Tulsa Tech’s Career Academy is a comprehensive alternative education program that seeks to recover Tulsa-area high school dropouts and those at risk of dropping out. The Career Academy has been serving the region’s at-risk youth between the ages of 17-20 for nearly five years, and the success of the program has led to a growth in applications for enrollment as well as an expanded partnership with all 14 regional school districts.
The Career Academy is the only alternative program in Tulsa County that combines a half day of high school curriculum and a half day of career and technical training and one of nine similar programs across the state of Oklahoma. The ultimate goal of this program is to increase the employment opportunities of at-risk youth through educational support and training, while creating self-sufficient young adults who contribute to growth and economic development in the Tulsa area.
“This program serves students that would otherwise fall through the cracks and expanding the Career Academy so that it is available to all school districts in Tulsa County ensures that every kid has a chance to succeed,” said Tulsa Tech Alternative Education Director, Dr. Richard Palazzo. “I am so proud of the dedication of our staff and of the students who are here to make a better life for themselves.”
The success of the program is measured by graduation rates, increased grade point average (), earned certifications for career training, job placement, and the number of completed applications to either Tulsa Tech or other higher ed institutions for further education.
The success of the Career Academy has been due to the small, personal and one-on-one instructional format that is supportive for high-risk youth. This approach has led to an extraordinary high school completion rate, including 16 current students that have already met requirements, along with another 22 well on their way towards graduation in May.
About Tulsa Tech
Tulsa Tech, the oldest and largest in Oklahoma’s CareerTech System, is a career and technology center school district dedicated to educating people for success in the workplace. Tulsa Tech helps high school and adult students from across the Tulsa region explore new careers, upgrade their training and skills, and pursue their dreams. More information can be found at tulsatech.edu.