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Merging College and Career Prep on Chicago's West Side

There's no difference between the college track and the career track at Chicago's Austin Polytechnical Academy high school.


Can today's kids learn calculus and real world job skills? They will if they're enrolled at Austin Polytechnical Academy on Chicago's West Side. At the 381-student STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) focused campus, the college and career track are one and the same.

Founded in 2007 by Dan Swinney, the chairman of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, Austin is the only Chicago Public Schools high school teaching the basics like English and social studies, and requiring students to take three to four years of pre-engineering courses.

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