GFW Academies and Pathways

Focused on Career and College Readiness and Local Workforce Development

Whether students are looking to start a job right after high school, go to a technical/community college, or attend a university, we have courses and experiences that will help prepare them for their journey.

Using the Minnesota Department of Education’s Career and College Readiness Framework, GFW Public Schools has created academics: AEM, BACE, and HSHS. Each academy has a variety of career pathways to help identify courses that could best prepare students for their future careers. GFW is offering many new elective courses as well as college credit options and industry certifications. The academies are designed to help focus the electives students participate in to become career and college ready.

Career and College Readiness at GFW

GFW Public Schools believes “career and college ready” means a student has the knowledge, skills, and competencies to successfully pursue a degree, diploma, certificate, or industry recognized credential and employment.

Students who are career and college ready are able to successfully transition directly to post high school employment or complete post-secondary coursework.

The graduating class of 2022 in their caps and gowns

Student working on a computer design program

Students working with electrical

Student working on a computer to engrave

Student welding

Agriculture, Engineering & Manufacturing

(AEM Academy)

The AEM Academy brings in a focus on agribusiness classes, auto mechanics, construction and metal fabrication courses, as well as new opportunities for work-based learning. Thunderbird Manufacturing also combines a number of the fabrication skills with business courses that aim to train students to be able to produce products.


  • Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources

  • Architecture & Construction

  • Manufacturing

  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

AEM Academy Logo

Business, Art, Communication & Entrepreneurship

(BACE Academy)

The BACE Academy provides additional business and entrepreneurship courses as well as work-based learning, culinary courses, and ways to explore technology like media and video production. Expanded arts programming including graphic design, web design, sculpture, and photography are also offered.


  • Art,Audio/ Video Technology & Communications

  • Business, Management & Administration

  • Finance

  • Hospitality & Tourism

  • Marketing, Sales & Service

BACE Academy Logo

Health Sciences & Human Services

(HSHS Academy)

The HSHS Academy focuses on a number of areas including emergency medical careers, law enforcement, child growth and development, and additional science courses. These courses are the perfect introduction to many science-based careers, law and public administration careers, and even education careers.


  • Health Sciences

  • Education and Training

  • Government and Public Administration

  • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

HSHS Academy Logo

Academies in Action

Watch the videos below to see our students at work in classes that combine career and college readiness with hands-on learning!

Culinary Students Create Thanksgiving Meal and explore life skills and careers in hospitality.

Thunderbird Manufacturing Combines Creativity, Manufacturing, and Business.