On the Path Toward College and Career Readiness: An Evaluation of the Implementation and Outcomes of the Career Academy Program in Birmingham, Alabama
In the last three decades, career academies have grown in popularity as a mechanism to bolster high school students’ college and career readiness. Career academies offer small learning communities, project-based/work-based learning opportunities, and personalized academic support for students (Orr, Bailey, Hughes, Karp, & Kienzl, 2004). In an effort to improve students’ academic and career outcomes, education, business, and community leaders joined forces in 2010 to create career academies in Birmingham, Alabama. Since then, Birmingham City Schools (BCS) and a local educational nonprofit organization, Birmingham Education Foundation (Ed.), have collaborated to establish one or more career academy programs in all seven public high schools. In the spring of 2016, Birmingham Education Foundation and Birmingham City Schools requested that Ed.D. students at Peabody College study the implementation and outcomes of Birmingham’s career academies. The following capstone project report is the result of this research request.