US Department of Education awards ASD $15 million to implement career academies

The Anchorage School District says it will switch to a career based " academies" model for high school students
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 3:57 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District is changing the model it uses to educate high school students to focus on workforce development.

Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt made the announcement at a recent Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon, telling the crowd the district was recently awarded a $15 million grant over five years to implement the “career academy model.”

Starting next school year incoming freshmen will be educated about a variety of careers so that they can choose an academy to enter during their sophomore year that offers a specific career path. Bryantt said the sophomore academies will begin in the fall of 2025.

“One high school will offer multiple academies, so a student will get one year to kind of explore and learn what different academies are about,” Bryantt said. “Every student has to choose an academy and for three years they’ll need to take courses that are aligned to some sort of technical certification or college credit or specific apprenticeships that will help them enter the workforce.”

Bryantt said the district is working closely with UAA and local business leaders to implement the program. He said many of the details are still being worked out but a meeting with stakeholders is scheduled for Oct. 12 to talk about the type of jobs that are needed in the state and what the academies should offer.

“Five years from now I want thousands of graduates from ASD to either enter UAA or to enter the workforce here in high-demand jobs right here in town,” he said. “Because we want our youth to understand there’s a lot to be gained if you stay in Anchorage and stay in Alaska, so we want to connect those dots between the schooling they’re doing every day with the careers of tomorrow.