Career Advancement Academies

Insights into Contextualized Teaching and Learning

Launched in 2007, the Career Advancement Academies are designed to enable underserved Californians – typically first in their families to attend college, low-income, or from communities of color – to enroll in higher education and adjust to emerging and evolving workforce and industry needs. Specifically, CAAs aim to increase the supply of middle skill workers by targeting under-prepared young adults (ages 18-30) whose low basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics shut them out of post-secondary education and high-wage jobs. CAAs support students through a holistic set of interventions to build the foundational skills needed to complete postsecondary education and enter careers.

CAAs are intended as instigators of institutional change efforts. Rather than creating new infrastructures, CAAs seek to rework the system for delivering career education by integrating it into existing services. As such, the CAAs are not a “model” replicated uniformly across colleges, but rather a framework of common elements that provides each college the space for innovation in its interpretation and implementation.

Prepared by Career Ladders Project and Equal Measure
March 2016