LPS Career Academy expands to more than 690 students

The Career Academy (TCA)  is allowing more Lincoln Public Schools high school students to hop in the driver’s seat and “test drive” their future. 

The academy is a joint venture between LPS and Southeast Community College (SCC) allowing juniors and seniors to explore more than a dozen career pathways and earn college credit at the same time. 

“With this TCA, I feel like it gives me more of a purpose and it just changed my perspective on schooling,” Southwest junior Gracia said. She’s in the criminal justice pathway. 

Students can explore careers from technical trades like construction to traditional four-year college programs like K -12 education. 

“I learned what I’m interested in as a hobby versus what I am interested in as a career,” Southeast senior Julian said. “I realized that criminal justice is interesting but more as a hobby. If I want an actual career, I realized I need to do something more hands-on.”    

Opening its doors in 2015, TCA has more than doubled its size with close to 700 students. LPS students on average graduate with 24 college credit hours that are transferable to most state higher education institutions. Students get half off tuition compared to a normal college student, which is about $150 per class. Scholarships are also available. 

“It really gives them an opportunity to have some voice in their education. They get to choose something that they are excited about learning,” TCA director Josh Jones said. 

“I didn’t realize the opportunities that I can have at such a young age and how attainable it is to get this stuff. I can get internships and I can get jobs doing what I love,” Julian said

SCC is also now offering certifications for several TCA pathways, which gives students the chance to build their resumes post-graduation. The academy is currently looking to give more LPS students keys to discover their futures with an upcoming open house. Participants said the experience is worth it. 

“Just go for it. There is absolutely nothing you can lose,“ Gracia said. 

The Career Academy's open house is on Oct. 23, 1- 3 p.m. at 8800 O St. 

To learn more about LPS Focus programs like the Career Academy and upcoming information sessions for families, visit https://home.lps.org/focus/.

Get a glimpse of TCA and some of its pathways below.

Published: October 20, 2022, Updated: October 20, 2022

Two Career Academy Culinary Pathway students preparing French Onion Soup.