Northwest Career Academy
Located in the old Laurens-Marathon High School building, the Northwest Career Academy opened its doors in the fall of 2020, offering career and technical training in the areas of Welding and Industrial Machining.
These programs are combined into an Advanced Manufacturing strand that exposes students to both areas of the industry. Students have the choice of returning for a second year to participate in one of two Department of Labor approved Apprenticeship programs, which includes several Work-Based Learning course, which encompasses on-the-job training at a local industry, along with advanced courses in their field. The two Apprenticeship programs are Welding Apprenticeship and CNC Machining Apprenticeship.
Why attend a Career Academy?
- It provides an opportunity for a group of students from different school districts to enroll in a specific set of courses associated with a designated career area.
- Provides clear and precise career pathways through a specific sequence of courses.
- Allows school districts to pool resources and instruction
- Provides more educational opportunities to students
- Allows students to study all the basic courses AND get a skill they will keep for a lifetime... all while getting a head start on a career path.
- National Credentialing where available and applicable, such as the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
- If accepted, students may participate in two different career pathways, over the course of two years. Students that are eligible to apply are Juniors, Seniors and TAG students.
Participating students will travel to the Northwest Career Academy 5 days a week and take part in a career pathway from 8:20am – 11:00am each day. Students will take a specific sequence of courses that will provide skills and an educational base that will allow students to either transfer these college credits into an academic program at the post-secondary level, or seek employment. Students have the opportunity to gain college credit courses in a discipline that interests them, while still attending high school. These career pathways are designed to lead into multiple college programs giving the most flexibility to students who participate.
Students that wish to participate and are accepted into the Northwest Career Academy are committing a full academic year to the career pathway. This means they will attend the academy 5 days a week, for the entire school year. The student will also be held to the same standards that a regular college student is held, and will follow Iowa Central academic calendar. They will be held accountable to all college policies and procedures that are listed in the Iowa Central student handbook, including our Administrative Withdrawal policy which states a student will be withdrawn from a class if he/she misses 25% or more of that classes scheduled class meetings.
Students will also have the opportunity to participate in industry tours, access to guest speakers and possible job shadowing, as well as college visits and career fairs.
Savings and Scholarships
By participating in a career pathway, students have access to college credits that can save them both time and money when it comes to entering an academic program at the post-secondary level. As another incentive, all students that participate and successfully complete a career pathway will be issued a $500 academic scholarship that can be used if they enroll as a full time college student at Iowa Central Community College after their high school graduation.
I am grateful for the lifelong friendships I have created at Iowa Central.