K-12 & Higher Education
Public School Districts: Overview
Career & Technical Education Programs
Our two school districts, Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City Schools, have listened and responded to the needs of the business community by creating career academies at each of their high schools. Career academies are for students who want to attend post-secondary school or start a career immediately after high school. By fulfilling the needs of our area industries through education, we are able to develop a skilled workforce and a ready talent pipeline for any employer who chooses to locate and grow their business in Cabarrus County.
Kannapolis City Schools (KCS) features a highly acclaimed STEM Academy, partnerships with the North Carolina Research Campus, an innovative online learning program (iKann) and teachers who are among the most effective in the region. KCS is one of only four NC school districts named to the College Board’s AP Honor Roll for outstanding performance in administering Advanced Placement college-level courses. KCS offers a welding program where students have a hands-on opportunity to learn the trade and graduate with a certification.
In early 2020, Kannapolis City Schools' Director of STEM & Career Technical Education, Daryle Adams, received the North Carolina CTE Administrator of the Year Award to honor his achievements in expanding KCS' CTE program, his outstanding leadership, and his efforts to ensure student and teacher success. The award was presented by the North Carolina Association for Career and Technical Education.
Cabarrus County Schools (CCS) reported an 88.9% four-year graduation cohort rate – more than 2% higher than the state average. In 2019, Cox Mill High School landed on the list of Top 25 Best High Schools in the Greater Charlotte Area (Charlotte Business Journal). CCS also provides a one-of-a-kind STEM program. CCS’ STEM pipeline is the only K12 STEM program recognized in the state of North Carolina as a model for STEM instruction. CCS also focuses on Career and Technical Education (CTE), which develops Cabarrus County’s most valuable resource: its people.
- Academy of Engineering and Automation (AOEA), Jay M Robinson High School
The Academy of Engineering & Automation (AOEA) is a four-year career academy affiliated with the National Academy Foundation (NAF). AOEA provides a smaller learning community in which a cohort of students have classes together. Academy teachers share the cohort students and work together to integrate technology into their curricula as well as develop interdisciplinary projects.
- Academy of Energy and Sustainability (a NAF Academy of Engineering), Mount Pleasant High School
The vision of AOES is to be the Charlotte region's most effective and efficient high school program which inspires and prepares students to pursue a wide range of career opportunities in energy and sustainability.
Aviation and Aerospace
- STEM Academy of Aviation and Aerospace, West Cabarrus High School
*Coming in Fall 2020*
Hospitality and Tourism
- Academy of Global Hospitality and Tourism, Hickory Ridge High School
The Academy of Global Hospitality & Tourism is designed for students who enjoy an exciting and hands on learning environment in the fields of marketing, and culinary arts. Project-based learning is used to help students understand main concepts in these fields as well as site visits, guest speakers, and internships. Students gain skills that will prepare them for a career in a hospitality, marketing, or the culinary arts field.
- Academy of Health Sciences, Northwest Cabarrus High School
The Academy of Health Sciences (AOHS) is a four-year career academy affiliated with the National Academy Foundation (NAF). AOHS curricula introduces students to health career possibilities though a series of career exploration courses. The curricula is vetted by industry professionals to ensure content is current and relevant. NAF addresses the critical achievement gap in STEM fields by developing a pipeline of students prepared to pursue health-related degrees and professions in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
- Academy of Information Technology, Cox Mill High School
The Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) is a four-year career academy affiliated with the National Academy Foundation (NAF). It is a smaller learning community in which a cohort of students have core and IT classes together. Academy teachers share the cohort students and work together to integrate technology into their curricula as well as develop interdisciplinary projects.
- Public Safety Academy, Concord High School
The PSA is a four-year career academy with a focus on 3 different pathways: EMT, Fire, and Law. The curriculum is vetted by industry professionals to ensure content is current and relevant and all PSA teachers are either current or retired professionals in their respective field of public safety. PSA is a pipeline into the Law, Fire and Emergency Services Training offered at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
The North Carolina Manufacturing Institute (NCMI) was created in 2014 in response to our local employers' need for solving talent recruitment issues in order to grow and remain competitive. The initiative builds a clear and achievable pathway for people to acquire those skills in order to access good jobs in local communities.
Key Focus Areas:
- Close the manufacturing skills gap through workforce training and certification
- Improve the image of manufacturing employment opportunities among job seekers
- Assist manufacturing firms in improving recruitment, selection and retention of talent
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC)
Along with its general curriculum programs, RCCC provides corporate training and continuing education programs throughout the year. In August 2019, RCCC opened its Advanced Technology Center, a state-of-the-art training and education facility located on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
Located 3 miles outside of Cabarrus County, UNC Charlotte offers continuing education certificates, custom training solutions for employers, as well as a wide range of academic disciplines.