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“Career Academies” for All Students
Greendale High School District has brought to the fore the idea of implementing a “career academy” for all students in the area. These high schools are aimed at providing students with certain skills which will be useful in a specific career. Thus, freshmen entering the high school will have to declare their area of interest. There will be between 4 and 8 electives and students will have an opportunity to focus on the discipline they are interested in.
The incentive has caused a heated debate as many people believe such high schools will be ineffective due to a number of reasons, e.g. students’ unpreparedness and additional costs associated with the change. Nonetheless, a closer analysis of the issue suggests that the implementation of the career academy will positively affect the development of the educational system and will provide students with more opportunities for their further education or future careers.
Some Fears Concerning the Career Academy
As has been mentioned above, there are certain fears that the students are unprepared to make such important choices as picking their majors. Some people claim that many students enter high schools at the age of fourteen and they are psychologically incapable of making the choice.
Opponents of the career academy argue that at such an early age students do not know what exactly they want to do in their future. They can make a wrong decision and will simply waste some years of their life. More so, opponents stress that some students will tend to choose the least challenging subjects as they still do not understand the importance of proper education due to their age.
However, these fears are groundless as students are not that immature when they enter a high school. For instance, according to a poll held, 65% of students claim they work harder in classes they find relevant for their future. In many cases, students have formed their major interests by the age of fourteen or fifteen. When students are interested in a subject, they work hard and they are ready to invest their time to become proficient in the subject.
More so, the necessity to choose major does not mean students should study this discipline only. Students’ ability to try studying a discipline is beneficial for them. Thus, if a student gets disappointed in a discipline and understands it is not for him/her, he can make a more thoughtful choice in college. This will save the student from years wasted on studying the wrong major in college.
Another important argument against the career academy is concerned with funding. It has been estimated that the change will cost $3 million. However, this is the necessary investment into the development of education. Besides, the state government will reimburse certain part of this sum. Therefore, the community will benefit from the implementation of the career academy with minimum funding. There are also concerns that the teachers having the necessary skills are not available at the moment.
Thus, additional funding is required to provide the necessary training to teachers. Admittedly, only high-profile teachers can help students acquire the necessary skills in specific areas. Again, this investment will be beneficial in the long run. Officials tend to stress that the US education needs to be reformed and improved. Implementation of the career academy is one of the ways to do this. Providing students with specific skills and creating teams of high-profile teachers will help improve the US educational system.
Benefits of the Implementation of the Career Academy
It is necessary to note that irrespective of certain fears, the implementation of the career academy is beneficial as it leads to development of the educational system in the community. Thus, there will be high schools with different majors. Therefore, students will have a variety of options. Young people will be able to focus on English and Mathematics, or such specific job areas as computer repair, accounting, mechanics, etc. Students will acquire specific skills which will make them more prepared for their future.
Apart from this, graduates from such schools will have more chances to enter the college they want and will have more job opportunities. Admittedly, an applicant who has certain experiences in a specific field and knows exactly what he wants to achieve in his/her academic life will get more points and more chances to enter a college. Likewise, employers prefer candidates who are committed, who set specific goals and achieve them.
On balance, it is possible to note that irrespective of certain concerns, the implementation of the career academy will be beneficial for the community. Students will have more opportunities to enter the college they want and to get a better job. Such high schools will make the students more committed and mature. These schools can also be the first step in reforming the US educational system which needs improvement. Admittedly, this is an effective way to invest into the development of the US young generation.