Effect of career academies on student achievement and attitude

The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not students participating in the health academy had significantly higher achievement scores as well as perceptions about school when compared to students at the same school who are not participating in the health academy. In order to evaluate achievement, five different items were analyzed: the grade point average coming into high school, the current grade point average, the California Achievement Test (CAT 6) in English/Language Arts, the California Achievement Test (CAT 6) in Mathematics and attendance rates. In order to assess the students perceptions about school a Likert scale survey was developed to analyze three different aspects of school: school and curriculum, teachers, and friends. There is sufficient evidence to support the positive effect the academy model is having on student achievement. There is also evidence to support the positive effect the academy is having on student perceptions about school, specifically in regards to student/teacher interaction. Yet, for this study when school interest and friends was analyzed, not all test resulted in statistical significance. Nevertheless, it can be stated that there are some aspects of student perceptions about school that show a statistically significant difference between students in the health academy and students not in the health academy. Keywords: Career Academies, School within a School, Small Learning Communities, Student Achievement, Student Perceptions about School