Jefferson Career Academy Expo a Measurable Success

Over 1,800 Volunteer hours, 300 organization career experts, 33 teachers and 1,400 Jefferson students participated in the first Career Academy Expo at Jefferson High School on November 15 and 16th.  By all measures it was a successful expo and with input data from participants with give valuable insight to making the 2013 Expo even better.

Students, teachers and industry experts were asked a series of questions for their feedback from their perspective.  Several interesting outputs came from these surveys. Of particular interest was the comparison of students surveys; the first taken in October, the second after the expo.

In October, 1,117 students were asked to select their top three interest areas in the 4 career academies: Business, Arts, Marketing & Information Technology (BAMIT); Engineering, Manufacturing, Industrial & Trade Technology (EMITT); Human & Public Services (HPS) and Health Sciences (HS). The Expo Survey asked: Which academy interests you most at this time?  Results:

October: BAMITT-25.9%; EMITT-21.1%; HPS-32.7%; HS-20.2%

November: BAMITT-23%; EMITT-19%; HPS-25%; HS-33%

When looking at the top two interests of 437 student responses in the November survey shows BAMITT-48%; EMITT-44%; HPS-54% and HS-53%.

I was curious how these interest areas compared with the workforce in the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Their breakdown doesn’t neatly fit into four academies, but here is one comparisons that comes close: Manufacturing (21.3%), Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (5.3%) and Mining & Construction (3.4%) add up to 30% of the local workforce.  From this measure it appear that there is insufficient interest of students in careers in the EMITT careers.

An encouraging note is that 58.5% of students who gave feedback said they would be interested in hearing more about the various careers while 24 of 29 teacher responses (73%) said that the expo was very useful for students in choosing an academy.

Students were positive on the expo experience.  85.8% of them said the Academy Expo experience will help them to gain more information about choosing an academy for the coming year.

Survey questions were also asked of teachers and the industry experts.  Alignment Rockford, RPS 205 administration and the community volunteers are going to digest all the surveys and will shortly begin to plan the 2013 Academy Expo scheduled for mi-September.  It is expected to be four times bigger than the 2012 Expo with all four high school students and teachers participating.

We’ve come a long way so far and the enthusiasm is strong!




  1. Alisha Malone

    I was wondering if this program was also located in or near Columbus, OH. My son currently is a student at Jefferson High School but we are moving back to Ohio. Please let me know.
    Thank you,
    Alisha Malone

  2. Alisha, this Jefferson is in Rockford, Ilinois