What We Do

Professional Learning

NCAC Professional Learning Statement: NCAC challenges and supports career academies to enact, maintain, and sustain transformational professional learning approaches with the goal of creating inclusive and transparent learning systems that prepare all students for postsecondary success.

NCAC believes that effective professional learning is:

     • adaptive rather than technical;

     • user-centered rather than one-size fits all;

     • based on continuous improvement practices; and

     • focused on preparing students for postsecondary success.


Teaching on the Block Schedule: Teaching on the Block focuses participants on thinking about how to structure the planning and delivery of instruction in approximately 90-minute block of time.  This training takes one class period and develop thinking and knowledge on how to introduce concepts and learning targets in engaging ways, deepening skills and knowledge though designing activities as well as individual and group work and applications of that new knowledge and skills through student designed work.  The session also discusses strategies for transitions between activities that keeps students focused and sees the relevancy of the work and pacing of instruction based on assessing where students are at any given moment.  One-day training.

Standards Based Interdisciplinary Planning for Teams: This session teaches participants the processes and protocols for designing interdisciplinary learning that focuses on like concepts and skills.  Teachers learn the process of looking deeply at content standards through an interdisciplinary lens to discover common concepts and skills.  Once these concepts and skills are identified then topics, or big ideas, begin to emerge. Interdisciplinary enduring understanding and essential questions are then collaboratively created as the framework for introducing the units of study.  Teachers leave this session with the skills necessary to design interdisciplinary units of study that are rigorous in nature because of the design of student work, relevant because they are tied to the 21st Century Skills needed to thrive and survive in today’s workplace and personalized due to students often being a part of the design process itself.  Two-day training.

Highly Effective Teams: Increasing Personalization and Responsive Interventions that Supports Student Achievement: To become a highly functioning interdisciplinary team of teachers understanding the stages of development is the first step to making conscious decisions that impacts student learning.  This session identifies the stages of development of academic teams, the processes and protocols that support focused and effective meetings and steps to creating a Responsive Academic Intervention for students that is data driven and personalized for each student.  Teachers also write a vision and/or mission statement for their team as well as identifying goals that are aligned with the school and district's goals.  Two-day training.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Understand of the stages of development for academic teams
  • Understand the differences in preventive and responsive interventions
  • Understand framework for a systemic Pyramid of Interventions
  • Understand processes and protocols that support effective and efficient working meetings
  • Understand the importance of creating a team mission, goals, and collective beliefs to guide work

Career Academies 101:  This training provides an indepth look at career academies and the ingredients that comprise highly successful ones. If scheduling, curriculum integration, teaming and recruitment make your head spin or if you worry about developing an advisory board or creating effective partnerships, this work session helps you delve into the rationale behind each one, as well as strategies to approach the topics.  You will receive guidance from professionals based on the ten National Standards of Practice (NSOP) and learn the secrets of how to get started in the right direction. You would never consider baking a cake without a recipe to follow. Career Academies 101 takes the same approach and has been effective for academies across the country.  One or two-day training.

Career Academies 201: Have you started your academy and want to move it to the next level? Or are you stymied by particular challenges—advisory board consistency, integrated projects, student recruitment and retention, marketing, common planning time, data collection—just to name a few?  We will ask you to do some self-examination ahead of time to determine your specific academy needs and then we will create the customized professional development your academy needs. Your team will learn from professionals in the field who have specialized in these areas and who have helped to guide academies to high quality.  One or two-day training.

Business Engagement Structure:  Career academies are set apart as a high school reform model with a major ingredient: the involvement of the business community. A critical component of the career academy model is the engagement of the business, college and broader community in the organization and leadership of the academy, as well as helping to provide the experiential components that make the academy model unique and powerful. Educators are often stymied as to how to approach the business community, engage them and retain and expand their interest. This training provides a step-by-step approach to working with the business, college and broader community and includes some planning documents and forms that can be used.  The ROI (return on investment) can be approached from both the education and the business side very successfully and strategically.  One-day training.

Freshman College and Career Planning Design – A well-designed freshman experience sets the foundation for college and career readiness for all high school students.  In this one-day workshop, NCAC will facilitate the design of a freshman experience that sets this foundation for your academies.  From planning a college fair to career interest inventories, a well-designed freshman experience will prepare your students for the next level.  Two-day training.

Senior Capstone Design - Capstone projects are designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In most cases, the projects are also interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. Capstone projects also tend to encourage students to connect their projects to community issues or problems, and to integrate outside-of-school learning experiences, including activities such as interviews, scientific observations, or internships.  In this one-day workshop, NCAC will facilitate your team to design a customized senior capstone.

School Counselors Central of Academy Success - Is your district or school moving to an Academy model?  What does this mean for you as a professional school counselor?  This workshop teaches school counselors, principals and district administrators how to implement an effective developmental, comprehensive school- counseling program that directly aligns with the NCAC National Standards of Practice for Academies. This workshop will demonstrate how merging the academy team model with the ASCA National model can accelerate an Academy’s progress in meeting school improvement goals while also developing the social-emotional, career and college ready competencies of all students. As a participant, you will review your school specific data in order to set specific counseling program goals that will help you demonstrate the impact of your school counseling program on Academy and student success.  Participants will learn best practices on how implementation of the Academy model supports school counselors in developing highly effective programs, services and interventions for all students.  In addition, participants will learn how the Academy model assists with helping students prepare and select pathways to college/postsecondary while still providing alternative schedule options to personalize learning.  Effective academy counseling will increase attendance rates, graduation rates and students who are on track for successful transition into college and career.  Participants will leave with actual documents and tools that will change how you and others view your school counseling program!  Two-day training.

Data, Data, Data: The Knowledge and Tools You Need to Effectively Use Data in Schools, Classrooms and/or Counseling Programs - Do you and your colleagues feel overwhelmed with all the data available to you from your state and district?  How do you know what to spend your time reviewing and what is just for the politicians?  This workshop will help you determine the key data elements and reports that are essential to Academy and student success.  Participants will explore demographic data, attainment data, achievement data, student behavioral data, opportunity data and much, much more.  You will learn which data to prioritize as you set goals for your Academy, classroom and counseling program. You will leave feeling confident in knowing how to sort through the myriad of data out there so you can target what is most important as an administrator, teacher and/or counselor in ensuring student success for all. One-day training.

Developing Programs of Study - As your school moves to the Academy model it will be imperative that you revisit your current course catalog and program of study.  This workshop will assist teams in determining the scope and sequence of coursework by Academy.  Teams will leave with draft templates by Academy of the courses students will take throughout their high school progression as well as how the courses and pathways align to postsecondary institutions and specific careers. Two-day training.

NCAC Pricing for adult workshops:

# Attendees                        #TRAINERS      1 DAY                   2 DAYS                3 DAYS

0-60                                                1              $4,600                    $7,000                    $10,350

61-120                                           2               $7,000                    $11,600                  $15,750

120+                                              3               $13,800                  $15,750                  $23,700


Academy Action Plan - NCAC will work with school leaders to design a three-year action plan written in a SMART format and aligned with the Ten National Standards of Practice.  This action plan will serve as a three-year guide for implementation of quality career academies.  This three-day workshop includes the design of a graduate profile and a college and career continuum of experiences for 100% of your students. Three-day workshop at a cost of $25,000...includes follow up, plan edits, and a final copy of the action plan delivered.

Student Ambassador Leadership Training: Word of mouth is the most effective and efficient way to communicate the benefits of career-connected education - and there is no better way to employ this strategy than through a Student Brand Ambassador Program. Student Brand Ambassadors should represent the diversity of your school and include students that are thought-leaders. NCAC’s Student Brand Ambassador Certification Program ensures that your Ambassadors have the training they need to successfully represent their Academies, High School and district. And, by coming to your district, NCAC trainers make sure the students are prepared in their own environment and in a cost efficient manner.  Choose from a customized one, two, or three-day training package.

NCAC Pricing for student workshops:

# Attendees                        #TRAINERS      1 DAY                   2 DAYS                  3 DAYS

0-120                                              1               $4,600                    $7,000                    $10,350

121-200                                          2               $7,000                    $11,600                  $15,750

201 +                                              3               $13,800                  $15,750                  $23,700


Download our Professional Development Flyer