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Whitney Ketchledge
Phone: 727-2466 Fax: 727-2468

The Ten Standards guiding each academy are: 

1) Defined Mission And Goals;
2) Academy Structure;
3) Host District And High School;
4) Faculty And Staff;
5) Professional Development;
6) Governance & Leadership;
7) Curriculum & Instruction;
8) Employer, Higher Education & Community Involvement;
9) Student Assessment; and
10) Cycle of Improvement.

More information about Career Academies may be found @

The Academies of Hampton were identified as a component of the COMPASS School Reform plan. The following is currently listed under Goal One: Maximize Every Child’s Learning in the Hampton City Schools 2015 Strategic Plan, Career Academies are based on the National Career Academies Coalition National Standards of Practice for career academies. These Standards were developed by an informal consortium of national career academy organizations and draw from over 40 years of research and practice. The ten standards are key elements for successful, sustained implementation of academies.

Research shows that academies increase graduation rates, reduce dropout rates, guide career choices for young people, and improve academic achievement. These Standards are a way to ensure that academies are adhering to rigor on multiple levels, including academics. Additionally, the term “career academy” is defined as a small learning community that provides an immersive academic experience with a career focus.

What are The Academies of Hampton? (printer friendly document)

Through the Academies of Hampton, Hampton City Schools is committed to providing students more of the advanced skills they need to be productive, engaged, and successful citizens in college, career, and life. The Academies enable students to learn through the lens of a career or academic theme in a relevant, hands-on learning environment with real-world application and experiences. Each Academy provides a highly personalized, small learning community, where students learn English, science, math, and social studies within the theme of their Academy. Through their Academy experiences, students are exposed to a multitude of careers and opportunities, industry skills, and potential employers by way of classroom speakers, site visits, job shadowing, and internships.

What makes an Academy experience different than a traditional, comprehensive high school experience?

  • Students learn in a small, personalized environment that is centered on and responsive to their needs and the needs of the community.
  • Students experience applied learning opportunities within themed Academies.
  • Students work with business and industry partners to solve real-world problems for authentic learning.
  • Essential knowledge and skills are taught to students in order to graduate prepared for success in postsecondary education, training, or employment.
  • Students engage in a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates academic and career education curriculum.
  • Students work within a culture of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking that promotes the development of leadership and teamwork skills.
  • Students earn certification credentials and have dual enrollment opportunities.
  • Students graduate with the essential 21st century knowledge and skills that prepare them for further education, training, careers, and life.

What will the Academies of Hampton provide students?

  • Encouraging, nurturing, challenging, and rigorous learning opportunities within small learning communities.
  • Positive relationships with all stakeholders, parents and guardians, students, teachers, school staff, and industry and business partners.
  • Training and resources to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully.
  • Supports for students who are experiencing crisis, trauma, or serious challenges in their homes, school, and communities.
  • Engaging academic and extracurricular activities for students that meet their academic needs and college and career goals.
  • Effective communication between schools, parents, and communities.
  • Clean and well-maintained environments that clearly demonstrate school pride and love of learning.
  • A learning environment where students and staff feel physically and emotionally safe.

The Academies of Hampton prepare for students for college and careers.

Academies of Hampton descriptions
All four high schools in the City of Hampton host a unique Academy with several plans of study aligned with local businesses, industries, and post-secondary education and training partners. Each Academy offers multiple college and career pathways. The following Academies engage students in student-centered learning within an interdisciplinary and dynamic learning environment enhanced by industry knowledge and expertise that prepares them for college, careers, and life in the 21st century.

Architecture & Applied Arts Governor’s STEM Academy
Located at Kecoughtan High School, 522 Woodland Road Hampton, VA 23669, Phone 850-5000
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How to Apply

Architecture & Applied Arts Governor’s STEM Academy is offered in partnership with Distinctive Magazine, ECPI College of Technology, Hampton University, New Horizons Regional Education Center, Newport News Shipbuilding, Peninsula Council for Workforce Development, Q-Design, Thomas Nelson Community College, and Walsh Electric. Academy programs provide the core high school level academic and technical courses needed for successful transition to postsecondary education and careers in Architecture, Art, Engineering, Engineering Technology, Graphic Arts, and Marketing. Upon high school graduation, students will have STEM-related literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills architecture and applied arts careers in Virginia.

Architecture Pathway: Students learn the principles of architectural drafting, design, and creation.

Courses include: Construction Technology, Architectural Drawing, Craft Design, Production System, Geospatial Technologies, Art History, as well as other fine art electives.
Examples of Career Pathways: Architect, Architectural Designer, Building Code Inspector/Official, Building Designer, Civil Engineer, Cost Estimator, Drafter, Environmental Designer, Environmental Engineer/Technician, Fire Prevention/Protection Engineer, Interior Designer, Landscape Architect, Materials Engineer, Urban Planner/Designer, Safety Director, Specification Writer, Structural Engineer, Surveying/Mapping Technician, Surveyor

Architectural Engineering Pathway: Students learn the concepts and principles of Architectural Engineering through a series of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) based courses.

Courses include: Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), Principles of Engineering, Construction Technology, 3d Modeling, and Material Processes.
Examples of Career Pathways: Application Engineer (Architectural, Civil, Construction, or Industrial Engineer), CAD Technician, Drafter, Manufacturing Engineer Technician, Mechanical Engineer/Technician, Survey Technician, Systems Engineer/Technician, and Transportation Engineer/Technician

Applied Arts - Graphic Design Pathway: Students learn how technology and traditional art forms can work together to create visually appealing and commercially effective pieces. They use a variety of graphic techniques and tools to develop promotional, marketing and packaging.

Courses include: Communications Systems, Imaging Technology, Digital Visualization, Modeling and Simulation, Portfolio Prep, Craft Design, Art, Humanities, Finance
Examples of Career Pathways: Advertiser, Animator, Cartoonist, Designer, Educator, Fashion Illustrator, Interior Designer, Performance Artist, Photographer, and Web Designer

Applied Arts – Fashion Design Pathway: Students learn the apparel and accessories industry through designing, constructing, and merchandising their own pieces. Students develop technical proficiencies of pattern-making, tailoring, industrial sewing, marketing, and other related skills.

Courses include: Marketing, Finance, Marketing Management, Computer Graphic Design, Fashion Careers, and Portfolio Prep
Examples of Career Pathways: Administrative Support Representative, Customer Services Representative, Department Manager, Merchandise Buyer/Manager, Operations Manager, Retail Marketing Manager, Sales Associate, Stock Clerk, Store Manager, Visual Merchandise Manager

Governor’s Health Science Academy
Located at Bethel High School, 1067 Big Bethel Road Hampton, VA 23666 Phone 825-4400
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| How to Apply

Governor’s Health Sciences Academy is offered in partnership with Riverside School of Health Careers, Sentara Healthcare, Hampton University, Thomas Nelson Community College, and ECPI College of Technology. Academy programs provide the core high school level academic and technical courses needed for successful transition to postsecondary education and careers in dentistry, medicine, nursing, biomedical technicians, and emergency medical technicians. Upon high school graduation, students will have health science literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills health sciences careers in Virginia.

Diagnostic Services Pathway: Students learn to use tests and evaluations to aid in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries or other physical conditions.

Courses include: Health and Medical Sciences, Medical Terminology, Medical Assistant,
Examples of Career Pathways: Lab Technician, Data Entry Clerk, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Technician, Biochemist, Microbiologist, Research Assistant and Research Scientist

Therapeutic Services Pathway: Students learn to care and treat patients to improve their health over time by counseling patients and providing them the tools needed to live a healthier and problem-free lifestyle.

Courses include: Health and Medical Sciences, Medical Terminology, Nurse Aide, Practical Nursing
Examples of Career Pathways: Anesthesiologist Assistant, Athletic Trainer, Audiologist, Certified Nursing Assistant, Chiropractor, Dental Lab Technician, Dentist, Dietician, EMT/Paramedic, Home Health Aide, Medical Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, Pharmacist/Pharmacy Technician, Physician, Psychologist, Social Worker, Veterinarian

Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway: Students learn about the discovery of new treatments and medical technologies to improve human health and advance the overall health science field.

Courses include: Medical Terminology, Principles of Biomedical Sciences, Human Body Systems, Biomedical Innovation, and Computer Sciences
Examples of Career Pathways: Biomedical/Clinical Technician, Laboratory Technician, Quality Assurance/Quality Control Technician, Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Cell Biology Research Assistant, Research Scientist, Biochemist

Support Service Pathway: Students learn to assist health care professionals with a range of administrative and maintenance duties to ensure that the health care environment is maintained.

Courses include: Health and Medical Sciences, Medical Terminology, Computer Information Sciences, Accounting
Examples of Career Pathways: Central Service Manager, Facilities Manager, Materials Manager, Medical Records, Insurance Billing, Ward Secretary, Environmental Services Manager Technician, Quality Assurance/Quality Control

Health Informatics Pathway: Students learn to manage health care agencies by overseeing all patient data, financial information, and technological applications to health care processes and procedures.

Courses include: Health and Medical Sciences. Medical Terminology, Computer Information Sciences, Programming, IT Fundamentals, Advanced Computer Systems
Examples of Career Pathways: Admitting Clerk, Health Educator, Health Care Administrator, Medical Assistant, Medical Biller/Patient Financial Services, Risk Management, Medical Information Technologist

Information Design and Engineering Academy (IDEA) STEM Academy
Located at Phoebus High School, 100 Ireland Street Hampton, VA 23663 Phone 727-1000
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How to Apply

Information Design and Engineering Academy (IDEA) STEM Academy is offered in partnership with community businesses, industry partners, and NASA. Project Lead The Way (PLTW), is a four-year, five-course computer integrated manufacturing program for students. Additionally, a two-year robotics sequence is available with Virginia Manufacturers Association curriculum and credential. Academy programs provide the core high school level academic and technical courses needed for successful transition to postsecondary education and careers in engineer, engineer technologist, or engineering technician, programming and information technology, electronic media, and graphics design. Upon high school graduation, students will have high-tech engineering and manufacturing literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills information design and engineering careers in Virginia.

Engineering and Technology Pathway: Students learn the Engineering Design Process and how technology is created. Students develop and design new products using industry-recognized design software, rapid prototyping, mechatronics, and robotics.

Courses include: Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Engineering Design and Development, Technical Drawing, Electronics/Industrial Robotics Technology,
Examples of Career Pathways: Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineer, Application Engineer, Architectural Engineer, Automotive Engineer, CAD Technician, Computer/Hardware Engineer, Drafter, Electrical/Electronic Engineering Technician, Geothermal Engineer, Industrial Engineer/Technician, Manufacturing Engineer/Technician, Marine Engineer, Metallurgist, Product/Process Engineer, Survey Technician, Systems Engineer, Transportation Engineer

Information Technology and Design (Support and Services) Pathway: Students learn to create a story line for a video game, how to create web page, basic animation techniques, and how a computer works.

Courses include: IT Fundamentals, Programming, Design/Multimedia/Web Technologies, Computer Networking, And Advanced Programming
Examples of Career Pathways: Account Manager, Applications Integrator, Call Center Support Representative, Data Systems Designer, Database Analyst, E-Business Specialist, Help Desk Specialist, Information Systems Architect, Instructional Designer, Maintenance Technician, PC Support Specialist, PC Systems Coordinator, Project Support Engineer, Systems Analyst, Technical Communicator, Testing Engineer.

Media and Technology & Design (Audio/Video Technology and Film) Pathway: Students learn design basics in photography, Photoshop, and video editing using industry-standard video and audio editing programs. Students learn basic writing, directing, acting, and editing of high definition camera work to create professional videos.

Courses include: Communications Systems, Imaging Technology, Video and Media Technology, Modeling and Simulation Technology, Digital Visualization, Journalism, Public Speaking, Acting, Technical Drama, Fashion Marketing, Sports and Entertainment Marketing
Examples of Career Pathways: Audio System Technician, Audio-Video Designer and Engineer, Audio-Video System Service Technician, Technical Computer Support Technician – Film, Video, and DVD, Videographer – Special Effects and Animation, Video Systems Technician, Animator, Film Editor


Aerospace and Information Technology Academy/Greater Peninsula Governor’s Academy
Located at Hampton High School, 1491 West Queen Street Hampton, VA 23669, Phone 825-4430
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How to Apply

The Aerospace and Information Technology Academy is part of the Greater Peninsula Governor’s STEM Academy is offered in partnership NASA Langley Research Center, Langley Air Force Base, and a variety of aerospace and research companies, Hampton University, National Institute of Aerospace, Thomas Nelson Community College and Virginia’s Colleges and Universities. Academy programs provide the core high school level academic and technical courses needed for successful transition to postsecondary education and careers in business information management, aerospace, engineering design and solutions, information technology and services, and interactive media.. Upon high school graduation, students will have high-tech engineering and literacy and other critical knowledge, skills, and credentials that will prepare them for high-demand, high-wage, and high-skills aerospace and engineering careers in Virginia.

Aerospace Pathway - Project Lead The Way: Students explore the evolution of flight, navigation control, and flight fundamentals, investigate aerospace materials, propulsion, space travel, and orbital mechanics.

Courses include: Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) Principles of Engineering (POE) Digital Electronics (DE) Aerospace Engineering (AE) Senior Capstone Course: Engineering Design and Development (EDD)
Examples of Career Pathways: Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers, transportation and distribution managers, cargo and freight agents, aircraft mechanics and service technicians, dispatchers, logisticians, supervisors of transportation operators, mobile heavy equipment mechanics, air traffic controllers, and military service.

Information Technology Pathway: Students develop computer programs, applications, and create web experiences.

Courses include: Information Technology Fundamentals Computer Information Systems (I & II) Web Page Design (I & II) Video Game Programming Computer System Technology (I & II @ -NHREC) Senior Mentorship
Examples of Career Pathways: Software application developers, systems software developers, computer systems analysts, network and computer systems administrators, computer support specialist, computer programmers, database administrators, technical writers, computer and information research scientists, computer hardware engineers, and multimedia artists and animators

Business Information Management Pathway: Students learn the language of business and how to run a successful business or enterprise.

Courses include: Accounting (I & II) Information Technology Fundamentals Computer Information Systems Web Page Design (I & II) Video Game Programming Virtual Enterprise 
Examples of Career Pathways: Management analysts, office clerks, general and operations managers, customer service representatives, bookkeeping clerks, supervisors of office workers, administrative assistants, executive assistants, shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks, training and development specialists, operations research analysts, administrative services managers, human resources assistants, payroll and timekeeping clerks, file clerks, human resource managers, compensation and job analysis specialists, procurement clerks, and training and development managers

How to Apply to the Academies of Hampton (printer friendly document)

Hampton City Schools prepares students for college, careers, and life in the 21st century by engaging them in dynamic learning environments. The Academies of Hampton provides students an opportunity to choose a thematic course of study such as health care, engineering, information technology or aerospace engineering, and learn in a relevant, hands-on environment with real-world application.

Students have an opportunity to enroll in one of the four unique Academies. For more detailed information on course offerings, dual credit and enrollment courses, and industry certification alignment, please view the HCS Course Description Guide or talk to your school counselor.

  • Architecture & Applied Arts Governor’s STEM Academy
    Located at Kecoughtan High School
  • Governor’s Health Science Academy
    Located at Bethel High School
  • Information Design and Engineering Academy (IDEA) STEM Academy
    Located at Phoebus High School
  • Aerospace and Information Technology Academy/Greater Peninsula Governor’s Academy
    Located at Hampton High School

Application Process

Attendance at a High School Parent Information meeting is highly recommended. Information about high school and academy choices will be presented at the meetings as well as an opportunity to visit a high school/academy of your choice. Parents and students are encouraged to ask questions prior to selecting a high school or academy. Eighth grade students will have an opportunity to learn about all Academies before making their high school choice selection.
Before completing and submitting an application, students and parents should review the HCS Course Description Guide for course descriptions and sequences for all academies.

Completed application packages are due to the school counselor no later than March 1.
Application Package: The application must be signed by student and parent, and must include the following:

  • Completed Academies of Hampton application form.
  • Written personal statement answering the following questions: Why do you wish to attend this particular Academy? How could this program help your future?
  • Commitment statement (included on the application) signed by the student and parent, that acknowledges the following academy participation requirements:
    • Student will maintain a cumulative minimum GPA of 2.5 or agree to an academic improvement plan.
    • Student will adhere to HCS Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook and Academy standards and understands that failure to meet those standards because of academic performance, behavior or The Academies of Hampton How to Apply Updated 01 Dec 2015
      attendance, may result in the student being required to withdraw from the Academy or enroll in alternate course of study.
    • Students withdrawing from the Academy for any reason will be required to return to their zoned high school, and according to Virginia High School League rules, will not be eligible to participate in VHSL activities for 365 days unless granted a waiver under VHSL rule 28-6-2(14).
    • Students understand if their zoned school does offer an Academy in which they are interested, they may apply to the school that offers a program that more accurately aligns with their college and career interests. Students understand that transportation to an Academy that is not at their zoned school is NOT provided.
    • Students make the commitment of time and effort outside of normal classroom hours. This may include attending after school/ weekend events, gaining experiences in the career field of interest through exploration activities and internships, and/or completing a Capstone project prior to graduation.
  • School Counselor Recommendation Form (required form found online), copy of Student Profile, and Student Log entries, which includes the student’s academic performance, behavior, and attendance data.
  • Two Teacher Recommendations Forms (required form found online). Recommendations must be from current teachers and at least one must be from a math or science teacher.
        1. Application Packet Cover Sheet
        2. Student Application
        3. School Counselor Recommendation
        4. Teacher Recommendation
        5.  Information: Student responsibility pledge

Academies of Hampton Selection and Admissions Process (printer friendly document)

The goal of the Academies of Hampton is to provide students a dynamic experiential learning opportunity over three to four years in cross-curricular academic and work readiness experiences.
Each Academy manages the selection process for its programs. A committee, comprised of Academy faculty, staff and administrators, follows the following process as it reviews each application.

STEP 1: Students will only be considered if they have submitted all required application documents to their school counselor no later than March 1. The completed application package includes the following documents:

  • Academies of Hampton application
  • Student’s personal essay
  • Two (current) teacher recommendations
  • School counselor recommendation
  • Student profile
  • Student Log entries

STEP 2: A committee made up of Academy faculty, staff, school counselors, teachers and administrators reviews each application and student record (attendance and grade-point averages). In their review, the committee considers the student’s application, the two teacher and school counselor recommendations, and the student’s grades, attendance and discipline records. Student applications must demonstrate that the student has met the minimum academic requirements, received satisfactory letters of recommendation, demonstrated commitment to adherence to the student code of conduct, and expressed a desire to attain competence in one of the career pathway plans of study.
STEP 3: Each Academy has a maximum enrollment number; therefore, space availability is considered in the final selection of students for admittance to the program. The committee is responsible for ensuring the incoming class of Academy students represents the diverse population of Hampton City School student census. The Selection Committee decisions are submitted to the Academy principal for review.
STEP: 4: Application approval by the Academy principal is required. All decisions are final.
STEP 5: Selection Committee decisions will be provided to students and parents no later than March 25.
STEP 6: Students and parents are expected to attend an Academies of Hampton orientation March 28-31. The orientation agenda will include the following topics.

  • Overview of the Academy
  • Explanation of the Clusters and Pathways
  • Review of student expectations
  • Parent and student question and answer session
  • Meeting with School Counselor and teachers

STEP 7: Students and parents must sign a formal letter of acceptance to enroll in the Academy no later than April 11.

Academies of Hampton Application Timeline (printer friendly document)

November Applications available on HCS website
December Sponsor high school orientation
February 15 Deadline for students to give the Teacher and School Counselor Recommendation forms to the designated teachers and school counselor
March 1 Deadline for the student to submit the completed student application (including personal statement essay) to the school counselor
March 1 Deadline for the two teachers providing the student recommendation to submit the completed Teacher Recommendation to the school counselor
March 1 Deadline for school counselor to complete the School Counselor Recommendation form
March 3 Deadline for school counselor to submit the completed application package to the CTE office
March 8 Deadline for the CTE office to provide completed application packets to the Academies
March 25 Deadline for all students to receive Academy decision letters
March 28-31 Academy Orientation Sessions:

Hampton High School – March 28, 2016 6:00-7:00 p.m
Phoebus High School – March 29, 2016 6:00-7:00 p.m
Bethel High School – March 30, 2016 6:00-7:00 p.m
Kecoughtan High School – March 31, 2016 6:00-7:00 p.m

April 11 Deadline for all students to notify the CTE office of their decisions about their attendance plans

©2016 HAMPTON CITY SCHOOLS All rights reserved - One Franklin Street, Hampton Virginia 23669 - 757-727-2000

HCS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or other protected classes in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Robbin G. Ruth, Executive Director, Human Resources, One Franklin Street, Hampton, VA 23669 757-727-2000.