The St. Johns County Academy of Future Teachers at St. Augustine High School (SAHS) has earned Model Academy status, the highest designation awarded by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC). The St. Johns County School District made a commitment to develop high-quality career academies framed by the National Standards of Practice for Career Academies. Many academies across the United States are reviewed on the 10 standards, but few reach model status, let alone exceed every standard.
“It is evident that the passion of the academy teams, coupled with the support of the school administration, and the intense focus of the advisory board and community partners, has created a stellar program for students, parents and the community,” said Angie Grasberger, president of NCAC. “The rigor of the curriculum and the depth of the industry partnerships are to be commended.”
Academies that adhere to all the major components defining academies are far more likely to show positive results for student success. National research has shown that Career Academy students have better attendance, better scores on standardized tests such as FCAT, higher college attendance rates, and eventually earn more than non-Career Academy students.
“I am incredibly proud of all of those associated with the Teaching Academy, creating opportunities for students to excel as future teachers is wonderful for our district and the community,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “We want to train and recruit great teachers so they have an added incentive to complete their education and return to teach in the St. Johns County School District, and those students who return are placed on Level 2 of the pay scale. The business partners, staff and students have simply been amazing, and we are very grateful for their support.”
St. Augustine High School will be recognized at the NCAC 2012 national conference in Nashville, TN in November.~ The NCAC career academy review process is based on the 10 National Standards of Practice (NSOP), introduced in 2004 in Washington, D.C. by a consortium of career academy organizations and endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor.
Career Academies are smaller learning communities within a high school that create a family-type atmosphere and incorporate features such as integration of academic and career-related curriculum, team teaching and business involvement. Academies emphasize motivational and real-world activities including hands-on projects, business mentoring, internships and field trips. In partnership with St. Johns River State College (SJRSC) and the University of North Florida, the Academy of Future Teachers was started five years ago and offers college dual enrollment classes at the high school or on the SJRSC campus. Students may earn up to 60 college credits toward their AA degree – a potential savings in excess of $5,000 in college tuition costs.