What is AOIT?
Did you know that Apex High School has an Academy within the school? It’s called Academy of Information Technology, or AOIT.
AOIT is a career academy in the Wake County Public School System, one of over twenty career academies in Wake County high schools. As the name implies, the focus of AOIT is information technology with two pathways: Applications and Web Development or Computer Programming. The students in AOIT take their core and some elective classes together as a cohort.
AOIT offers students the opportunity to participate in smaller learning environment within the larger school. The program helps students succeed after high school and prepares them for careers using STEM principles in the AOIT industry-validated courses. In addition, AOIT emphasizes technology, presentation and communication skills by using interdisciplinary and teamwork projects.
The Applications and Web Development pathway incorporates Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Premiere, and HTML/CSS in the study of media and web development. In the Computer Programming pathway, students can learn three coding languages: Python, SAS, and Java. These same topics are also included in AOIT students’ core courses.
Another important aspect of AOIT is the real-world education available to students. AOIT students receive professional training on-site and in the workplace. “Each academy student participates in several work-based learning activities such as job shadowing, career fairs, career themed industry tours and an internship.” (Career Academies / Career Academies (wcpss.net))
Internships are an important part of the AOIT experience. As with other Wake County career academies, AOIT students participate in internships that are at least 120 hours between their junior and senior years. Internships, which must be related to the AOIT theme, provide students with many valuable skills and experiences, including the ability to apply skills and knowledge, to strengthen good work habits, to make money in a professional environment, to establish contacts and references, and to gain experience that will enhance a student’s resume.
The AOIT program has become well-known in the Apex, Wake County, and even nationally, racking up many accomplishments over the last few years. The program curriculum is rigorous and students are exposed to career paths and opportunities. The project-based learning model also allows AOIT students to learn transferable skills and it exposes them to the exciting field of information technology.
In addition to the important learning going on in AOIT, the program also allows students to dress for success. AOIT has a clothing closet where students can borrow business clothes for events or interviews. Helping out in the AOIT clothing closet also qualifies as volunteer hours.
What do you think? Do you wish you would have applied? Will you tell future AHS students about this opportunity?