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​​​​​​​​​About College & Career Academies​
In 2010, a team of community stakeholders came together with RPS 205 teams to develop an idea that would transform our high schools. The Academies of Rockford came from a local need to reform public education, invite community groups to take ownership in our public schools, increase graduation rates, and prepare our students for college, career and life. 

​Rockford had a reputation for being one of the lowest performing public school systems in the nation. In the last seven years, Rockford has changed that reputation by providing students the opportunity to pick their Pathway to careers and college. These pathways within the academies ​allow our students to be college and career ready, while aligning with industry certifications and early college credit programs:

Business Academy
Business & Entrepreneurship  | Studio Arts  | Graphic Design | Information Technology

Production Academy
Engineering  | Engineering (RVC Senior Semester)  | Construction  |  Industrial Tech  | Manufacturing  | Transportation Tech

Service Academy
RU Education  | Public Safety

Health Academy
Bio-Medical/Lab Sciences  | Personal/Athletic Training  | Nursing/Pre-Med

Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Academy available only at Auburn, audition required

Dance  | Media Production  | Vocal Music Performance |  Instrumental Music Performance  | Studio Arts  | Technical Theatre  | Theatre Performing Arts

Gifted Academy available only at Auburn, eligibility testing required
About the Gifted Academy

What are Academies?
An Academy is a smaller learning community, or a school within a school, that allows students to experience high school through the lens of a theme, or Academy. Our Academy model follows the Ford Next Generation learning framework:

Ford Next Generation learning framework


Transforming teaching and learning ensures integration of academy themes into core content area and core content area into our pathways coursework. Teachers participate in SLC (Smaller Learning Community) time to develop units that incorporate Academy themes into core content areas. Problem based learning is also a tool that allows students to learning about a subject by working in groups to solve a problem.

Transforming the secondary school experience ensures students have flexible work spaces that foster collaboration and inquiry. Additionally, Academies are physically located together in the building, with a central office for each Academy.

Transforming business & civic engagement includes integration of college and career experiences into a students’ middle and high school career. The work based learning continuum identifies student experiences that include school based career development, career-oriented self-reflection, and/or student-employer connections.  

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