Vicksburg Warren School District - Academy
All education leads to employment - this philosophy is embraced by the Vicksburg Warren School District and its community partners on the Vicksburg Warren College and Career Academy (VWCCA) Workforce Engagement Council. This idea has driven the activities of this project's volunteers and positively impacted the trajectory of high school students across the district.
In 2015, the Vicksburg Warren School District was looking to dramatically transform high school education to support its goal of graduating every student college, career and life prepared. The District, with the help of Ford Next Generation Learning, created the Vicksburg Warren College and Career Academies. A Master Plan to successfully transform both Vicksburg High School and Warren Central High School into wall-to-wall (all ninth through twelfth grade students participate) academies. More than 200 business and community leaders contributed to the writing of the plan. The plan (submitted as supporting documentation) outlined the following career academies which have been implemented at both high schools.
- ACME (Architecture, Construction, Mechatronics and Engineering)
- CAB (Communications, Arts and Business)
- HHS (Health and Human Services)
As the plan evolved, the VWCCA Workforce Engagement Council was formed (2017) to support ongoing community involvement in the schools. This vibrant council, made up of more than 50 active volunteers, has touched all VWSD high school students through their creation of guidelines and requirements for VWSD’s student exit strategies.
The four exit strategies, known as the 4 E’s, include Enrollment (in post-secondary education); Enlistment (in the military); Employment (with meaningful credentials earned in HS); and Entrepreneurship. The Workforce Engagement Council brought their industry expertise to the table and provided valuable insights to create activities and suggested requirements for high school students in each of these strategies so all students possess the skills they need upon graduation to be successful.
To support these exit strategies, the Council went a step further, organizing and leading activities such as teacher externships (see video), student internships and job shadowing, freshman speaker series, sophomore industry visits, senior mock interviews and more. They have also been a major force in the creation and promotion of the Academy Showcase. This event, held annually, allows high school students to present their academy projects and experiences for all eighth grade students so they can best choose their academy placement for the following year.
Input and involvement from this Council has drastically changed the focus and how students are prepared for graduation. They have helped to shift the focus to long-term success for our students and the community.
Vicksburg Warren College Career Academies Workforce Engagement Council, Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce