Education Model: Individualized / Experienced Based / Project Learning
Technical Academies of Minnesota schools are public tuition-free charter schools.
Grades served: 7 - 12
Our Mission at Technical Academies is to provide innovative educational opportunities and develop career pathways for young adults in partnership with the public and private sector. The technical academies will seek to fulfill the talent needs of industry and service.
Our Vision is to create technical academies that foster competencies, creativity, confidence and purpose resulting in successful leaders and citizens for Minnesota’s future.
Technical Academies of Minnesota (TAM) will provide students in grades 7-12 with an individualized learning program that includes career preparedness, college readiness, and community partnerships and opportunities, in a project-based, teacher-led school. Technical Academies’ educational program has four main characteristics based on EdVision’s Design Essentials:
Small Learning Communities, Advisory based
1) Small Learning Communities, Advisory based: The intention of the small learning communities is to create a personalized culture with strong relationships to enhance student achievement. This democratic culture values student voice and gives students support through a full-time, multi-age advisory system whereby each student is well known personally and academically by his or her teacher/advisor and peers. Each school will have 8 to 9 advisories, with an assigned teacher/advisor. Often students participate in the same advisory for multiple years.
Co-generated Project-Based Learning (PBL)
2) Co-generated Project-Based Learning (PBL): Students participate in an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills. This type of learning climate encourages students, even under-achievers, to get involved in the learning process and choose their personal goals for learning.
3) Authentic Assessments offer multiple paths for demonstrating student’s learning and performance on worthy, intellectual tasks. Authentic assessment provides the space for the student to effectively demonstrate acquired knowledge by performing a full array of tasks such as research, oral or written analysis, or collaboration, to flourish in the demonstration of their understanding of the acquired knowledge.
Teacher Leadership or Teacher Professional Practice (TPP)
4) Teacher Leadership or Teacher Professional Practice (TPP) is a democratic system, which consists of a formally organized partnership of school staff serving as the leadership team to provide the learning program. Much like a group of doctors or lawyers who collectively make decisions about how to best provide services for clients, the TPP provides structure and opportunity for teachers to create the education programing for their students.
Organization and Accountability
Project Foundry uploads the Minnesota and local standards into the system so that as projects are designed, students and advisors select applicable standards that align with the goals of the project.
Project Foundry is an online cloud database that is uploaded with state graduation standards. When the student designs a project the software helps track the applicable graduation standards. The program has many functions that allow students, advisors, and parents to be aware of standards that are not being met so the individualized learning plan can be adjusted.
For more information and a video demonstration about Project Foundry visit Project Foundry.
The Technical Academies of Minnesota are authorized by Innovative Quality Schools. To learn more about IQS, go to www.iqsmn.org or 651-234-0900.