Jeff HS academies program is ending

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The academy program at Jefferson High School will no longer be an option for students.

Students at Jeff can essentially pick a major just like in college. It’s through the school’s academies program. So if a student enjoys the food industry, they take courses like the one offered at the coffee shop inside the school.

“Kind of the pre-courses that allowed them to decide if this is what they wanted to do, or give them the opportunity to give them the courses they needed to put them in the right direction as they moved into college,” principal Mark Preston said.

After 12 years the academies program is coming to an end.

“As the academies have run their course, what Jeff High is bringing us now is we’re just not getting the activity from the student body that we once had and we’re also not seeing colleges look into that and say that’s really good. They’re just kind of setting it aside and saying ‘yeah so what,'” Lafayette School Corporation Superintendent Les Huddle said.

Preston said the academies program is outdated. It is not a state program and focused on preparing students for college. Preston said the state is looking for more certification programs at the high school level.

“The state has moved more toward career pathways, which are similar to the academies, but they are more specific to classes that are going to provide certifications,” Preston said.

The school is exploring other options like the rigorous international baccalaureate program.

“Teachers have to go through an extensive amount of training, but again it puts kids into specific areas they have interest in,” Preston said about the program.

The current freshman class will be the last class eligible for the academies diploma. Once the program is gone, Preston said courses like the one offered in the coffee shop will still be available to students.

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