Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the Edison Academy?

Edison Academy is a dynamic learning environment which offers specialized career-oriented electives for high school students. Highly qualified instructors, a support team, counselors, a Career Transition specialist, experienced office staff, and an Academy Administrator work together to support students.  ◦The Academy is located at Edison High School. ◦Most Academy programs are not offered at base high schools, therefore, students may apply to attend our classes from other high schools and transportation may be provided.  ◦Courses focus on academic & career preparation for post-secondary education and/or career entry after high school. ◦Students learn valuable skill sets in emerging technologies that help ensure their success in chosen careers. ◦Courses are 1-2 credits and most may be taken for multiple years for up to 3 or 4 credits. ◦Students may earn college credits for some courses.  ◦Students may earn workplace readiness and professional industry certifications in ALL courses. ◦Classes take place in a mainstreamed environment with a highly qualified instructor with support provided by a resource teacher (CAST). 

2. What years in high school do I attend the Academy?

Students may participate in some courses as early as their 9th or 10th-grade year. Most students participate in the 11th and 12th grade.

3. What classes can I take at Edison Academy?

Veterinary (formerly Animal) Science;  Auto Collision; Auto Technology; Cosmetology; Criminal Justice; Culinary Arts; Electrical Construction & Engineering; Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning;  and Refrigeration, Cyber: Computer Systems Technology A+; Cyber:Network Administration; Cyber:Oracle; Cyber: Security +; Teachers for Tomorrow.

4. How many students attend the Academy?

Approximately 700 -750 students are enrolled at Edison Academy each year. 

5. What high schools send their students to Edison Academy?

Annandale, Bryant, Edison, Falls Church, Hayfield, Lake Braddock, Lee, Mt. Vernon, Quander, South County, Stuart, West Potomac, West Springfield.

6. How do I get to the Academy during my school day?

Bus transportation may be provided between the home base high school & Edison Academy. When bus transportation is not provided students may be allowed to drive their personal vehicles if permission is given by their base high school.  

7. Can I park my car at the Academy?

Parking is limited. Students must apply for an Academy parking pass. Students without transportation from their base schools are given first priority for a parking pass. Contact the Academy office for information about parking fees and applications for passes. 703-924-8100

8. How do I sign up for an Academy class?

•Consult with your guidance counselor and make your Academy course selections when you register for your next year classes. •Choose 2 courses (1st choice and 2nd choice.) •Some classes are in high demand so not all students will get into their first choice. Submitting a written statement, detailing your career interest in the class may be helpful for in-demand classes. 

9. Can I take 2 classes at the Academy?

It is possible to take multiple Academy classes if your course schedule allows you the time. This is a decision that you and your parents should discuss with your high school guidance counselor.

10. Why should I take an Academy class?

•An Academy class allows you to explore possible career options and learn valuable skills that will prepare you for entry-level employment and/or post-secondary education in a chosen career field.

•The majority of the coursework is applications based or hands-on where you learn and demonstrate skills.

•Verified Credit: Verified credits may be earned after passing certifications and licensure exams in applicable classes.

•Career Experience Activities: field trips, job shadows, guest speakers, interviewing and resume writing workshops, internship opportunities ( both paid and unpaid), and part-time jobs opportunities are all a part of the Academy program. There is a Career Experience Specialist on staff to work with teachers to establish business and community partnerships which may lead to these experiences.  

•Classroom-Based Entrepreneurial Businesses: Several Academy programs offer student-run businesses such as the Culinary Arts Bistro which offers dine-in and catering services throughout the school year, Cosmetology hair and nail salon services, Computer repair, upgrade and networking services for students and their families, Electrical and HVAC students participate in the Foundation for Applied Technical Education construction program to build houses which are sold to help fund scholarships and FATE programs, Auto-technology and Auto-Body services may be provided to students and their families, and Veterinary Science offers animal grooming, shampooing and manicuring for local clients. 

•State-of-the-Art Technology: the Academy has a Network administration (Microsoft) computer lab, network design (Oracle) lab, computer technology lab, professional auto-tech and auto body shops, commercial kitchen, and beauty salon.

•College Credits may be available: Students may receive college credit dual enrollment or articulation agreements through Northern Virginia Community College,  Shenandoah University, Stratford College, Johnson and Wales University and others upon successful completion of certain Academy courses. 

•National Certifications/Licensure: Students may earn nationally recognized certifications from Oracle, Microsoft, Cisco, the National Restaurant Association, National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI), National Association for Automotive Service Excellence, Computer Technology Industry Association, Virginia Board of Cosmetology, and other organizations.

•Scholarships: Local, State, and National scholarships are available for Academy students who participate in Career and Technical Education.  Scholarships tend to be based on coursework in high school related to the student's career interest and scholarship values vary by organization. 

11. Can I visit a class before registering/enrolling?

 Yes, we recommend that you come and observe the class you are interested in, so you can meet the instructor and get a feel for the coursework demands and expectation before you register. You can work with your guidance counselor who will schedule your visit through our Academy counselor. Visits typically take place on selected dates in the months of March and April. Your visit will be verified by our counselor prior to your visit and attendance is taken when you visit with us.  We recommend that you narrow your choices to visit no more than 2 Academy classes during your visit. 

12. How often do I attend the Academy?

Class meeting times and days of the week may vary based on the course you are taking. Some meet every day; others meet every other day.  Some classes meet for multiple blocks of time in order to meet industry certification requirements. 

13. Can I obtain a job through the Academy?

The Academy empowers you by teaching you the skills employers are looking for in an employee! Many employers in Fairfax County are aware of the advantages you have as a result of being an Academy student. Many students have gotten jobs as a result of the skills they have learned at the Academy. Developing a resume and portfolio highlighting the skills and experiences you have attained in your academy program will certainly enhance your employment opportunities.  Plan to participate in all resume and interview workshops offered to practice and build your skills for the best chances of obtaining employment opportunities.  

14. What enables a student to be successful at the Academy?

•Outstanding attendance - Attend class every day!  •Possess a high degree of interest in the subject area •Have the ability to work independently and as part of a team •Students who can demonstrate workplace readiness skills such as being punctual, reliable, committed, have good work habits, and practical problem-solving abilities are most likely to succeed.

15. How can parents learn more about the Academy?

•Contact the Academy counselors •Attend the Academy Open House, usually held in January or February •Explore our website as well as FCPS Career & Technical Education at:  FCPS Academies

16. How can Academy students learn about post-secondary programs related to their Academy course?

Please contact the instructors of the Academy course (see staff listings), our guidance counselor (see contact link), or our career experience specialist (see contacts link) for more information.