Academy at North is Making a Difference

Making a Difference in High School
Posted on 11/21/2018
Image of College and Career Academies of Akron Logo(Lauren Wilson for News5 - WEWS)

(UPDATED INFORMATION TO THE FOLLOWING STORY: Correct spellings for Akron Public Schools students seen in the WEWS report are: Chaudralyn Bell and Nul Rai. To clarify, this is the third year for the academy program at North High School; APS plans to have academies fully integrated into all high schools in the district in the 2019-20 academic year.)

How prepared is your child for life after high school? A new report shows Ohio students are lagging behind.

A new analysis from The Fordham Institute’s Aaron Churchill found only two in five Ohio high school students are actually ready for college or a career.

The state has been trying to figure out how to improve that number and the graduation rates in general by implementing alternatives to the three graduation testing requirements, but one Akron school thinks they may have already found a way.

“That’s the reason that my father chose to come to the USA,” said Joesph Etungano, a senior at North High School. “The issue that I'm facing is where I'm going to get the money or how I'm going to do in college."

That's where North High's college and career academies comes in.

“College and career academy is transforming how we provide education for our students,” said Janice Weaver, college and career academy coach at North High School.

Students can chose between focuses like health or business, then within those focuses, they have eight pathways to choose from. It’s all to get them thinking about life after college and their future, earlier.

“When you're in high school you learn regular stuff, and these college and career readiness things they help you with figuring out what you want to do in college,” said senior Chaudralya Dell.

It has helped Dell pursue her passion for marketing.

“It has really taught me how to be a leader and how to have confidence,” she said.

While the school still makes sure the kids are on the path to graduate.

They are learning more than just the facts that will help them pass those tests.

“North High School is the trailblazer for college and career academies, so we're the first Akron public school to transform,” said Weaver.

By having smaller focus groups in those pathways, teachers, and guidance counselors are able to help them prepare for what life holds next, from finances to leadership skills.

“If you need some money for college, where to get that from, if you need tutors, how to get those,” said senior Nu Lii.

This is the third year for the academy program at the high school, Akron public schools are looking into implement throughout the district, but there is no set date on when that will happen.
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