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.

Academy Locations:

Services to the Community

Many Career and Technical Education courses offer curriculum-related services to the community.  All services are performed by students in the pursuit of furthering their understanding and mastery of educational and industrial concepts. The chart below lists some typical services and their locations. 


Description Locations

Automotive Technology

Oil changes, auto detailing, repairs

Annandale High School

Centreville High School

Chantilly Academy

Edison Academy

Fairfax High School

Falls Church High School

Hayfield Secondary School

Lake Braddock Secondary School

Lewis High School

Marshall Academy

Robinson Secondary School

South County High School

South Lakes High School

Automotive Collision

Dents and dings, small painting projects

Chantilly Academy

Edison Academy


Play houses, dog houses, picnic tables

Chantilly Academy


Hair cut, color, other services

Chantilly Academy

Edison Academy

Hayfield Secondary School

Lewis High School

Marshall Academy

Culinary Arts

Lunch served to faculty—contact for schedule

Annandale High School

Chantilly Academy

Edison Academy

Falls Church High School

Marshall Academy

Mt. Vernon High School

South Lakes High School


Recharging of refrigerator/freezer compressors

Edison Academy

Veterinary Sciences

Dog grooming

Chantilly Academy

Edison Academy

Please call the school to inquire about availability, fees and scheduling, as the offering and time to perform services directly correlates with instructional calendars. 

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 as follows:Career Experience Programs


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 health care 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, and 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 which last for a specific period of time in which students have an opportunity to work in a field which 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 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.