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Academy Expo

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OVERVIEW

Vision: To engage the community in designing a quality career exploration event for freshman students. 

About: In their freshman year, students attend the Academy Expo. This event gathers industry leaders in health, public safety, education, skilled trades, manufacturing, engineering, and more. These leaders provide insight to students who might be interested in that career path or those who are unaware what careers are in the Rockford area. Exposure to these careers helps students choose the Academy (College & Career Academies of Rockford) they will enter in their sophomore year, a choice that moves them steadily toward college and career readiness. 

Past: The Academy Expo started in 2011 which piloted at Jefferson High School and hosted 100+ booths of industry experts. As the Expo gained popularity, the venue expanded to the BMO Harris Bank Center which held 110 local companies and 2,100 students from RPS 205. In 2017, the venue found a new home at the Rockford Park District’s Indoor Sports Center at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two. We thank all our venues for their support throughout the years, and our 700+ volunteers that are required to make the Academy Expo a success!

Future: Entering its seventh year, the Academy Expo is looking for new ownership. The final stage of the Alignment Process is “Institutionalization” which allows for an outside entity to plan and own the event so that Alignment Rockford staff and volunteers can continue to work on other initiatives. An institutionalization partner will shadow Alignment Rockford through the Academy Expo until they have been properly on boarded and confident in take-over. 

Outcomes

The Academy Expo has met or exceeded the outcome expectations as outlined in the original tactical plan:

> 0 %
Of students reported that the Academy Expo confirmed their Academy/career path selection
0 %
Of attending students feel the event provided some direction toward a career path after high school
> 0 %
Of student participants reported an increased level of career awareness
> 0 %
Of volunteers reported that they are likely to participate in more events benefiting RPS students