High school students at Louisiana Connections Academy have access to college and career-level training
High school students at Louisiana Connections Academy are finding that options once reserved for higher education are available to them this back-to-school season, as online learning meets career technical education (CTE).
Connections recently expanded its traditional college-prep curriculum to include a series of Career Technical Education courses – all delivered online, said Principal Caroline Wood. Students at Louisiana Connections Academy can take courses like Introduction to Law, Accounting, Introduction to Criminal Justice, Medical Terminology, and more.
“Career education isn’t a new idea, but increased awareness for CTE coupled with online delivery to all high school students, not just seniors, is really exciting,” said Principal Wood. Louisiana Connections Academy is a K-12 free, virtual charter which has 463 students enrolled in grades 9-12 for the 2013-2014 school year.
“Providing career education, even introductory courses, is a great way for students to ‘try-out’ a career that interests them – and because courses like ours are delivered online they provide more flexibility and personalization for students,” said Principal Wood.
Louisiana Connections Academy educators believe two factors may be boosting student demand for both e-learning and CTE courses: (1) the desire for 21st Century learning skills and workforce readiness; and (2) the request for scheduling flexibility for older students to pursue internships and/or part-time employment.
“My child is able to receive a high quality education while maintaining a flexibility to pursue his musical career thanks to Louisiana Connections Academy,” said Louisiana Connections Academy parent Donna Hubbs, whose son Jacob attends the school. “Virtual schooling has been huge for our family and Connections Academy has helped us so much.”
Presently 14 million students are enrolled in CTE courses — encompassing every state, with programs in nearly 1,300 public high schools and 1,700 two-year-colleges, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
To help students hone in on an area of study, the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium (NASDCTEc) has developed 16 different “Career Clusters®” that let students explore a variety of careers, and gain career-specific knowledge. Sample “Clusters” include: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and Law, Public Safety, and Corrections & Security.
The U.S. Department of Education found that students enrolled in CTE programs have a high school graduation rate of more than 90 percent, compared to the average national freshman graduation rate of 75 percent. Additionally, 70 percent of students concentrating in CTE areas stayed in post-secondary education or transferred to a four-year degree program.
“CTE courses help students address personal goals of achievement and global competitiveness. Students love their ‘real world relevance,’ mixed with core academics,” said Principal Wood.
To learn more, visit www.LouisianaConnectionsAcademy.com
ABOUT LOUISIANA CONNECTIONS ACADEMY (www.LouisianaConnectionsAcademy.com)
Louisiana Connections Academy is the state’s leading provider of high-quality, free public virtual charter schooling for grades K through 12. Louisiana Connections Academy offers a superior, personalized education for students, offered by Louisiana certified teachers, with the freedom and flexibility of an online education that meets the state’s standards. As an online charter school, students access their lessons anytime, anywhere as long as they have the technology, tools and support of their family. Accountability for meeting high academic student performance is monitored by the non-profit charter board, Friends of Louisiana Connections Academy, Wade Henderson, President. The charter school is authorized by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to accept students from any parish in the state. 1200 students attended for the 2012-2013 school year. Principal Caroline Wood has expanded the school curriculum to include tutoring, summer school, dual enrollment programs and high quality electives, such as e-learning courses at Juilliard. The school is headquartered in Baton Rouge at 8281 Goodwood Blvd., Ste J, (225) 372-8389. Student field trips, graduation ceremonies, parent-to-parent events and school information sessions are regularly scheduled and promoted at the school website.
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