More PCPS Career Academies Earn National Recognition

More PCPS Career Academies Earn National Recognition

Collage of PCPS' newly recognized career academies

Yet even more Polk County Public Schools career academies have earned national recognition for their quality.

A group of eight PCPS high school academies are celebrating new designations from the National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC). The NCAC evaluates schools’ career academies based on National Standards of Practice for teaching and learning, student performance, employer involvement, and other criteria.

Based on successful reviews, NCAC recognizes academies as “certified” or “model.”

  • PCPS’ new model academies are the Academy of Media Production at Haines City High, and Winter Haven High’s Medical Academy.
  • Two academies have been upgraded from certified to model status: the Environmental Agriculture & Technology Academy at Haines City High, and Ridge Community High’s Medical Academy.
  • The academies newly certified by NCAC are: Bartow High’s Academy of Architecture, Construction and Engineering, BHS’ Criminal Justice Academy, Lake Gibson High’s Future Educators Academy, and the Culinary Team at Lake Region High.
  • In addition, Bartow High’s Culinary Academy renewed its model academy designation with NCAC, and the Academy of Pharmacy Technicians at Fort Meade High renewed its certified status.

PCPS now has almost 30 certified or model academies, the second-highest total in the U.S. among school districts recognized by NCAC.

“Preparing students for the workforce is one of the most important things we do, and our career academies are among the best in the nation,” said Steven Cochran, PCPS’ senior director of workforce education. “We are proud of the hard work and commitment of our teachers, staff and partners who have made our academies such a resounding success. These programs make a vital difference for the future of Polk County students.”

PCPS’ career academies are personalized learning communities each centered on a career theme. They feature college-prep curriculums and offer a path to industry certifications while helping students to discover engaging opportunities in the working world.

Learn more by visiting

A list of PCPS career academies recognized by the National Career Academy Coalition