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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Academy Group?
The Academy Group is a unique and innovative enterprise established to realize the long-term potential of young people from underserved communities across the United States. It was founded to identify and invest in exceptional young people, support their academic journey from elementary school, through high school and college, and into their careers.
How will Academy Group students benefit from this enterprise?
The Academy Group offers students top-tier academic programming designed to accelerate growth and support success in school and college, as well as immersive career training and personalized leadership development.
How are the participating students selected?
The Academy Group tap into the deep wells of often overlooked talent that exist in underserved communities nationwide.
Students entering the Academy Group in elementary school are selected randomly by lottery. Those joining in high school are selected based on prior academic background, attendance and commitment to improving themselves and the world around them.
Can you explain the academic programming the Academy offers in greater detail? What classes do students participate in?
The Academy Group offer both academic programming, including support for core academic classes, intensive seminars, and hands-on one-on-one support, a curriculum on justice and leadership development.
Our students participate in a business curriculum – classes in economics, finance, accounting and entrepreneurship, and a justice curriculum – classes in social change, how to be engaged citizens.
This summer, our rising high school seniors participated in college prep classes, as well as Harvard Business School case studies. In college prep, we worked on personal statements, talked through financial aid, and other basics of how to create a stellar college application.
How are the participating teachers and mentors selected?
Academy Group Faculty and staff are selected by a rigorous process, requiring demonstration of prior excellence, observations of practice, in depth interviews and numerous references. Interested candidates should submit a written letter of inquiry and resume to the Academy.
When is the Academy Group expected to expand into other cities?
We are focused on a successful pilot Summer Academy, and standing up the Chicago Academy this year. We anticipate establishing the Los Angeles Academy in 2018-2019.
What type of employment opportunities will Academy Group graduates be able to expect?
The Academy Group guarantees a pathway to professional employment in companies across multiple sectors to all of its students who fulfill requirements and successfully graduate from college. We anticipate we will be in 10-15 sectors within the next 3-5 years. In addition to finance, we are currently looking at law, sports management, and entertainment, insurance, conservation and technology.
How many students participated in the Summer Academy?
In 2017, 63 students participated in the Summer Pilot Academy. In 2018, 300 students will enroll in the Academy. By 2019 we expect approximately 1000 students in the Chicago Academy.
Will Academy Group graduates be indebted to the enterprise in any way after graduation?
What happens to students who complete the program but select a career that the Academy can’t support through Academy Companies?
Clearly not all Academy Group students will elect to work in Academy Group companies. Our students will have broad interests and be extremely competitive in the job market. For students who elect not to work with an Academy Group company, we will provide career guidance and support.
What qualifications will the students come out with and will these be recognized across the United States and in other academic institutions?
Academy students still attend traditional school. That remains a requirement of their participation. The Academy Group programming will make these students extraordinarily competitive – enriching successful academic careers with job and internship experience, leadership development, mentorship, entrepreneurship and start up experience. The Academy Group provide students the foundation to be successful in college, the workforce, and contribute in substantive ways to their communities.
Why is the Academy Group a superior academic path to traditional schooling?
The Academy Group does not replace traditional schooling. We expect students to remain in their home schools. The Academy Group works closely with our students “host” schools to provide an additional set of supports – from additional academics, to leadership development and paid internship opportunities – for young people from underserved communities that take place in the summer, on weekends and after school.