Nebraska Career Academy Programs

Career-Themed Core Courses

Integration of Leadership Education

Hands-On Workplace Experience

In 2012, the Nebraska Unicameral passed legislation requiring the Nebraska Department of Education to establish quality standards and operational guidelines for career academy programs in Nebraska secondary schools. The intent is to ensure quality career academy programs across the state and to establish an evaluative process to measure effectiveness of career academies.

Why Participate?

Increased student engagement through Career Academy Programs has been a linked to increased high school completion and entering into postsecondary education. Through Career Academy participation at the secondary level students have the opportunity to explore career fields of interest to better determine which pathway is an appropriate fit prior to entering post-secondary education or directly entering the workforce. Core academic classes taught in a contextualized way allows students to clearly link core concepts to application in career fields.


  • Graduation Rate
  • GPA
  • Student Engagement
  • Credits Earned
  • Students sense of belonging
  • Relevance of work
  • Real-world application of content
  • Post-secondary education enrollment

Who Benefits?


  • Career Academy programs are identified based on local economic and workforce development needs
  • Students learn of opportunities in their local communities that may entice them to return the area after post-secondary education
  • Advisory board consists of community members to guide work within the school to be rigorous and relevant to industry needs


  • “Try on” a career field of interest
  • Core courses integrate technical content
  • Build leadership skills
  • Gain workplace experience
  • Value learning and feel a sense of belonging


  • Build positive relationships with the school district and students
  • Identify students that may be future employees or business partners
  • Mentor students in identifying career interests through on-site experiences


  • Improved academic performance due to increased student engagement
  • Observe fewer attendance issues
  • Build positive relationships with local businesses

Community Colleges

  • Career Academy programs are identified based on local economic and workforce development needs

A Sampling of Nebraska Career Academies...

Business, Marketing, and Management: Accounting

Agricultural, Food and Natural Resources: Veterinary Science

Communication & Information Technology: Programming & Software Development

Skilled & Technical Sciences: Construction

Health Sciences: Therapeutic Certification Services

Family & Consumer Sciences: Early Childhood Development & Services


Sydney Kobza

Assistant Director, Nebraska CTE


Rule 47 Career Academy Program Application

These regulations, often referred to as Rule 47, define a career academy program as:
A sequence of credit-bearing academic and career technical courses which reflect a Career Cluster selected in response to local, regional or state employment needs and demand for expertise.

In developing Rule 47, the Nebraska Department of Education researched best practices from across the nation. In addition, the requirements addressed in Rule 47 are based on the work of the National Career Academy Coalition and their National Standards of Practice.

To view Rule 47 in its entirety, please visit:
Nebraska Department of Education: Rule 47
Regulations for Career Academy Programs Established by School Districts

Updated November 7, 2023 11:55am