Feb 22, 2022 |

What is a High School Academy?

By Gravitas

High School Student

High school academies are smaller, specialized learning communities integrated within a more traditional school setting. Around for more than 50 years, they were originally created to provide specifically structured environments within larger high schools. Each academy is centered around select themes and teachings that can enhance the strengths of the students enrolled. While many are career-focused, others concentrate on a single discipline. But the goal of any academy is to provide a more intensive focus for like-minded students to delve deeply into subject material while supported by passionate teachers and staff.

Why Are High School Academies Beneficial?

While traditional education covers core courses such as English, science, mathematics, and social studies, academies do so with a thematic approach. It’s math, but math for entrepreneurs if that’s the path a student chooses. It’s science, but advanced teachings in biology, chemistry, and physics for the science-driven student. Academies have been linked to increased collegiate success, better life skills, and improved career confidence. And during a student’s time in an academy, the benefits are many:

  • Opportunity to explore passions
  • Engaging curriculum that ties coursework to real-life applications
  • A learning environment of serious students
  • Better preparation for college with comprehensive coursework
  • Insight into career pathways
  • Shadowing, mentoring, and internship opportunities

How is Learning and Interaction Different Within an Academy?

Beyond the structure and specificity built into academies, your academy life can help you build a lasting, meaningful community. By collaborating with students who have similar interests and expert teachers, you can nurture your passions and gain a level of understanding in a specific area that many students do not experience until college. More than courses, studying, and reading, academies also link to application. Through internships and community partnerships, you can strengthen learning by interning at local organizations, shadowing professionals, and taking what you learn in the classroom out into the real world. The community environment and concentrated learning and application give you more opportunities to celebrate your achievements with your peers and forge bonds that endure well beyond graduation.

What are Some Examples of Some Typical High School Academies?

High school academies dig deep into specific areas, but not so specific that they leave you pigeon-holed into an obscure niche area of expertise. Specialized academies are structured around a specific track that can be applied to common university-level studies and careers. Each high school is a bit different in what they offer, however, some like Gravitas offer a:

  • Leadership Academy that is geared toward helping each student become a strong, capable, and ethical business leader and entrepreneur
  • Technology Academy that provides you with a deep foundation in computers, engineering, and data science to prepare for a career in tech
  • Arts Academy that provides coursework and experience in digital and analog art, that can transition into a career in the arts in a number of applications
  • Science Academy that provides a deeper dive into lab and life sciences and can prepare you for a range of career outcomes in medicine, research, and industry

Gravitas offers specialized academies for 11th and 12th grade students as a part of our rigorous online learning curriculum. As a global extension of the prestigious Stony Brook School, Gravitas provides an elite prep school experience to students and families wherever they choose to learn. Please contact us to learn more.

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