ACADEMY MODEL INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
The National Career Academy Coalition (NCAC) Announces a Partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for STEM Education (SEAMEO STEM-ED) to Establish Career Academies in Thailand and Vietnam
Funding from the Chevron Corporation will support the development of STEM Career Academies in four industry clusters including health and wellness, information technology, smart agriculture, and STEM teaching.
April 17, 2022— NCAC President, Dr. Jay Steele and the SEAMEO STEM-ED team began working together in October 2021 and that collaboration will allow the nationally well-researched and documented academy model to expand regionally. The Academy model was the brainchild of Charles Bowser, who was deputy mayor of Philadelphia in 1969. Collaborating with the business and education community, they created a model that is used by thousands of schools in the US.
Dr. Steele explained that the international venture will be very closely linked to the original academy concepts. Career strands will be used as an organizing framework for learning and instruction that helps students connect academic subjects and their applications to the world of work in a specific career pathway. It is designed to foster partnerships among employers, communities, and universities that will provide resources, adult mentors, and opportunities for students to engage in career-related work, and internships. In addition to the academic enrichment, career awareness and occupational skills development, the academies will develop 21st century skills to prepare young adults for the ever-changing technology-oriented and innovative society.
One of the first tasks for this effort will be to establish an Advisory Council of corporations in the Southeast Asia region who will support this important work as part of their corporate social responsibility. Dr. Steele and the SEAMEO STEM-ED team began high level meetings with corporate leaders including Deloitte Thailand. NCAC Board member, John Doerge, Community Relations Lead for the Nashville Market, assisted by meeting with his Thailand colleagues to explain why and how his team supports career academies in the United States. Doerge remarked, “We have been supporting Academies of Nashville for over 15 years. Our Deloitte professionals enjoy volunteering because they see the social impact the model has on the local community.” The work is also expanding in Da Nang, Vietnam with the establishment of a network of engineering academies in partnership with the Department of Science, Technology and International Cooperation in the University of Science and Technology at The University of Da Nang.
Schools will use the National Standards of Practice for Career Academies (NSOP) to implement the academies within the context of their school. Dr. Steele explained, “I expect the National Standards to look differently in Thailand because the academy model is place-based and should embed local culture and customs, infuse education requirements and expectations, and reflect local industry. This is exciting work and is only the beginning of the career academy expansion in Asia. I am honored and humbled to be part of this important work”.
Dr. Kessara Amornvuthivorn, STEAM STEM-ED Program Director states “Fewer than 30% of students in tertiary education from Southeast Asian countries have graduated from STEM related fields. And STEM Career Academies is one of the promising solutions which we hope to help regional educational leaders and practitioners transform the education which better fulfill the sustainable development goals as well as respond to technological advancement in the global economy. NCAC has guided us to work with government and private partners in a systematic approach. The national standard of practices, the partnerships guidebook and the toolkit helps us gear the leadership team in a unified direction with the shared goals and objectives. Benefiting from these resources, the partnering faculty teams have better visualized how to structure the academy program which fits in with our contexts. Dr. Jay Steele’s valuable advice has helped us start the implementation work without reinventing the wheel but building on the existing work. This has made the team more comfortable and confident that the goals are achievable.”
The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) is a regional intergovernmental organization established in 1965 among governments of Southeast Asian countries to promote regional cooperation in education, science, and culture. SEAMEO STEM Education (SEAMEO STEM-ED) has been established to strengthen capacities, advocate evidence-based policy research, and provide policy recommendations for STEM education within the region. The Centre supports the development of regional governments’ policies that promote STEM education which can enhance the capacity of human resources and utilize knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to solve real-world problems and contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
The National Career Academy Coalition’s mission is to provide collaborative support and resources for existing and emerging career academies. As co-author and steward of the National Standards of Practice NCAC provides world class professional development, action and strategic planning assistance, curriculum, and access to a network of professionals and practitioners eager to help.