Philadelphia Academies, Inc. was founded in 1969 to address the dropout crisis plaguing Philadelphia schools. The initial focus of our work was Career Academies, a model of career connected learning that our founders created. Since its inception, the Career Academy Model has contributed to higher graduation rates locally and has been transformational nationally, where it has been replicated in over 8,000 schools.
This model groups select students and teachers within schools in small learning communities, each of which is focused on a specific career pathway(s) and supported by an advisory board of employers, representatives from higher education, and the community. Recognizing this “pocket academy” approach privileged certain students over others, in 2008 PAI moved toward implementation of an All Academy approach, whereby all students in a school are scheduled within and benefit from participating in a Career Academy pathway.
Today, PAI still provides technical assistance in implementing the All Academy Model. However, we have recently broadened our vision and body of work to include support in implementing three other transformative Career Connected Learning (CCL) Strategies:
–Work-Based Learning (WBL)
–Career Pathway Development
–Pre-Apprenticeship Bridge Programs
We are excited at this expansion and are eager to build new relationships and find effective ways to partner with schools, industry, post-secondary educational partners, and our community to support the over 3,500 students and teachers we serve each year.
I love belonging to a supportive community with lots of in-school activities and outside opportunities. Learning is relevant to the real world and I am challenged to meet high expectations
— Philadelphia Academies Inc., Student