Academies and Specialized Programs - High School

Advanced technical and specialized elective courses are available at the High School Academies for students interested in pursuing coursework in a variety of options related to career pathways.

A high school academy is a center within an existing high school that offers advanced technical and specialized courses that successfully integrate career and academic preparation.

Enrollments in the Academy elective course offerings will provide students with career and academic preparation for postsecondary education and/or career fields. Students enrolling in Academy elective courses will be provided with opportunities to participate in a variety of career experiences including shadowing, mentoring, and/or internships with local businesses.

    Open House Details

    Location Date Time
    Chantilly Academy January 19, 2023
    Snow date: January 31, 2023
    6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Edison Academy  February 4, 2023
    Snow date: February 11, 2023
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Fairfax Academy February 7, 2023
    Snow date: February 14, 2023
    6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
    Falls Church Academy January 18, 2023 (in person)
    January 26, 2023 (virtual - link available soon)
    6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Marshall Academy January 25, 2023
    Snow date: February 4, 2023 (4 to 6 p.m.)
    1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
    West Potomac Academy January 18, 2023
    Snow date: January 19, 2023
    6 to 8 p.m.
    Fairfax County School of Practical Nursing February 22, 2023
    Snow date: March 1, 2023
    5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
    Fairfax County Firefighting Program February 17, 2023 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
    Spring Village Construction February 4, 2023 and March 4, 2023
    Snow date: February 11, 2023
    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    Academy Locations

    All FCPS students are eligible to participate in Academy programs. Courses and transportation are available based on base-school location. Use the High School Academy Course Finder to find courses and available transportation!

    Academy Programs


    • Air Force JROTC
    • Automotive
    • Carpentry
    • Classroom on the Mall
    • Cosmetology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Culinary, Cyber/IT
    • Firefighting, Health and Medical Sciences
    • Korean
    • STEM Engineering
    • Teachers for Tomorrow


    • Automotive, Chinese
    • Construction
    • Cosmetology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Culinary, Cyber/IT
    • Electrical
    • Global STEM Challenges Program
    • HVAC
    • Teachers for Tomorrow
    • Veterinary Science


    • American Sign Language
    • Arabic, Chinese
    • Dance, Fashion Careers
    • Game Design and Development
    • Korean, Music and Computer Technology
    • Musical Theatre
    • Professional Photography
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Television and Media Marketing

    Falls Church

    • American Sign Language
    • Biotechnology Foundations
    • Criminal Justice
    • Health and Medical Sciences
    • Vietnamese


    • Arabic
    • Automotive
    • Chinese
    • Cosemtology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Culinary
    • Cyber/IT
    • Entrepreneurship

    West Potomac

    • Biotechnology Foundations
    • Criminal Justice
    • Dance
    • Early Childhood Careers
    • Health and Medical Sciences
    • Music and Computer Technology
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Television Production

    For a list of specific courses available at each of the academies, please visit the Academy Course Catalog.

    Specialized Programs

    In addition to courses offered at the six Academies, specialized programs for students with particular interests are available at community-based locations and at single school sites.


    The Classroom-on-the-Mall program is located at Fair Oaks Mall and provides instructional marketing and fashion marketing experiences.

    Auto Dealership Program

    The Auto Dealership Program, now available at 13 high schools, introduces students to operating a licensed auto dealership.

    Practical Nursing

    The Fairfax County School of Practical Nursing is located at Plum Center for Lifelong Learning and offers nursing classes to both secondary and postsecondary students.

    Spring Village Residential Construction Site

    Spring Village Residential Construction Site offers students an opportunity to construct single-family homes.


    Firefighting I and Firefighting II are offered at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Training Academy through a partnership with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. This program is open to high school seniors.

    Health Informatics

    Sponsored by the Claude Moore Foundation, FCPS and INOVA have partnered to bring a Health Informatics course to our Health and Medical Sciences Program. The course will be taught at the Falls Church Academy. Health Informatics is an in-demand field with opportunities for students interested in working in a healthcare environment utilizing computer hardware and/or computer software skills.

    Career Experience Programs

    Students have the opportunity to enhance their Career and Technical Education experiences through a variety of programs. Juniors and seniors enrolled in elective classes are eligible for these programs. Career experience programs include:

    • Apprenticeship
    • Client-centered
    • School-based Courses
    • Community Service
    • Cooperative Education
    • Internship
    • Mentorship
    • Job Shadowing
    • School-based Enterprise

    Client-centered School-based Courses

    Sequenced high school courses set up as student-run businesses providing services within the lab at school. These courses are currently offered at numerous sites; some may require travel to another school or community site. (Offered through the Trade and Industrial program area.)

    Community Service

    Non paid career experience in a nonprofit organization that allows students to develop occupational skills. (May be offered to juniors and seniors in elective classes in any program area; refer to specific program area for further details.)

    Cooperative Education

    Planned and supervised on-the-job training with related classroom instruction in a Career and Technical Education program where the student receives both credit and wages and usually allows early release during the school day. (Offered through Business and Marketing classes.)


    One-time, paid or non paid positions that last for a specific period of time in which students have an opportunity to work in a field that they think might be a career goal prior to leaving school. (May be offered to juniors and seniors in elective classes in any program area; refer to specific program area for further details.)


    Informal, non paid, and short-term relationship between a student and a person in business, government, or a profession that enhances a student's career experience/exploration. (May be offered to juniors and seniors in elective classes in any program area; refer to specific program area for further details.)

    Job Shadowing

    An academically motivating educational activity that gives students a first-hand look at the world of work where students shadow an employer at their place of employment to gain a better understanding of the skills, experience, and education needed to achieve their dreams. (May be offered to juniors and seniors in elective classes in any program area; refer to specific program area for further details.)

    School-based Enterprise

    Individual or sequenced high school courses set up as actual student-run businesses outside the school setting (e.g., automotive dealership, TV production, etc). These programs are currently offered through the Marketing and Trade and Industrial program areas.

    Career Experience Specialists

    Each of the FCPS Academies is staffed with a Career Experience Specialist whose primary role is to connect students and teachers to career experiences and resources in the community which will broaden the learning experience for the student in the academy course.

    Academy Career Experience Specialists are responsible for the organization and coordination of career experience programs. In addition, the Career Experience Specialist serves as the Academy’s business and community liaison.