Return to Headlines

National Career Academy Coalition Announces Clay High School’s Academy of Criminal Justice as National Model

The Academy of Criminal Justice at Clay High School has earned national distinction as a Model Career Academy. This is the highest designation awarded by the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC).

The achievement of Model Status by NCAC is a prestigious honor that certifies a career academy as being implemented with excellence based on The National Standards of Practice for Career Academies (NSOPS). The NCAC Career Academy review process is based on the 10 National Standards of Practice (NSOP), introduced in 2004 in Washington, D.C. by multiple career academy organizations and endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor. In order for an academy to reach NCAC’s highest level of recognition, Model Status, an academy must meet or exceed proficiency in all 10 areas of the standards. 

"I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and what it means for Clay County District Schools. One of my strategic goals is to bring national attention and recognition to our career and technical academies. Clay High School’s Criminal Justice Academy has demonstrated the NCAC’s highest level of acknowledgement by offering a high quality educational pathway that prepares students for the workforce. I am excited for our Career and Technical Education Department, Clay High School, teachers, staff members, and the organization for their continued efforts to improve the experiences for our learners,” said Superintendent Addison Davis. 

“It is evident that the passion of the academy teams, coupled with the support of the school administration, and the intense focus of your business community, has created a stellar program for students, parents, and the community,” said Jay Steele, President of NCAC. “The rigor of the curriculum and the depth of your industry partnerships are to be commended.”

Career academies are designed to prepare students for both college and careers. They are schools within schools that link students with peers, teachers, and community partners in a structured environment that fosters academic success.

The career academy concept has three key elements:

  • A small learning community (SLC)
  • A college-prep sequential curriculum with a career theme
  • An advisory board that forges partnerships with employers, higher education institutions, and the community

Academies that adhere to all the major components defining academies are far more likely to show positive results for student success. National research has shown that Career Academy students have better attendance, better scores on standardized tests, higher college attendance rates, and often earn higher salaries than the average non-Career Academy student.

The Academy of Criminal Justice at Clay High will be honored at the 2019 NCAC National Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in November.

About NCAC

From its inception in 1996, NCAC’s mission has been to provide collaborative support and resources for existing and emerging career academies. It is our belief that the success of academy students is due to the network of support that they receive from teachers, mentors, and business people that help them set long-term goals and stay on a clear path. By joining NCAC you will be connected to experts and practitioners that share your passion for changing the lives of young people.


Clay High Team