Academies of Louisville logo with city of Louisville skyline int background

What is it?

An innovative, transformative, and collaborative public education initiative bringing together JCPS high schools, students, families, educators, businesses, and community partners in a collective focus to unite Louisville in transforming public education in our city to prepare high school students for success in college, career, and life.

Why do we need this?

High school students are graduating into a world that’s changing faster than ever. Today’s workplace would be unrecognizable 20 years ago, and while industry has evolved, education has stayed largely the same. We must evolve to equip students to meet the needs of the future. In order to have a future with the most capable students, the most efficient workplaces, and the most prosperous economy, the public education system must evolve to ensure that students have the academic fundamentals and relevant skills to keep up with changes in the economy. Our students deserve an educational experience that’s as innovative, immersive, and engaging as the world around them.

All Academy graduates will be prepared for college, career, and life. They will be ready to compete in a global economy.

What are Academies?

Academies are small learning communities within 11 participating JCPS high schools that allow all students to connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world through a subject that interests them. Academies offer a new kind of educational experience—a shift from traditional techniques and environments to deeper learning and transition readiness for college, career, and life. Every student receives a personalized experience within a small learning community; participates in hands-on, project-based learning; and develops twenty-first-century essential skills. After four years in an Academies of Louisville high school, graduates will have participated in the following:

  • Industry and college field trip
  • Job shadowing experience
  • SummerWorks employment opportunity 
  • Senior-year apprenticeship, internship, or co-op
  • Ability to earn college credits and an industry credential
  • Postsecondary transition plan

High Schools

The Academies of Louisville will be implemented in the 11 high schools below. Each academy will have its own centralized location in every school.

  • Academy @ Shawnee
  • Ballard
  • Doss
  • Jeffersontown
  • Marion C. Moore School
  • Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP)
  • Seneca
  • Southern
  • Valley
  • Waggener
  • Western

Student Benefits

  • Deeper learning and transition readiness for college, career, and life
  • Personalized, small learning communities  
  • Hands-on, project-based learning
  • Development of twenty-first-century essential life skills—how to take initiative and responsibility, effective teamwork and communication, critical thinking and problem solving, resilience, leadership, perseverance, work ethic, empathy, free thinking, and creativity
  • Community involvement—building a sense of connection with the Louisville community
  • Networking opportunities—connecting Academy students to current professionals
  • Academic and technical knowledge and skills mastery
  • Graduate with college credits, work ethic certification, industry certification, and internships
  • Seamless transition to postsecondary

Uniting Louisville to Transform Public Education in Our City

The Academies of Louisville are built on the framework developed by Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL), which has been transforming education in communities across the United States for more than a decade. Ford NGL is designed to mobilize educators, employers, and community leaders to prepare a new generation of young people who will graduate from high school prepared to compete successfully in the twenty-first-century economy. Ford NGL has a national network of communities that collaborate, compare notes, and share best practices. The national network ensures the success of the transformation process in every community.

Results of Ford NGL Communities

  • Increased high school graduation rates
  • Increased academic achievement
  • Improved preparation for college, careers, and life with an increased number of students graduating from high school with industry certifications and college credits
  • Increased earning potential
  • Increased talent pipeline
  • Greater community prosperity