LS Springfield offering Career Academy Program


Sixteen seniors at Life Skills Center of Springfield will be given the opportunity to participate in the first ever Career Academy next semester.

SPRINGFIELD – Sixteen seniors at Life Skills Center of Springfield will be given the opportunity to participate in the first ever Career Academy next semester.

According to Karl Perkins, administrator at Life Skills Center of Springfield, the Career Academy is an advanced and rigorous academic and vocational program for students with 10 or more credits. The program will help students choose a career field and then put them in classes suited to the field during their last semester of school, which will help the students become better prepared to enter the workforce after graduation.
The students selected for the academy are based on factors including, but not limited to, academic progress, attendance and behavior, Perkins said.

“Our academy comprises three different vocational tracks,” said Perkins. “We have Business, Manufacturing and Media. Each of the vocational tracks has certain academic requirements. These requirements include both courses and capstone projects. This is not a class but a cohort of students who have been selected to complete the academic and project requirement of the three unique academies.”
The following is a brief description of each program:

• The Business, Service and Leadership Program combines academic courses with practical real-life experience, service-learning opportunities and leadership development. The students will have a deeper understanding of how government, economics and business have very important roles in community development and community service.
• The Multimedia and Creative Arts Program is designed to give students opportunities to learn computer-based processes used to develop media-related products. Students will learn how to use text, graphics, sound, video and audio video to convey ideas and market products and services. The program offers students the ability to focus on the creative and technical aspects of multimedia production by completing a sequence of courses, workshops and project-based learning opportunities. This introductory program prepares students for careers in media, video and audio.
• The Manufacturing Program allows students to learn the basic foundational skills for the advanced manufacturing and engineering field. Upon completion of general requirements, students will be able to pick one of three manufacturing specializations. These specializations include welding, industrial maintenance and machining basics.

Perkins said 16 students were selected to participate in the cohort, which will run from January to June.  The following students have been selected for the program:
• Business: Blake Edwards, Ashley Woods, Stormie Lay, Se'Myra White, Megan Smithour, Ariana Shonkwiler
• Manufacturing: Austin Waugh, Khaleel Akram, Allan Wade, John Long, Brandon Yoder
• Media: Dylan Griffith, Marcus Watts, Tiffany Ault, Robyn Jones, Donovan Workman

“To continue to be an active participant in the specific Career Academy, students must complete academic course work assigned to the specific Career Academy while also completing monthly career exportation activities,” Perkins said. “To be an identified graduate of a specific Career Academy, students must also complete a capstone project.”
According to Perkins, the idea for the program began earlier this year when he did a survey of students and asked them what the school could do better.

“The students stated they wanted more hands on courses,” he said. “That evolved into the development of our media program with a partnership with Muse Machine. Then, in a visit from Tom Barrett, the CEO of White Hat Management, he challenged me to figure out how to provide vocational training for students in our school. Like a light bulb, it clicked. I started to pull all of the resources that we currently offer to develop vocational tracks for students who were close to graduation. This includes work with Habitat for Humanity, Lincoln Community Garden and Lincoln Park Neighborhood Partnership.”

Perkins said the Benjamin Steel Co. Inc. has been involved in the Manufacturing Program by not only making course suggestions, but also offering a field trip to the facility so the students can see first-hand what is involved. During a field trip to the facility last year, Perkins said, the company interviewed and hired two students.
“Like any business, the company wanted to reach out to our school to provide an opportunity to hire students who have the desire to work in the field of manufacturing,” he said.

Life Skills offers high school students a nontraditional option for obtaining a high school diploma. Life Skills fits the needs of a variety of students with different backgrounds and lifestyles, including: students returning to high school, accelerated students, pregnant students, students who need high school credit recovery, teen mothers, students working while going to school and families with special circumstances.

Life Skills offers an alternative high school education to students between the ages of 16-21. Class hours and curriculum are designed to be flexible enough to fit each individual’s needs. In addition to computer-based learning and highly qualified teachers available for one-on-one attention, Life Skills assists students outside of the classroom with job placement and counseling for higher education.

For more information about Life Skills, visit

If you’re interested in learning more about Life Skills and would like to interview Maggie Ford, chief academic officer at White Hat Management, call 330-535-6868 or email

About Life Skills:
Life Skills operates centers in Ohio, Arizona and Colorado and offers an alternative high school education to students between the ages of 16-21. Class hours and curriculum are designed to be flexible enough to fit each individual's needs. For more information, visit

Life Skills Center of Springfield
1637 Selma Road
Springfield, OH 45505

About White Hat Management
White Hat Management contracts and assists nonprofit corporations that hold charters or see a need for a charter school in their community. White Hat Management operates 33 schools in three states under the auspices of two separate educational ventures. The Academies are tuition-free and are open to students in grades K-8 throughout the state of Ohio. Life Skills Centers are alternative education charter schools serving students between the ages of 16 and 21 in Ohio, Colorado and Arizona.
121 S. Main St.
Suite 200
Akron, OH 44308