A new long-term research study demonstrates that a “career academy” program that is in about 2500 High Schools, actually leads to better income earning outcomes for the graduates.
Forget the old-fashioned “vocational ed” classes that sent students on a decidedly noncollege track. Over the last quarter-century, a new kind of high school program known as a career academy has proliferated, especially in low-income districts, that combines job placement, college preparation and classes beyond the vocational trades, from accounting to health care.
Now, a long-term and rigorous evaluation of nine career academies across the country, to be released in Washington on Friday, has found that eight years after graduation, participants had significantly higher employment and earnings than similar students in a control group.
The interesting thing about these programs is that they don’t put the student on a “vocational track” where college is ruled out, but rather give them options and real world work experience during their junior and senior year of high school. There are 19,000 high schools in the U.S.. It would seem to me that this program should be made available in every one of them. Wouldn’t this be the perfect kind of public-private partnership where America’s corporations could get tax deductions for supporting these programs at every high school?