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Getting a head start on college and career goals is a great opportunity for students. Many teens are interested in pursuing a job, a college degree, or both upon graduation, and parents value these options, too.

Now, opportunities to graduate high school with technical and specialty trade credentials, college credits, and workplace experience are possible thanks to K12 Inc. and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin.

Getting a jump start on college classes or finding a job directly out of high school are now viable options for high school students across the country. Destinations Career Academy of WI students are pioneering their career goals by obtaining skills that are critical to climb the career ladders they’ve selected. By providing the structure, support, accountability, and required state testing, hundreds of students around the country are progressing themselves personally and professionally.


“I have been able to actively pursue a career as a General Manager, like I’ve always dreamed. Without DCA WI , I wouldn’t be prepared to lead and manage others, improve processes and policies, or manage a range of personnel issues and concerns while focusing on the bottom line. I’m really fascinated by the individual learning approach tailored to fit my goals, abilities, and interests. Ultimately, I know my future is full of opportunities because of the focus I’m putting on academics and career technical education courses.” –Nathan Burrington, 9th grade Business Management and Administration DCA WI student



“Once I graduate high school, I will be able to actively pursue a career within the construction industry. Without DCA WI, I would not be prepared to operate heavy equipment, such as cranes, dozers, or excavators.” –Matthew Cook, 10th grade Architecture and Construction (Heavy Machinery) DCA WI student 



“With DCA WI, I can pursue a career as a Neonatal and pediatric nurse, and become certified to work in a hospital, nursing home, pharmacy, or a lab. I will also be prepared for The National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) Health Assisting Exam, and the Certified Nursing Assistant program.” –Drew Kraemer, 11th grade Health Science DCA WI student

And, that’s just the beginning. By using K12 Inc. and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, exploring the vast array of possible careers while still in high school, learning career and employment skills, and becoming what students want to be is accessible. Moreover, by offering concentrations in in-demand career fields, students are able to learn from professionals and gain priceless workplace experience. In a competitive field, this can have a substantial impact on the education environment as a whole, and, more importantly, individual careers.

Also, K12 Inc. and SkillsUSA have partnered so that every Destinations student is also in the SkillsUSA chapter at the school. That means that every Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin student has access to a leadership organization that has over 335,000 student members, sanctions career related competitions in over 100 different areas. Students automatically can access an employability curriculum in skills that we all wish we had known when we graduated high school, but were never exposed to.

Ultimately, the possibilities are tremendous. Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin’s exclusive program is setting students up for future success every day. With access to college and career training, students are equipped with job-ready skills to put to immediate use after high school. Students prepare to take industry certification tests upon graduation, and successively open doors in high-demand, high-paying, and sometimes high-tech jobs! K12 has career academies in Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin and will continue to help hundreds, even thousands of students.

About The Author

Nicholaus Sutherland

Nicholaus Sutherland is head of school at Wisconsin Virtual Academy and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin. He joined WIVA in July 2015 following three years as K-12 assistant principal/director of special programs at the Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA). He has bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Central Washington University, as well as an additional master's degree in educational and program administration from the University of Washington Tacoma. Nicholaus has a vested interest in the personal development of individuals and has a track record of implementing new programs that result in the closing of educational gaps and dramatic increases in student achievement.

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