Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Clairemont High’s Academy of Business selected as Lighthouse Academy

The Academy of Business at Clairemont High School received notification of being selected to represent the California partnership Academies as one of 15 California Partnership Academies Lighthouse Academy model programs.

The Academy of Business is an award-winning, grant-funded small learning community that focuses on the business and finance industry pathway. Founded in 2004, the Clairemont High program offers access to an array of unique educational activities and opportunities that are not typically part of a general high school education. The three-year program provides college-prepratory curriculum that incorporates business elective courses at each grade level. Partnerships with local companies and organizations also play an integral part in the Academy’s day-to-day.

Clairemont High students enter the Academy of Business in tenth grade and then stay together as a group, taking three to four periods of each school day in the program until they graduate. The academy teachers work together to create interdisciplinary, problem-based projects and industry-relevant experiences that build from year-to-year. Students say the academy is a “family environment” that “gives them a focus” and “encourages them to succeed.” The academy’s motto is "success is a choice."

The Academy of Business is part of the California Partnership Academies, a network of approximately 500 programs supported by competitive state grants in California’s public high schools. Begun in 1985, the California Partnership Academies are designed to prepare students for both college and career by relating academic subjects to a career field via a sequence of career-technical courses, linking students to the outside world and career paths of possible future interest. To accomplish this, academies form partnerships with employers in the selected career field, and two-and four-year colleges in the region.

Recent studies show that career academies are the most durable and best-tested component of high school reform strategy; they are highly effective in improving outcomes for students during and after high school. Though California Partnership Academies programs target students who are under-performing or economically disadvantaged, students enrolled in California Partnership Academies programs like the Academy of Business perform better than state averages in overall graduation rates, minority graduation rates, standardized tests, and university eligibility.

California Partnership Academies Lighthouse Academies are very important to the program for several reasons: they set the standard for correct implementation of the California Partnership Academies model, provide assistance to other Partnership Academies, and provide critical assistance to the California state California Partnership Academies team. This distinction reflects the quality, history, and understanding of the CPA model to which Academy of Business has dedicated itself.