Choosing an Academy

Welcome Students

High school is a very important time for you to explore your options and build important relationships in and out of school. Students, this guide is for you! Use this guide as a reference to begin thinking about your future. We hope you find it helpful as you navigate your choices for high school and think about important milestones and opportunities that will prepare you for college, career, and life beyond the walls of MNPS. 

Information for students

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSClick the tabs to learn more about choosing the Academy that is right for you.

Preparing for College and Career

Recognized by the White House as a national high school transformation model, the Academies of Nashville provide students with one of the best college and career prep experiences in the nation.

Academies allow students to choose a course of study based on a specific thematic or academic focus. Students choose an academy based upon their interest and participate in industry-related field trips, a job shadowing experience, an internship and a capstone project. Along with core content classes, students will take at least one career and technical class each semester that is aligned with the academy’s focus.

You have a choice of 36 different academies within the largest 12 neighborhood high schools in Nashville offering a practical, hands-on approach to learning in fields that interest you.

You start in Freshman Academy, where you learn about what’s expected of you in high school. You take YouScience, which helps you explore your natural aptitudes and talents. You also go to the district’s career exploration fair and visit a local college or university.

Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSThrough the Academies you get career exposure so you can make an informed decision about what you want to do once you leave high school. In the four years you will be with us, you explore career pathways and advanced classes while earning early college credit and nationally recognized industry certifications. In every grade, you’ll meet awesome business and community partners who will show you what the day-to-day is like for careers through special learning opportunities.

Choosing an Academy

The Academy selection process is driven by you, the student. During your freshman year you will learn about all the Academies in Metro Schools.

In the spring semester you will meet with your high school counselor and select the Academy that you will be part of beginning in the fall of your sophomore year. And that’s it. It’s your future, your way!

Metro Schools wants you to graduate from high school on time, so we want to make sure you get the most of your Academy experience. If for some reason you change your mind or decide that Academy you originally chose isn’t right for you, you can make the switch one time during your sophomore year. You can also attend an Academy at a school outside of your zone by completing the school choice application.

Learn more at

More about Freshman Academy

The majority of high school dropouts occur between freshman and sophomore year. Our goal is to mitigate this by building on existing partnership within the schools and providing stronger engagement opportunities within the academy. We believe that sustained involvement throughout all four years will lead to students that are relationally connected to business partners, their academy, and their school.


All 9th grade students are a part of the Freshman Academy at their school. Freshman Academy is structured as a small learning community. Therefore, the students are grouped near each other throughout the day (in the same hallway or part of the school), and all students attend Freshman Seminar. In Freshman Seminar, students explore Career and College readiness. This starts with taking a YouScience aptitude assessment.

The assessment helps students to identify where their strengths lie. They use this information to help them tailor their Career Exploration Fair experiences, and to explore the pathways that are available to them prior to choosing their pathway in the spring. They also have the opportunity to learn about all of the pathways and academies in their school. Lastly, they also go on a college visit during freshman year in order to get more information on the college experience.

Experiential Learning

The My Future. My Way. Career Exploration Fair is held in the fall. All 9th grade students are invited and encouraged to attend. Exhibitors from local business are grouped according to the industry areas that complement the YouScience aptitude assessment structure as well as TN Department of Education career pathway structures, these include:

  • Arts, Media, & Communication
  • Business, Marketing, & Information Technology
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, & Industrial Technology
  • Health & Public Services
  • Hospitality & Tourism

    Students spend approximately an hour at the Career Exploration Fair, in which time they interview exhibitors in industry areas that are of interest to them. There are typically over 125 vendors, so the students have a lot to choose from! From there, students take the information that they learn about these various professions to help inform their college and career readiness plans that will help to guide them throughout their high school careers.

    College visits are also a part of Experiential Learning in the Freshman Academy experience. Students will tour a local college during the spring to learn more about college life and entrance requirements.

  • To to Choose an Academy

    So how do I choose my Academy? When choosing your pathway to graduation, take in consideration your interests, learning style, favorite subjects and plans after high school. Talk to any high school counselor if you have any questions about the Academy selection process. Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing an Academy:

  • Is the pathway and Academy something I am interested in?
  • Will I still enjoy it years from now?
  • Does it use my natural skills, talents and abilities?
  • Is the pathway something I will have fun learning?
  • Will I be able to easily and readily find employment in a related field after earning the degree?
  • Will it be around later in life?
  • Will it pay me adequately to have the life I want to live as an adult?

    Questions to Consider

    Here are some additional questions to ask yourself and to help you have informed conversations about choice and options:


  • Is the school close to where I live so I can either walk to school or ride an MNPS bus?
  • Is the school far away from my house where I would need to either get a ride or take the MTA bus?


  • Can I take advanced academic classes to gain college credit and graduate with an honors diploma?
  • Can I take classes focused on projects, industry-related field trips, job shadowing and internships?
  • Can I use technology for learning including online classes?
  • Can I take classes focused on performance art including theatre, art, music, drawing and dance?
  • Can I learn critical thinking, problem solving and group work through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) instruction?
  • Can I learn academic subjects through peer discussions and debates.

    Student Activities

  • Can I participate in sports programs I’m interested in?
  • Can I choose between a wide variety of extracurricular programs?
  • Can I have lots of opportunities to be a student leader?
  • Can I participate in after-school programming including tutoring and college preparation?

    Culture & Climate

  • Is the school staff is friendly and very welcoming to me and my family?
  • Does the school, staff and students really like being at the school?
  • Is the school is like a second home - is it a great place to make friends and be myself?
  • What to Expect

  • 9th Grade: Career Exploration Fair

    Freshman have the opportunity to talk to industry professionals from more than 400 different career areas and attend at least one college visit. In Freshman Academy, students receive classes through a core team of teachers that share students to provide supports for student achievement.

  • 10th Grade: Industry Fields Trips

    Sophomore students attend industry field trips to to confirm or reevaluate academy choices through real-world experiences.

  • 11th Grade: Job Shadowing

    Junior students gain insight into the daily realities of their professions of interest. Students complete a one-day job shadowing experience where they observe professionals in a career area related to their academy.

  • 12th Grade: Internships

    Senior level students participate in hands-on experience where they can see the importance of their studies first-hand and form valuable connections with industry professionals.

  • 12th Grade: The Capstone Experience

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSStudents participate in Senior Capstone where they complete research related to their academy choice. The four requirements of Capstone are: (1) a 10 page research paper; (2) a product; (3) portfolio that includes documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of experiential learning; and (4) presentation. All seniors are enrolled in Capstone with a few exceptions. This is an MNPS initiative.

  • Useful Terms and Information to Know

    MNPS Specific Terms

  • MNPS: Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • Capstone: a senior level class that has an organized platform for students to do research and create a product. The four requirements of Capstone are: (1) a 10 page research paper; (2) a product; (3) portfolio that includes documentation of a minimum of 40 hours of experiential learning; and (4) presentation. All seniors are enrolled in Capstone with a few exceptions. This is an MNPS initiative.
  • Five Characteristics of an MNPS Graduate: (1) a plan for postsecondary education and career; (2) an ACT score of at least 21; (3) a work-based or service learning experience or capstone research project; (4) at least one course completed online for high school or college credit; and (5) college credit and/or a nationally recognized professional certification


  • GPA: Grade Point Average
  • AP: Advanced Placement, classes where a student can earn college credit in core subjects, such as English and math. Can also stand for Assistant Principal or Academy Principal.
  • CTE: Career Technical Education. Examples of CTE classes include: business, agriculture, engineering, medical, and culinary (this is not an all-inclusive list).
  • FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This must be completed before a student is eligible for any financial aid.
  • PBL: Project based learning. This can be within a classroom, within an academy, or within a school across academies. Most involve teachers in various disciplines, not just CTE, within an academy working to teach common themed material and create an end product, i.e. the project.

    Other Important Information

  • Career Fair: A huge event that takes place yearly in the fall that all MNPS freshmen students are taken to. It is at the Music City Center.
  • Experiential learning: Opportunities for students to learn by having experiences outside the classroom. Job shadows, field trips, and internships are all examples of experiential learning for MNPS students.
  • Ambassadors: Student leaders selected via a process to serve their academy and the school. The process includes a teacher recommendation, an application, and an interview. There are typically five selected per academy, and must be in grades 11 or 12. Although we have chosen to have a group of junior ambassadors that serve during their 10th grade year in an effort to train more students in leadership roles. These students conduct tours, attend advisory board meetings for their respective academies, and perform other duties as assigned.

  • School Tours Checklist

    Checklist - Touring a School

    Tour Tuesdays You (and your family) can show up at any Metro school on designated dates and times set by the district, and take a tour. Tour Tuesday dates and times can be found at

    Scheduled Visits You can call schools directly to schedule an appointment. School phone numbers are listed on Visiting schools is the best way to really get to know the school. It’s your time to ask questions, see inside classrooms, meet students, shake hands with the principal, and ultimately, see if the school feels right for you. Use the checklist below as you tour.

    Virtual Tours If you can't visit a school in person, check out our high schools’ online tours by looking at virtual tours on the

    You also can use this checklist to help you make a decision:

    School Building & Features

  • The school is located close to my house.
  • The school has learning labs, i.e. science labs, writing labs, makerspace with lots of great equipment for experiments.
  • The school has lots of space for sports fields and intramurals.
  • The school provides a dance studio, band room and/or auditorium where students can express artistic abilities.


  • Students have lots of options for honors level, advanced placement and other advanced academic courses.
  • Students are interacting with business professionals through interviews, guest speakers, job shadowing, industry related field trips and/or internships.
  • Students learn through technology.
  • Students use their artistic ability to express their learning through art, dance, acting and/or playing an instrument.
  • Students learn through group work, problem solving, lab experiments and projects.
  • Students learn about academic subjects through classroom and school wide- discussions.

    Student Activities

  • Students can choose from a variety of sports.
  • Students can participate in lots of extracurricular activities.
  • Students have lots of opportunities to led clubs, make decisions that affect the student body, start programs, have a voice in school decisions, etc.
  • Students have opportunities to stay after-school for tutoring, college preparation courses, student leadership programs, etc.

    Culture & Climate

  • The school staff greeted me when I walked in the door.
  • Everyone including the principal, teachers and students seem to really like the school.
  • I can see myself fitting in at this school.

    Questions To Ask Teachers & Principals

  • Does this school have a particular curriculum focus, such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or the arts?
  • What kind of emphasis does the school place on college preparation?
  • Does the school have a good selection of Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes?
  • What percentage of students take the SAT or/and ACT?
  • Where do students go after they graduate? How many attend four-year college? Are graduates prepared for college?
  • Are counselors available to help students make important decisions about classes?
  • Is college counseling and support available?
  • Does the school offer a variety of career planning options for students who are not college bound?
  • Does the school staff set high expectations for all students?
  • Does the school have a tutoring programs so students can get extra help if they need it?
  • How do students get to school? Is there a parking lot, and are buses (public or district-provided) available?
  • Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSDoes this school have any special business or community partnerships that allow a student to go directly to work after high school?

  • Student Organizations

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSTo learn more about the student organizations and extra-curricular activites offered at each high school,

    Antioch High School

    Located in Antioch/Southeast Nashville, is home to four career academies.

    Cane Ridge High School

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSLocated in South Nashville,  is home to four career academies.

    Glencliff High School

    Located in Southeast Nashville, is home to three career academies.

    Hillsboro High School

    Located in the Green Hills area, is home to three career academies.

    Hillwood High School

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSLocated in West Nashville, is home to three career academies.

    Hunters Lane High School

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSLocated in Northeast Nashville, is home to three career academies.

    Maplewood High School

    Located in Northeast Nashville, is home to two career academies.

    McGavock High School

    Located in the Donelson neighborhood of Nashville, is home to four career academies.

    John Overton High School

    Bắn Cá Hải Tặc iOSLocated in Southwest Nashville, is home to four career academies.

    Pearl-Cohn High School

    Located in Northwest Nashville, is home to two career academies.

    Stratford High School

    Located in East Nashville, is home to two career academies.

    Whites Creek

    Located in Northwest Nashville, is home to one career academy.