THINC College & Career Academy presented at the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Annual Conference in Nashville, TN on October 30th. Dr. Chris Williams, Joe Sumner, Jayne Pauley, Susan Hinson, and Aidan Blackwell spoke to colleagues from across the United States, from New Hampshire to Hawaii, on how THINC uses Soft Skills, Project-Based Learning, Employer Engagement, and Career Events to develop the Articulate, Driven, and Ready student.
In 1996, a small group of practitioners from Philadelphia, California, Florida and Washington, DC came together to determine how they could support each other in their career academy work. These charter members of the National Career Academy Coalition had a vision of what a grassroots organization might look like. The coalition of stakeholders knew that having a conference made sense, but they truly had to take a leap of faith, as there was no funding or history, only a dream and healthy dose of enthusiasm. With maxed out credit cards and a whole bunch of hope, the first NCAC conference in Cherry Hill, PA brought together 400 educators, businesspersons, students and parents who were all hungry to learn from each other. They knew that what they were doing collaboratively in their communities was working. With that conference and the networking that followed, NCAC as an organization was off and running.
• A yearly, high quality national conference that draws from up 900 practitioners and stakeholders;
• Technical assistance on starting and maintaining high quality career academies;
• A variety of professional development opportunities based on the needs of the school district;
• Access to resources from other organizations that support and sustain career academies;
• An academy review or accreditation process that identifies and rewards best practices found in model career academies; and
• National information that can keep them abreast of information valuable to career academy
• Local implementation and sustainability.