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What is a Destinations Career Academy?
A Destinations Career Academy is an online public high school that teaches the career skills students need for a bright future. In addition to core academic courses required for graduation, career-focused electives allow students to explore different career fields and gain skills that can help them be successful in the workplace and in college. Whether they intend to go to college, are already working in their chosen career field, or plan to start a career right out of high school, the occupational programs we offer can combine their passion and interests with the skills they'll need to compete for jobs in high-demand fields.
What is career education?
Simply put, career education seeks to prepare students to be successful in life after high school. What used to be known by many as vocational education or VoTech is now known as career technical education, CTE, or just career education. One big difference with today's career education is the types of careers students can explore and study—careers in fields like business, information technology, and health science.
What are career fields and career pathways?
A "career field" is simply an industry classification such as Information Technology or Manufacturing. Career fields are further subdivided into "pathways," which are specializations within the career field. Pathways can be further divided into programs. For example, Pharmacy Technician is a program under the Health and Human Service career field.
Why should a student choose a career education program?
There are many reasons to choose a career education program. Some students know what they want to do after high school and taking career-focused courses in high school can give them a head start. Others may not know what they want to do, and through a career education program, can explore different occupations and career fields to figure out where their interests lie. Others simply enjoy taking courses that they find relevant to everyday life. Destination Career Academies also help students master professional skills such as teamwork, project management, and leadership, which are needed to succeed on the job or in college.
Is the Destinations Career Academy program part of the required high school credits that are needed for graduation?
The Destinations Career Academy program is not required for graduation. Some courses may fulfill elective requirements, and therefore, may count toward graduation requirements. Check with your school counselor for specific requirement details.
Will students receive a high school diploma?
Yes. Students graduating from a Destinations Career Academy receive a high school diploma.
Will students earn any certifications or credentials?
The Destinations Career Academy program prepares students to take one or more industry-recognized certification exams, depending on the selected career pathway and how many courses they successfully complete.
Why would a student need an industry-recognized certificate or a credential?
An industry-recognized certificate is one way a student can demonstrate to college admission officers and employers that they're ready and able to do the work required to be successful and that they have demonstrated technical expertise in a particular field.
Who issues the certificate or credential?
It depends on the certification or credential. For example, issuers include Adobe®, Microsoft®, NOCTI®, and ACTE®.
Is there a certification exam?
Yes, most certifications require students to take an exam to show that they're knowledgeable in the content learned throughout their course of study. Exam requirements may also include a hands-on component. Test-preparation is a part of most courses and our schools support students in their efforts to obtain the hands-on/practicum that they"ll need to pass the certification exam.
How many courses does a student need in order to be prepared for a certification exam?
The number of courses required to be prepared to take a certification exam will vary, but most career pathways consist of four to six specialized courses followed by some work-based experience. Typically, a student will need to be in a pathway for two years in order to complete these specialized courses (in addition to your core subjects). Certain certifications, such as Adobe® Photoshop or Microsoft® Excel, can be obtained after completion of a single course.
How much do certification exams cost?
Exams fees vary and may be paid for by the school. Students should check with their counselor for details.
Do students need an internship to graduate?
No, they do not need an internship to graduate. However, a hands-on component may be required to complete certification requirements and prepare for certification exams.
How often do classes meet?
Students have live, online teacher-led sessions, called Class Connects, regularly each week. The number of Class Connects a student is required to attend depends on the course and the progress they are making in the course.
How do students contact their teachers?
Students can contact their teachers during Class Connects or at any time by email. In addition, many teachers offer additional ways to communicate. Students should check with their teachers for their preferred method.
What is a typical day like?
A typical school day will vary depending on the student's grade, course load, and chosen career pathway. In general, students can expect a mix of individual coursework, teacher-led instruction, assessments, and project collaboration with other students. Please visit A Day in the Life to see what a typical day looks like for one Destinations student.
What are professional skills and why are they important?
Professional skills are also referred to as transferable skills, interpersonal skills, soft skills, or social skills. These are the skills that employers look for when hiring employees. Examples include teamwork, collaboration, presentation and communication skills, problem solving, creative thinking, and leadership, to name a few. Professional skills may include nearly any ability that pertains to the way a person approaches others or handle their professional life.
Can students change their selected career pathways?
Yes. Destinations Career Academies are the perfect place to explore different occupations and find the career pathway that interests them the most. This may take a little time.
Do all the career pathways have the same number of credits? Is there a list of all the courses within each career pathway?
The number of courses will vary depending on the pathway. For details on a particular pathway course sequence offered at a school, students should speak with their counselor.
Do Destinations Career Academies hold graduation ceremonies?
Yes. Each Destination Career Academy has a graduation ceremony.
What is a career and technical student organization (CTSO)?
A CTSO is basically a career club, where students with similar career interests connect, collaborate, and even compete against other schools. Participation in these student-led organizations can help students build teamwork, communications and leadership skills, citizenship, and volunteerism.
What CTSOs do Destination Career Academies offer?
Offerings vary by school but include one or more of the following clubs: DECA (an association of marketing students), FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), HOSA (future health professionals), and SkillsUSA.