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Mayor Bowser, Chancellor Henderson, and Police Chief Lanier Announce Expansion of Career Education Programming at DCPS High Schools

Thursday, May 14, 2015
New career academies to open at Anacostia High School and Ballou High School; Over 100 students to participate in paid summer internships

LaToya Foster (EOM) 202-727-5011; [email protected]
Fred Lewis (DCPS) 202-480-0860; [email protected]

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier to announce the opening of two new career academies as well as summer internship opportunities for DCPS high school students. Career academies prepare students for college and high-wage, high-demand careers through real-life, work-based learning experiences and rigorous coursework that culminates in industry-recognized certifications.

“We have a vibrant economy here in the District, and it is essential that students have early exposure to the many careers options the city has to offer,” said Mayor Bowser. “These new career education opportunities add to DCPS’ rich portfolio of programs that are designed to give our young people the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in today’s workforce, setting them on a pathway to the middle class.”

In school year 2015-2016, the National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academy of Hospitality and Tourism will open at Ballou High School in Southeast. Academy students will have the opportunity to explore career paths in one of the world’s largest industries, from hotel and event management to sports and entertainment. The Academy’s curriculum includes the study of geography, economics, and world cultures.

In August 2016, the Academy of Public Safety will open at Anacostia High School in Southeast in partnership with MPD and the Washington DC Police Foundation. The Academy will prepare students for career opportunities in law enforcement, offering a rigorous core academic curriculum complemented by a series of law enforcement electives, mentoring by cadets in the MPD Cadet Academy, and paid summer internships in the law enforcement field. Upon successful completion of the academy course requirements and graduation, students can enroll in the MPD Cadet Academy.

“The Public Safety Academy will offer students an incredible opportunity to learn about the field of law enforcement and enter a career that is critical to the city and its residents,” said Chief Lanier. “Through the Academy at Anacostia High School, we hope to build a strong pipeline program that prepares future, local leaders in the Metropolitan Police Department.”

This school year, DCPS opened seven NAF Career Academies in six high schools focused on the high-wage, high-demand career fields of engineering, information technology (IT), and hospitality and tourism. In March, the Academies earned “Silver Certified” status, a designation by the National Academy Foundation in recognition of implementing the NAF model with exceptional fidelity. Receiving this designation within one year of launching these programs is unprecedented.

“What elevates these rigorous programs is the amount of time students spend in internships, site visits and with mentors in their field of study,” said Chancellor Henderson. “Our students have the opportunity to explore a range of careers, learn first-hand from industry leaders what it takes to be successful in a particular career, and gain invaluable experience in the workplace – all before graduating high school.” 

NAF Academies are supported by three Industry Advisory Boards that are aligned with the Academy fields of study. Currently, there are 40 members from the local business, government and higher education community actively serving on the boards. Board members mentor students, provide guidance on academy curriculum, and provide work-based learning opportunities such as industry field trips, job shadowing, and internships. Through support from the Department of Employment Services’ Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program, 100 NAF Academy students will participate in paid internships this summer at leading businesses and government agencies in the District including Microsoft, Marriott, The International Trade Association, and The Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

Career and technical (CTE) programming is available at all DCPS high schools, offering one or more of the following programs of study:

  • Architecture, Construction and Design     
  • Arts, A/V Technology and Communications
  • Business Management and Administration
  • Education and Training     
  • Engineering
  • Finance         
  • Health Sciences
  • Hospitality and Tourism     
  • Information Technology     
  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security      
  • Transportation, Distribution & Logistics

For more information about DCPS career education and a complete list of programs by school, visit