Career Academies

Career Academies are a partnership between Lewis Cass ISD, Southwestern Michigan College, the four local districts (Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg, and Marcellus) and other interested districts. The academies provide 11th and 12th grade students an opportunity to earn college credit in a planned program of study while still in high school. Academy students attend classes on the campus of Southwestern Michigan College. Tuition and fees for academy classes are paid by the local high school.

Students attend academies in the following emphasis areas:

  • Automotive Technology
  • Business
  • Construction Trades/Green Technology
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education/Early Childhood Education
  • Graphic Design
  • Health
  • Mechatronics Technology
  • Sports Management
  • Welding Technology

Automotive TechnologyThe program prepares students for employment as an automotive service technician in various settings such as automobile dealerships, independent service facilities, franchised repair facilities and specialty shops.

BusinessBusiness, management, and administrative workers give the support needed to make a business run. The academy introduces students to several areas in the Business field. The academy emphasizes an exploration of careers in business, including job shadowing experience in several areas of business.

Construction Trades/Green Technology - This program prepares students with both the theoretical and applied knowledge necessary to gain successful employment in the construction industry. Students will also develop a solid foundation in “green” technologies and practices related to construction. The curriculum is aligned with national competency standards and trade specific skills. Students in this program will develop the understanding and skills to build, inspect and repair structures.

Criminal Justice This academy is part of the Human Services pathway and prepares students to study the theories and principles of correctional science, organization management, and criminal justice.

Education/Early Childhood Education This academy provides students with the foundation classes needed for careers in education. This academy also explores careers in the education field with a significant part of the course job shadowing in educational settings.

Graphic Design Graphic Artists create artwork to illustrate or promote products, services and ideas, as well as to improve appearance or attract attention. They plan, design and draw illustrations for displays, billboards, brochures, catalogs, books, magazines, newspapers, TV, the internet and packaging. This academy gives students a foundation for continuing their education in careers in the design and graphic arts field.

Health As a physician, dentist, or nurse, you could work directly with patients. You could also work in a laboratory to get information used in research or provide administrative support by keeping medical records. This academy is designed to provide students with the fundamental classes to continue in a career in the Health field. The academy also emphasizes an exploration of careers in the health field, including significant job shadowing experience.

Mechatronics Technology Students are introduced to the emerging discipline of Mechatronics, which integrates electrical, mechanical, and computer systems, robotics, and programmable logic controllers and provides the graduate with the knowledge and skills required in today’s manufacturing environment.

Sports Management Sports Management is a part of the Business pathway to a degree specialized for managing sports and recreation related operations. It encompasses a variety of applications within the growing field of sports and recreation.

Welding Technology – This academy provides students with knowledge and practice in several areas of welding. Welding is the process of combining materials (usually metal) using high heat. It may also involve patching metal, plastic, glass, or other materials. Welding is used in nearly every manufacturing industry from shipbuilding and construction to pipelines, oil rigs, and automotive.

If interested in any career academy students should contact their high school guidance department. Students must meet eligibility requirements of both the local high school and Southwestern Michigan College.

For more information about Lewis Cass Intermediate School District Career Academies contact:


Ms. Mikki Spagnoli

Director of Career and Technical Education

Lewis Cass ISD

(269) 445-6224