2014 Florida Statutes
Career and professional academies and career-themed courses.
Career and professional academies and career-themed courses.
1003.493 Career and professional academies and career-themed courses.—
(1)(a) A “career and professional academy” is a research-based program that integrates a rigorous academic curriculum with an industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to priority workforce needs established by the regional workforce board or the Department of Economic Opportunity. Career and professional academies shall be offered by public schools and school districts. The Florida Virtual School is encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career and professional courses as appropriate. Students completing career and professional academy programs must receive a standard high school diploma, the highest available industry certification, and opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the academy partners with a postsecondary institution approved to operate in the state.
(b) A “career-themed course” is a course, or a course in a series of courses, that leads to an industry certification identified in the Industry Certification Funding List pursuant to rules adopted by the State Board of Education. Career-themed courses have industry-specific curriculum aligned directly to priority workforce needs established by the regional workforce board or the Department of Economic Opportunity. School districts shall offer at least two career-themed courses, and each secondary school is encouraged to offer at least one career-themed course. The Florida Virtual School is encouraged to develop and offer rigorous career-themed courses as appropriate. Students completing a career-themed course must be provided opportunities to earn postsecondary credit if the credit for the career-themed course can be articulated to a postsecondary institution approved to operate in the state.
(2) The goals of a career and professional academy and career-themed courses are to:
(a) Increase student academic achievement and graduation rates through integrated academic and career curricula.
(b) Prepare graduating high school students to make appropriate choices relative to employment and future educational experiences.
(c) Focus on career preparation through rigorous academics and industry certification.
(d) Raise student aspiration and commitment to academic achievement and work ethics through relevant coursework.
(e) Promote acceleration mechanisms, such as dual enrollment or articulated credit, so that students may earn postsecondary credit while in high school.
(f) Support the state’s economy by meeting industry needs for skilled employees in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations.
(3)(a) Career-themed courses may be offered in any public secondary school.
(b) Existing career education courses may serve as a foundation for the creation of a career and professional academy. A career and professional academy may be offered as one of the following small learning communities:
1. A school-within-a-school career academy, as part of an existing high school, that provides courses in one or more occupational clusters. Students who attend the school are not required to attend the academy.
2. A total school configuration that provides courses in one or more occupational clusters. Every student who attends the school also attends the academy.
(4) Each career and professional academy and secondary school providing a career-themed course must:
(a) Provide a rigorous standards-based academic curriculum integrated with a career curriculum; consider multiple styles of student learning; promote learning by doing through application and adaptation; maximize relevance of the subject matter; enhance each student’s capacity to excel; and include an emphasis on work habits and work ethics.
(b) Include one or more partnerships with postsecondary institutions, businesses, industry, employers, economic development organizations, or other appropriate partners from the local community. Such partnerships with postsecondary institutions shall be delineated in articulation agreements and include any career and professional academy courses or career-themed courses that earn postsecondary credit. Such agreements may include articulation between the secondary school and public or private 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions and technical centers. The Department of Education, in consultation with the Board of Governors, shall establish a mechanism to ensure articulation and transfer of credits to postsecondary institutions in this state. Such partnerships must provide opportunities for:
1. Instruction from highly skilled professionals who possess industry-certification credentials for courses they are teaching.
2. Internships, externships, and on-the-job training.
3. A postsecondary degree, diploma, or certificate.
4. The highest available level of industry certification.
5. Maximum articulation of credits pursuant to s. 1007.23 upon program completion.
(c) Promote and provide opportunities for students enrolled in a career and professional academy or a career-themed course to attain, at minimum, the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars award pursuant to s. 1009.536.
(d) Provide instruction in careers designated as high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand by the regional workforce development board, the chamber of commerce, economic development agencies, or the Department of Economic Opportunity.
(e) Deliver academic content through instruction relevant to the career, including intensive reading and mathematics intervention required by s. 1003.4282, with an emphasis on strengthening reading for information skills.
(f) Offer applied courses that combine academic content with technical skills.
(g) Provide instruction resulting in competency, certification, or credentials in workplace skills, including, but not limited to, communication skills, interpersonal skills, decisionmaking skills, the importance of attendance and timeliness in the work environment, and work ethics.
(5) All career courses offered in a career and professional academy and each career-themed course offered by a secondary school must lead to industry certification or college credit. If the passage rate on an industry certification examination that is associated with the career and professional academy or a career-themed course falls below 50 percent, the 3-year strategic plan must be amended to include specific strategies to improve the passage rate of the academy or career-themed course.
(6) Workforce Florida, Inc., shall serve in an advisory role and offer technical assistance in the development and deployment of newly established career and professional academies and career-themed courses.
History.—s. 27, ch. 2006-74; s. 9, ch. 2006-301; s. 3, ch. 2007-216; s. 6, ch. 2010-22; s. 462, ch. 2011-142; s. 21, ch. 2011-175; s. 15, ch. 2012-191; s. 45, ch. 2014-39.