Students enrolled in East Lake High School’s Academy of Business Careers pose for a group photo. As students’ progress through the other courses on designated career tracks, they will have additional opportunities to earn industry certifications in programs such as the Adobe Creative Suite and QuickBooks. Students in the Academy gain access to a variety of course offerings ranging from digital design, Web design, and accounting to entrepreneurship and on-the-job training.
PALM HARBOR – East Lake High School has a new academy to add to its offerings – the Academy of Business Careers.
East Lake students in the academy gain access to a variety of course offerings ranging from digital design, Web design, and accounting to entrepreneurship and on-the-job training. Courses are intended to prepare students for the workplace with skills that are high in demand by employers.
The academy meets the eligibility requirements of the Florida Department of Education Career and Professional Education Act. Students can enter as a freshman by taking the prerequisite course, Introduction to Information Technology. The course is a gateway to the other courses by teaching students about the growing world of technology and allowing them to achieve industry certifications in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point.
As students’ progress through the other courses on designated career tracks, they will have additional opportunities to earn industry certifications in programs such as the Adobe Creative Suite and QuickBooks. These certification exams are now one of the requirements for the new merit designations on students’ high school diplomas. In its initial year, 2012, the academy tested over 200 students.
“The industry certifications are an excellent opportunity for students to get their foot in the door of a job while they are still in high school. These exams are the same that professionals who have been working in the field are taking,” said Lynn Fetters, business department chair at East Lake. “We want to provide employers a pool of qualified workers through these industry certifications and provide our students’ opportunities to jump start their careers.”
The academy also offers extracurricular opportunities for students. FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is the largest business student organization in the world. This year, the East Lake chapter has 60 members. Students in the organization compete in a variety of more than 65 different categories ranging from digital design to business law to sports management.
Last year was the first year the East Lake FBLA chapter was active in nearly 20 years. Even so, the chapter took two juniors, Anthony Canalungo and Johathan Grasso, all the way to the national competition in Anaheim, Calif., to compete in the banking and financial systems. The students earned fourth place in the nation. The ELHS chapter is looking for a repeat performance at this year’s competition along with adding a few more students to the list.