Finding Information

If you can't find the answer you are looking for, try using the site search at the bottom of this page.

If you still can't find what you're looking for contact Polk County Schools' Workforce Education Department:

Workforce Education
PO Box 391
Bartow, FL 33831

Phone: (863) 519-8438
Fax: (863) 534-0788

Frequently Asked Questions

If I am an In Zone student, should I apply to a Career Academy?

No, please speak with the Guidance Office at your students school to inform them of your student's desire to be in an In Zone Academy.


Do I need to reapply every year?

No, if you are already part of a Career Academy


Does Polk Academies provide transportation?

No. Transportation is the responsibility of the family.


Should In Zone students apply online for a Polk Academy?

No. Only students who are desiring to attend an Out of Zone school should apply


What is a Career Academy?

A Career Academy combines an academic curriculum with an occupational theme through the career and technical courses, and provides a student with a program of study.

Partnerships with community members and local businesses help strengthen the real world experience of a Career Academy. Students enrolled in a Career Academy may have more opportunity for college credit, on the job training and to earn certifications appropriate to the career field.

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Why Should I Join an Academy?

The most important reason to join is students will be part of a group who will share their interests and desire to learn about a specific career field. Students will be taught by teachers with expertise in the career field and excitement to engage learning.

Joining a Career Academy can also provide opportunities that may not be available to other high schools students. Students may earn more college credit through their enrollment as well as become more involved in local businesses.

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What is "Articulation"?

Articulation is earning college credit because of enrollment in a high school program.

For example a student in an Early Childhood Education program can earn 6 hours of college credit at PCC for completing the program at his/her high school. Some articulation agreements require students to pass a specified test or provide a portfolio of work.

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Do Academies Offer Scholarships?

Most career academy students will have the ability to earn the Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholars Award which is part of the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. For more information about how to qualify, students should see their guidance counselor.

What is "Industry Certification"?

Industry certification is a certification that is recognized within the industry of the career and technical program. Earning an Industry Certification can provide students with employment opportunities upon graduation that may not be available to other students.

An example of an industry certification is the Adobe Certified Associate (Flash or Photoshop) which is certified by Adobe Systems.

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How are Academies and School-Based-Enterprises Related?

A School-Based Enterprise is a business within the Career and Technical Program.

For example: The Stable Café is run by the Culinary Program at Lake Region High School. A career academy can also have a School – Based Enterprise. The iMag Academy students at Lake Region High School run a marketing business, for example.

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Can Academy Students Participate in Other School Activities Such as Clubs and Sports?

Yes! Any student enrolled in a Career Academy has the opportunity to be involved in as many school activities as they choose. Being a vital part of the school community is as important as being a vital part of the academy.

Do Academies Have Prerequisites?

Yes, some academies may have prerequisites before applying to the program. Students will need to check the academy they are interested to determine if they meet the requirement.

What are Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO's) and How Do They Relate to Academies?

Career and Technical Student Organizations are a nationally recognized organization that focuses on the career and technical program a student is enrolled in. They provide leadership and competitive opportunities based around the CTSO career theme.

CTSO’s provides further opportunity to engage students in their career field of interest. A CTSO can be offered both within a Career Academy as well as within a Career and Technical Education program.

The following is a list of CTSO’s offered in Polk County:

-Career Education Clubs of America (CECF)
-Future Business Leaders of America(FBLA)
-Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
-Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA)
-Technology Student Association (TSA)
-Skills USA

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How do Career Majors relate to Career Academies?

The state of Florida requires students to identify their Major Area of Interest upon enrolling in the 9th grade. A student who enrolls in an academy will identify the academy’s career field as their career major.