The Tennessee Diploma Project and the Academies of Nashville

The Tennessee Diploma Project is part of the national American Diploma Project, an initiative that aims to prepare all students for success in college and careers after high school.  The state of Tennessee's goal is to raise standards and curricula by improving the quality of education students receive at all grade levels. Business roundtables gave the Tennessee Department of Education input regarding the needs of commerce and industry and employers' expectations of graduates. Their feedback points to the importance of rigorous academic training and 21st-century skills in preparing students for college and careers.

Primary 21st-century skills needed for success

  • Solid math and science skills, especially mastery of basic math
  • Application of critical thinking and teamwo8rk to solve complex problems
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong work ethic and professionalism

Preparing students for college and careers in the Academies of Nashville

The curriculum and structure of the Academies of Nashville have been designed to provide students with rigorous academic training in the context of project-based learning and real-world experience. The goals of the Academies of Nashville build on the basic objectives of the Tennessee Diploma Project.

Prepare students to be workplace and/or college ready

  • All students will take college preparatory courses.
  • Academies foster the 21st-century skills necessary for success in college and careers through real-world, application-based learning.

Foster understanding of math and science and their relationship to technology (STEM)

  • Interdisciplinary teaching within academies shows connections between academic courses and solving real-world problems.
  • All academies emphasize math, science, English, and social studies and their use in various career fields.

Work cooperatively in groups

  • Interdisciplinary projects in the classroom promote collaborative work habits that are essential for success in college and careers.
  • Academy Partners reinforce the importance of 21st-century skills through coordinated learning experiences outside of the classroom.

Demonstrate responsibilities in personal lives and in service to the community

  • All students complete a Capstone project that consists of either original research, service-learning, or internships as the culmination of their high-school career.
  • 21st-century skills reinforce personal accountability by showing students the value of education to achieving their long-term goals.