Shelton's Academies & Pathways

Academies & Pathways

Academies & Pathways


The Academies at Shelton High school provide students with a course of study based on a specific theme or focus. Students choose an academy based on their interest(s) and then experience; guest speakers, mentorships, industry-related field trips, job shadows, internships and much more! Along with core classes, such as English and Math, students will take Career & Technical Education (CTE) classes each trimester that align with their Academy’s focus.

Academies date back over fifty years and have been a growing presence in the country. There are an estimated 7,000 career academies in operation, enrolling about one million students. Academies are designed to prepare students for both college and career. They are schools within schools that link students with peers, teachers, and community partners in a structured environment that fosters academic success.

How to Choose an Academy
When students choose their Academy, they should be working with their Counselor and Advisor to discuss their interests, learning style, favorite subjects and plans after high school. Some basic questions students should be asking themselves:

  • What lens do I want to learn from during high school?
  • Is the Pathway or Academy something I am interested in?
  • Does this Academy take into consideration my aptitudes and skills, talents and abilities?
  • Is the Pathway or Academy something I will have fun learning?

What is an Academy?
An Academy is a collection of courses organized into pathways that all have a common theme. At Shelton High School, we have four academic Academies: Business, Finance & Hospitality; Health Sciences; Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology; Natural Resources.

What is a Pathway?
A Pathway is a sequence of courses taken each year with a common theme. It can also be called a Program of Study. Pathway courses follow labor market demand and allow students to gain relevant knowledge and skills that will allow them to enter college and career paths upon graduation.

What is a Preferred Elective?
Preferred Electives are courses that compliment a Pathway or Academy. These courses enhance and deepen a student’s understanding of the subject they are interested in and connect to your college and career path.

Will students have room for other electives?
YES! The Academy structure and our trimester system leave room for students to explore a wide variety of classes and continue with their interests. Students can still take Foreign Language, Fine & Performing Arts, NJROTC and all the advanced courses they’d like to. Academies are stronger when students learn how all of their interests and passions work together.

Career & Technical Education (CTE) is at the forefront of innovation in education in Washington. CTE programs in Washington are aligned with rigorous industry and academic standards. Teachers participate in meaningful professional development on curricula and instruction, standards and assessment, and academic integration. Program partnerships and advisories communicate this vision with business and industry partners.  Each year, thousands of CTE students graduate from high school with career goals, job skills, and leadership skills knowing exactly where they will go next to further their academic and hands-on education and training. 

Through CTE students:

  • Explore careers in middle and high school, especially careers in high-demand, high-growth fields such as healthcare and green technologies
  • Identify a career goal
  • Write a High School and Beyond Plan, with help from school career and guidance counselors, that identifies the high school and college-level academic and skills-based classes, training programs, and apprenticeships that will best prepare them for their career path of choice.
  • Take classes in high schools, at skills centers, and at community and technical colleges that apply math, science, and other academic subjects in real-life, hands-on ways
  • Pursue rigorous Programs of Study to a registered apprenticeship, industry certifications, and two- and four-year college options.
  • Earn tuition-free college credits as well as high school credits required for graduation
  • Become leaders by participating in skills competitions and community service
As we move forward with our academy model, CTE will play an integral part in the instructional programs in all academies.  Students will be able to participate in a variety of CTE classes designed to engage students in “real world” learning, provide them with an opportunity to attain Industry Recognized Certifications (IRC’s), prepare them for post-secondary education, or give them an opportunity to go directly into the workforce after high school.
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NON-DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT: Shelton School District does not discriminate in any programs or activities on the basis of sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following employees have been designated to handle questions and complaints of alleged discrimination:

Title IX Coordinator: Tabitha Whiting, Executive Dir. of Human Resources; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-1687; Email: [email protected]

Section 504/ADA Coordinator: Ivy Kardes, Director of Special Services; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-2151; Email: [email protected]

Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator: Tabitha Whiting, Executive Dir. of Human Resources; 700 S. First Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-1687; Email: [email protected]

Gender Inclusive School Coordinator: Rich Squire, Safety and Security Manager; 700 S. 1st Street; Shelton, WA 98584; 360-426-6322; Email: [email protected]

You can report discrimination and discriminatory harassment to any school staff member or to the district's Civil Rights Coordinator, listed above. You also have the right to file a complaint.

For a copy of your district’s nondiscrimination policy and procedure, contact your school or district office or view Policy and Procedure 3210 online here: Policy & Procedure - Shelton School District

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