The Academy of Finance is a program that gives high school students an opportunity to learn about and prepare for careers in business and financial services. It is one of several model programs established to promote educational excellence by the
National Academy Foundation. Founded in 1982 as a pilot project between the American Express Company, Shearson Lehman Hutton, and the New York City Board of Education, this nationwide program exists today in more than 400 high schools in
40 States, and has a total enrollment of more than 20,000 students. The Academy of Finance is a partnership that links the resources of education, business, and the community.
There is more to the financial services industry than money in the bank. Over six million people research, analyze, and buy and sell commodities, stocks, bonds, foreign currencies, credit, real estate, insurance and other financial products. Hundreds of thousands more work in accounting, computer programming, telecommunications, marketing, management, law, and other industries that support the activities of financial services companies.
In the past decade, technology has revolutionized virtually every aspect of every position in the financial services industry, and hundreds of thousands of low-skilled jobs have been consolidated into fewer, more demanding positions. Today, despite volatile financial markets, the demand for talented applicants who have mastered the “soft skills” – the ability to communicate effectively, work as team members, and solve problems – is unabated and likely to grow. Experts predict that overall employment in the financial services industry is expected to increase by 20 percent during the 2008–18 decade, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, coupled with simultaneous decline in the number of young people entering the workforce. Preparing students to enter the financial services industry is essential to maintain the continued growth and strength of the United States and to secure our leadership in the world economy.
The Academy of Finance bridges the gap between the classroom and the workplace. It helps students develop career skills, evaluate their own potential for success and establish personal goals. The Academy of Finance provides an enriched, elective, four-year comprehensive academic program for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Through the changing economy the Academy of Finance has prepared high school students for successful careers in financial services and in other fields. Through their Academy experience, students gain an understanding of the connections that exist between their education and the workplace. Through teachers and industry mentors, the Academy provides students with the curriculum and guidance necessary for rewarding careers.
Earn College Credits:
A highlight of the Academy of Finance academic program is the college-credit component. Academy students can earn up to 24 college credits! In the sophomore year, Academy students are introduced to Computer Analysis & Information Processing (three college credits). In the junior year, Academy students study Introduction to Business(three college credits), Principles of Marketing (three college credits) and Advanced Computer Applications (three college credits). In the senior year, Academy students gain knowledge of Principles of Accounting I & II (six college credits), Principles of Management (three college credits), and Commercial Law I (three college credits). Other specialized Academy courses include: Computer Essentials in the freshman year; Business Concepts and Practices in the sophomore year; World Economics & Finance, and Banking & Credit in the junior year; and, Securities & Operations, and Financial Planning in the senior year.
Work-based Learning Experience:
After fulfilling the academic requirements of the junior year, students are screened and interviewed for work-based learning experiences in entry-level administrative positions. The experience typically lasts four to six weeks. The student candidates are evaluated and selected by the employers and assume entry-level responsibilities. Many students are later hired to work part or full-time by their sponsoring employers.
An Opportunity To Establish Personal Contacts:
Academy of Finance students get to know the people and organizations involved in the financial services industry within the community. They visit banks, financial exchanges, and other local businesses. The students also attend conferences, hear guest speakers in their classes, and meet local business leaders. Academy students receive advice on career opportunities and alternatives. The Department of Student Services also provides complete college selection and admission guidance. In addition, there are many National Academy Foundation sponsored scholarship opportunities for Academy of Finance students.
Upon graduation, Academy of Finance students receive the Certificate of Financial Studies in addition to the New York State High School Regents Diploma.
Application / Selection Process
All eighth grade Regents-level* students in the Sewanhaka Central High School District with a combined first and second marking period academic average of 75 are eligible to apply by completing an Academy of Finance application form and submitting it to their guidance counselor. (Please note: an academic average includes only Math, Science, Social Studies and English.)
A personal interview will be granted based upon a pre-screening of your application by your guidance counselor and the chairperson of Pupil Personnel Services in your home school. A recommendation for admission to the Academy of Finance must be made by your guidance counselor for a personal interview to be granted. For a recommendation, your guidance counselor will consider your combined academic average for the first and second marking period and your discipline record.
Selections to the Academy of Finance will be made based upon:
Academic subject teacher recommendations
¨ Academic subject teachers will be asked to comment on the applicant’s: homework preparation, behavior in class, ability to work with peers, maturity, work ethic and effort.
¨ The interview will be conducted by a guidance counselor in your home school and the Academy of Finance Program Manager.
¨ The intent is to determine: your knowledge of the Academy of Finance Program, your willingness to commit to this four-year program and change schools.
¨ In addition, this is an opportunity for students to ask questions regarding the program and to determine if it is a good fit with their goals.
Second Marking Period Report Card comments
¨ Report card comments are used to determine your work ethic and motivation.
*The Academy of Finance cannot accommodate students who require Academic Intervention Services (AIS). In addition, students who are enrolled in advanced classes or pursuing Advanced Placement courses do not qualify for the program.
Each student will have equal educational opportunities and will not be excluded from participating in or having access to any course offerings, school services or activities on the bases of race, color, creed, sex, national origin, age, marital status, or handicapping condition. Anyone with a complaint concerning sex discrimination or discrimination on the basis of handicap should contact the District’s Title IX Compliance Officer, Regina Agrusa, Assistant Superintendent of Pupil Personnel & Special Education Services, at (516) 488-9851. All other complaints should be made to the building principal or to the Superintendent of Schools.