Weekly Feature

2018-01-11 / Editorial

Academy programs are invaluable career prep

Bee Editorial

We don’t know what the future holds, but given the work being done by students in the West Seneca Central School District, we know it will be innovative and impressive.

The district’s academy program is one of the top in the state, offering students the option of five career academies as part of a diversified educational program.

In addition to extensive elective course offerings, students may select from the Academy of Business and Finance, the Academy of IT/Digital Media, the Academy of Visual Arts, the Academy of Pre-Engineering and the Academy of Life Science. These programs give students an opportunity to explore career fields and develop transferable academic and workplace skills, while earning high school and college credit.

Academy students also participate in industry-specific internships and have opportunities for scholarships through their academy program. Each academy is guided by its own advisory board consisting of individuals from the associated industry or career field.

The National Academy Foundation supports the development of young people toward personal and professional success - in high school, in higher education and throughout their careers. The academies of Information Technology and of Finance operate as “schools within a school.”

In addition to their required classes, academy students combine specialized theme-based courses with real-world experience, learning skills and self-confidence and connecting what they learn in school and the larger world as they transition to adult life.

Students take academy curriculum as a cohort group, which results in more individual attention and camaraderie among academy peers. Academy students also participate in field trips, shadow days and professional workshops and develop an electronic portfolio for college. Starting in their sophomore year, students enrolling in an academy still have room in their schedules during their four years in high school to take additional elective courses.

The Board of Education and administrative team work with dedicated teachers, supportive community business leaders and involved parents to create a network of experiences to best prepare students for success after high school in our ever changing economy and global market.

There is no experience quite like that which is gained from an academy class, and no better way to prepare students for life beyond high school.

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