Career Academies

Career Academies are career-themed schools within high schools, in which the learning environment reflects the atmosphere and expectations of the 21st century workplace.  In the Charleston region, the Chamber is working with Berkeley County School District and Dorchester District 2 on implementation of career academies. Academies are currently being piloted at five area high schools with plans for expansion.

Currently there are Career Academies in health professions, hospitality/culinary arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).  Broad Academy themes may include several career programs; i.e. a STEM Academy may include computer programming, automotive technology and engineering.  Additional academy areas will be added in the future.

Why Career Academies:

Studies consistently show positive outcomes for students enrolled in career academies, including:

  • Increased graduation rates
  • Improved attendance
  • Lower dropout rates
  • Increased participation in volunteer and extracurricular activities
  • Higher postsecondary enrollment
  • Higher earnings after graduation
  • Emphasis on project- and inquiry-based instruction, internships and work-based learning, industry certifications and opportunities to earn college credit through dual enrollment
  • Teams of teachers work together to integrate academic content and career/technical education


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