High School Theme-Based Academies

Students on a field trip to the court house

Academy Overview

Holyoke High School North Campus hosts a comprehensive academic program, featuring four theme-based Academies that focus on a specific series of courses, work-based experiences, (such as job shadowing and internships with local companies), and projects. Each academy also includes regular curriculum courses: English language arts, math, science and social studies.

The four theme-based academies include: Community and Global Studies (CGS), Technology, Engineering, and Design (TED), Performing and Media Arts (PMA) and Medical and Life Sciences (MLS).

Community & Global Studies

The Community & Global Studies Academy provides pathways designed around the study of law and criminal justice, public policy, and ethnic studies leading students to examine the foundations of our society while connecting it with the world. This academy fosters unity and community, which drives local and global policy.  All pathways include opportunities to extend the learning in connected programs at area colleges, and through partnerships with area businesses and organizations.

Technology, Engineering & Design

The Technology, Engineering & Design Academy provides opportunities for students to dive into fields of engineering, computer science, and industrial design. These students will use the engineering design process to challenge the present design, or create a new design, for everything they encounter. Partnerships with area colleges and many Pioneer Valley companies will provide extensive opportunities for applying learning in the field and advanced college study.

Performing & Media Arts

The Performing & Media Arts Academy provides a pathway specially designed for students that have an interest in all areas of Theater, Music, Film, TV, Writing, Photojournalism, and Marketing & Public Relations. Students are empowered to explore all areas of performing and media arts, based on their individual needs, through diverse subject matter. The PMA academy fosters creativity, enginuity, and collaboration while offering opportunities to extend learning by engaging students in field experiences such as viewing live performances and touring backstages of theater, taking master classes from professional actors and musicians and visiting media outlets in the surrounding area. The PMA experience culminates in with a capstone project that is focused on the specific area of interest for the student and helps them to dive deeper into their learning before heading off to college, a training program or post-graduate employment.

Medical & Life Sciences

The Medical & Life Sciences Academy provides students the opportunity to explore and learn within the growing fields of biological sciences, healthcare, nutrition, and sustainable practices. Academic options and work-based learning opportunities abound in these fields with strong connections to programs at area and national colleges. The healthcare sector in particular is a broad, large, growing sector in Western Massachusetts and the country.

Other Offerings

Other offerings for high school students are the Freshman Academy (for ninth-grade students), Newcomer Program (for those new to the English language and the country), and Opportunity Academy (for students in need of an alternative pathway to graduation).

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