Career Academies

Originated by The Philadelphia Academies, Inc. in 1969 as a solution to the drop-out crisis, the Career Academy Model focuses on experiential learning, relevance and application.  By connecting student interests with career aspirations, Career Academies strive to make high school education personally relevant, providing students with a mixture of career and academic classes organized by industry themes.

Career Academies seek to:

Organize young people and teachers into small learning communities focused on delivering industry-themed content that helps students explore and master real world skills.

Forge partnerships with employers, educators, and the community through Advisory Councils which support and inform each academy.

Provide work-based learning and college prep experiences throughout young peoples’ high school careers.

Introduce and support a network of positive professional adults for whom young people can learn.

The model is now in 8,000 high schools across the country.  It has primed thousands of students for success through industry-driven instruction, workplace exposure and post-secondary educational preparation; and created a network of adults who take an active approach to providing the type of education young people want and employers need.

Contact Us

For  more information about PAI’s Career

Academy work, please contact

Stephanie Smith

Director – Programs and Partnerships at: or

215-546-6300 ext. 105