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Our mission is to prepare students for college and career, emphasizing skills in business & finance. Students gain a competitive edge from relevant courses, real-world experiences, team collaboration, and industry partnerships. Through a supportive family environment, Academy students grow to be innovative, articulate, and socially conscious young adults who invest in their futures and communities.

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What Are We?

School Within a School – A Model For Student Success

The Academy of Business at Clairemont High School is an award-winning, grant-funded small learning community that focuses on the business and finance industry pathway. Founded in 2004, the Academy of Business offers access to an array of unique educational activities and opportunities that are not typically part of a general high school education. Our three-year program provides college-prepatory curriculum that incorporates business elective courses at each grade level. Partnerships with local companies and organizations also play an integral part in the Academy’s day-to-day.

Clairemont High students enter the Academy of Business in 10th grade and then stay together as a group, taking three to four periods of each school day in the program until they graduate. Our team of Academy teachers works together to create interdisciplinary, problem-based projects and industry-relevant experiences that build from year-to-year. Our students say the Academy is a “family environment” that “gives them a focus” and “encourages them to succeed.”

Our Motto: “Success is a choice.”

College and Career-Ready

The Academy of Business is part of the California Partnership Academies (CPAs), a network of approximately 500 programs supported by competitive state grants in California’s public high schools. Begun in 1985, the CPAs are designed to prepare students for both college and career by relating academic subjects to a career field via a sequence of career-technical courses, linking students to the outside world and career paths of possible future interest. To accomplish this, academies form partnerships with employers in the selected career field, and two-and four-year colleges in the region.

Recent studies show that career academies are the most durable and best-tested component of high school reform strategy; they are highly effective in improving outcomes for students during and after high school. Though CPA programs target students who are under-performing or economically disadvantaged, students enrolled in CPA programs like the Academy of Business perform better than state averages in overall graduation rates, minority graduation rates, standardized tests, and university eligibility. (Career Academies: A Proven Strategy to Prepare High School Students for Career and College 2010 by CASN at UC Berkeley).Back to top

Who Are We?

Diverse Students

Academy students range in all different backgrounds, ethnicities, talents, and goals, but all have one thing in common: a strong desire for a successful future. They choose to interview with the Academy during ninth grade in order to be accepted and enrolled in the program for the next three years. Because students stay together as a cohort, they develop a family learning environment. Students also have the opportunity to apply to participate in our Leadership Team at all grade levels, planning events, organizing fundraisers, and problem-solving Academy concerns.

Team of Teachers

Our small team of teachers volunteer to participate in the program, and build meaningful bonds with students over a three-year period.. Teachers are highly qualified in their subject area, and have significant experience in industries outside of education. The team works closely together to plan projects and events, monitor student progress, and implement supports.

Foundation & Advisory Board

The Academy is supported by a non-profit foundation – a board of directors and advisors created by industry partners whose goal was to sponsor the Academy of Business program and its students in three key areas: (1) raise funds for scholarships, field trips and enrichment, (2) grow student programs by recruiting mentors, intern supervisors, guest speakers and more, and (3) expand community partnerships to increase awareness and support of the program.

Industry & Community Volunteers

Volunteers from local businesses and organizations are a key part of the Academy program. Each year, over 100 members of the community volunteer to share industry experience with our students through mentorships, internships, guest speaking, seminars, class projects, and more. Their generous time makes a noticeable impact on students, and ensures the program remains relevant and connected. Many volunteers return year after year, building long-lasting partnerships.Back to top

What Do We Do?

Raise Student Achievement

Students that complete the Academy of Business program usually improve through their high school years and move on to successful post-secondary endeavors. On average in the Academy:

  • 40% of students will be 1st in their family to graduate high school
  • 51% will be 1st in their family to go to college
  • 95% continue their education at a community college or university
  • 100% of 12th grade Academy students participate in workplace internships, and many get resulting job offers
Connect Students & Community

Students in the Academy actively engage with the community on a regular basis and learn the value of networking through:

  • Monthly meetings with an industry mentor
  • Internship placements at a local business or organization
  • Job shadows at companies in the surrounding area
  • Guest speaker lectures on success, business, leadership, and workplace preparedness
  • Community service projects
  • Mock interviews with community volunteers
  • Classroom projects & simulations designed & led by industry volunteers
  • Educational field trips to colleges and corporations
  • Off-campus conventions, seminars, competitions, workshops, and showcases put on by notable global organizations such as Junior Achievement, the Rotary Club, and Hewlitt Packard
Provide Business Education and 21st Century Skills

Students in the Academy take courses relating to the business & finance career pathway. They gain real-world industry knowledge and develop workplace “soft skills” in:

  • Business management and organization
  • Business ownership, start-up, and social entrepreneurship
  • Financial markets and investment
  • Financial literacy and planning
  • Workplace technology and programs such as MIcrosoft Excel, Word & PowerPoint
  • Business statistics, marketing, and product analysis
  • Public speaking skills and presentation technique
  • Professional communication and dress
  • Resume writing and interviewing
  • Collaborative problem-solving & team work
  • Ethics and responsibility
  • Goal-setting and time-management
Support Student Success

Students in the academy are surrounded by a supportive environment of peers, teachers, and community volunteers. They are encouraged to succeed through:

    • Team building, group discussion, and reflection
    • Academic intervention strategies
    • Tutoring from local college students
    • Training in test-taking strategies
    • College exploration, planning and preparation
    • Assistance with college and financial aid applications
    • Guidance in aptitude assessment and career exploration
    • Recognition of achievement

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