What is a 21ST Century Endorsement?

The 21st Century Endorsement is a special notation on a student’s transcript that indicates the student was part of a 21st Century Academy and attained a certain level of accomplishments specified for the academy.  We encourage all 21st Century Academy students to become endorsed!


The following endorsements can be attained by students in all academies and will be marked on their transcript as follows:

__________________ 21st Academy: Endorsed
__________________ 21st Academy: Endorsed with Honors
__________________ 21st Academy: Endorsed with High Honors

*Students who complete coursework within the Academy are recognized as “completers.”


  • The endorsement is a good indication for colleges and employers that the student is dedicated and has a passion for a specific area.
  • An endorsement is similar to an honors designation.
  • An endorsement recognizes a student for their subject-matter concentration.
  • An endorsement is a great self-marketing tool!
  • Students who complete endorsement requirements have a professional portfolio of coursework, extension experiences, student professional learning experiences, and projects that can be shared with potential colleges and post-secondary institutions and employers.


  • Student receive specific notation on their transcript
  • Students are identified in the high school graduation program
  • Students earn a special red, black, and white cord for graduation

HOW DOES A STUDENT EARN AN ENDORSEMENT?  All academies have endorsement requirements.  These requirements include:

Portfolio: To earn an endorsement, all academies require students to prepare a portfolio.  Portfolios are maintained on the Career Cruising™ site.  Portfolios contain:

  • Academy coursework, including additional required and highly recommended courses
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • Individual Plan of Study (IPS)
  • Extension Hours (eHours)
  • 21st Century Endorsement Requirements Summary sheet
  • Resume
  • Academy Employability Skills feedback
  • Senior Capstone Presentation feedback
  • Professional Learning Experience (PLE) information, including feedback from PLE sponsor if appropriate: The purpose of a PLE is to connect skills students are learning in the classroom to authentic, ‘real world’ experiences.  This helps students connect their school learning with post-secondary and career opportunities.  Student Professional Learning Experiences take many forms during a student’s 4-year academy experience.  This include various career presentations during school, job shadowing (typically short term), earning industry-standard certifications, internships, practicing skills/knowledge in an authentic learning experience, doing projects for ‘clients’, and more.

Individual Plan of Study: All 21st Century students will develop an individual plan of study which will be housed in Career Cruising™.

21st Century Academy Coursework: For all levels of endorsements, students are required to successfully complete the 21st Century Coursework which is identified on the academies program card. (Please visit each individual academy on this website for sample plan of study.)  These courses are identified in each student’s Individual Plan of Study (IPS) (Career Cruising ™).

  • Grade Level Academy CourseworkEach academy has specific courses at each grade level, 9th through 12th grade. This coursework fulfills the student’s “individual focus” required for graduation.
  • Additional Required Academy Coursework: Each academy may identify coursework that is Required or Highly Recommended outside of the four grade level courses.  This coursework, identified on the academy endorsement requirements table, will fulfill graduation requirements in multiple areas.
  • Information regarding any articulation agreements identified for the academy will be included.

eHours/ePoints: Extension experiences make the academy opportunity unique!  Extension hours are earned outside the regular school day and are not tied to a course grade.  They are specific to each academy.  Examples of eHours include:

  • Leading community presentations
  • Academy related volunteer/community service
  • Attending an Academy related guest speaker session
  • Participating in academy related competitions
  • Providing service to the Academy
  • Participating in academy events (i.e. Open Houses, Career Events, etc.)
  • Submitting scholarship/award applications
  • Participating in college or post-secondary visit related to the academy
  • Participating in an academic conference or a summer internship
  • Taking prep classes for post-secondary admittance exams (i.e. ACT Test Prep classes)
  • Taking a post-secondary entrance or certification exam (i.e. ACT, SAT, Compass)
  • Participating in district sponsored Skills for Success Workshop
  • Participating in an approved Professional Learning Experiences outside of school day (PLEs)
  • Presenting the Senior Capstone Project (outside school day)

Some specifics related to eHours:

  • Total eHours needed for levels of endorsement:
    • Endorsed = 200 eHours
    • Endorsed with Honors = 300 eHours
    • Endorsed with High Honors = 400 eHours
  • Continuously earned over all 4 high school years
  • A minimum of [50] eHours earned each of 4 years, including senior year
  • eHours are tracked by the student on an submitted to their academy facilitator for tracking.
  • Approval for what is accepted as an eHour determined by the academy facilitator(s)
  • Student may begin earning eHours as soon as they are accepted into an academy (2nd semester of 8th grade)

Grade Point Average (GPA):

  • To earn an endorsement, students must maintain a specific GPA in their Grade Level Academy Coursework :
    • Endorsed = 3.0 GPA
    • Endorsed with Honors = 3.5 GPA
    • Endorsed with High Honors = 4.0 GPA
  • To earn an endorsement, students may be required to maintain a specific All Academy Coursework GPA including ALL required academy coursework. This is individual to each academy.
  • To earn an endorsement, students must maintain a specific overall Cumulative GPA for their high school education
    • Endorsed = 2.75 GPA
    • Endorsed with Honors = 3.0 GPA
    • Endorsed with High Honors = 3.5 GPA

Senior Capstone Presentation: To earn an endorsement, all academies require students to do a Senior Capstone public presentation. Specific feedback is provided for the presentation.