Decatur Career Academy Overview
Decatur Career Academy
The Decatur Career Academy (DCA) offers pathways related to in-demand career fields. The training will prepare students for college and/or entry-level employment in a competitive market. Each classroom focuses on hands-on tasks and student-centered learning. The DCA provides students the training to excel in the workforce. An emphasis is placed on employability (soft) skills to prepare students to participate in work-based learning as a senior in high school.
Georgia Career Academy Project
The Georgia Career Academy Project began with the goal of providing students the opportunity to enroll in programs that provide students the opportunity to become college and career ready. The partnerships that create career academies include high schools, technical colleges, and universities. The business and industry communities are a critical link in connecting with education leaders to bring programs to students that will provide students the opportunities to reach career goals in fields that are relevant to the community in which they are offered.
What is a career academy?
According to the National Career Academy Coalition, academies offer a college preparatory curriculum with a career theme, enabling students to see relationships among academic subjects and their application to a broad field of work. They also foster partnerships with employers, community leaders, and local colleges and bring in resources from outside the high school to improve student motivation and achievement.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the driving force behind the Georgia Career Academy Project, wrote, "Meaningful reform will happen when our state gives students a system in which they find value and the chance to follow educational paths that excite and challenge them." The state's career academies are partnered with and funded through the Technical College System of Georgia. DCA is affiliated with DeKalb Technical College.
Unlike other district's career academies that serve multiple schools and require students to travel from their home schools, DCA allows students to remain on Decatur High School's campus to receive training in state-of-the-art labs. Students may earn college credit and participate in job shadowing and internships. DCA students also participate in national organizations that offer competitions, travel, and scholarships.
A career academy includes the following essential elements:
A small learning community
A college-prep curriculum with a career theme
Partnerships with employers, the community, and higher education