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Exploring the Meaning African American Students Ascribe to Their Participation in High School Career Academies and the Challenges They Experience

Edward Charles Fletcher Jr. and E. Daniel Cox
The High School Journal
Vol. 96, No. 1 (October 2012/November 2012), pp. 4-19
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23275421
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Exploring the Meaning African American Students Ascribe to Their Participation in High School Career Academies and the Challenges They Experience
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Abstract

Despite the historical mission of career academies to expand opportunities and engagement of minority students, particularly African American students, more recent curricular changes in the career academy model have increased the rigor of these types of programs. These new initiatives have undoubtedly resulted in a demographic shift with more White and Asian students participating in career academies while African American and Hispanic student enrollment is drastically decreasing. To that end, the purpose of this study was to explore the meaning African American students ascribed to their participation (or lack thereof) in career academies and the challenges they encountered. As such, the experiences of 15 African American high school students were explored using a phenomenological approach. The following themes were revealed: (a) Preparation for the Next Level; (b) Less Time for School Activities; (c) Not Just Going Through the Motions; and (d) An Unrealized Connection with Core Academic Subjects. Implications for administrators, guidance counselors, parents, and teachers are articulated.

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