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Career academy programs in California: Outcomes and implementation (Maxwell & Rubin 2001)

  • Findings

    See findings section of this profile.

    Evidence Rating

    Not Rated

Review Guidelines


Maxwell, N., & Rubin, V. (2001). Career academy programs in California: Outcomes and implementation. Berkeley, CA: California Policy Research Center.


  • This report contains findings from an outcome analysis and an implementation study of career academies in a large, urban California school district. The findings from the outcome analysis are also presented in two related reports (see CLEAR profile of Maxwell and Rubin [1997] and CLEAR profile of Maxwell [2001]).
  • The objective of the implementation study was to understand the strengths and challenges of implementing Career Academies. Career Academies share three core features: a school-within-a-school structure, integration of career learning into the high school curriculum, and involvement of local employers in designing the curriculum and providing work-based learning experiences.
  • The study covered 33 Career Academies across the six high schools in the school district, which ranged in size from 85 to 221 students per academy in the 1994–1995 school year. The authors conducted qualitative analyses of site visit data collected over a nine-year period and interviews with academy directors, high school principals, and academy partners.
  • The authors reported that the strengths of the program included creating community among academy teachers and students and providing students with experiential learning. The greatest challenges were scheduling academy courses within the constraints of the school and district, gaining support from administrators, and raising enough funds to cover the costs.

Intervention Examined

Career Academies

Reviewed by CLEAR

June 2014

Topic Area