freshman Academies the following 2013-2014 school year. In the 2014-2015 school year all high schools have fully implemented the model.
Alignment Rockford works to sustain business engagement by partnering with RPS 205 to design the following solutions:
- Academy Expo career exploration event for all RPS 205 9th graders
- Provide opportunities for teachers to visit and connect with businesses
- Create Academy Support Teams (ASTs) comprised of local business men and women who work within the schools to support project based learning, and College and Career Readiness Councils (CCRCs) to help guide Academy Support Teams
- Provide opportunities for students to visit businesses
- Develop professional development opportunities for teachers
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