College, Career, Community Ready

Harlingen CISD created academies to provide a stepping stone for students interested in getting a head start on a career upon graduating from high school. HCISD provides students with choices to include 12 individualized academies -- the Apprenticeship Academy, Automotive Training Academy, Business Academy, Firefighter Academy, Health Science Academy, Information Technology Academy, Media Arts and Communications Academy, Natural Resources Academy, Pre-Engineering Academy, Pre-Law Academy, Pre-Veterinary Science Academy, and the Teacher Academy.

Each of the academies includes specific fields of study, or pathways, which afford students the ability to choose one that best fits their interests and passions from engineering and robotics to automotive technology. Within the student’s pathway of choice, HCISD teachers connect students with business professionals and experts in each of the 12 fields of study. Along with real-world experiences, career training, and certification opportunities, HCISD students enrolled in all of the academies graduate college, career, and community ready.   

HCISD created this informational page to help students and parents collaborate on selecting a pathway. Course sequences, or classes, within the academies, begin as early as the 8th grade for some and start in 10th grade for others. Students and their campus counselors work together to ensure core classes and academy classes are completed concurrently. The academy classes are offered at all HCISD high schools.

Apprenticeship Academy

This academy aims to inspire students wanting to explore careers in architecture, construction, electrical, masonry, plumbing, welding, or heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Students will acquire knowledge in job safety while gaining skills for employment directly after high school.

Automotive Training

HCISD offers certification opportunities for students seeking careers in the automotive services industry. With the addition of Diesel Equipment Technology, students have access to a state-of-the-art training facility, recently upgraded through a grant from the Texas Workforce Commission.

Business Academy

This academy is designed to educate and prepare students for business management professions. As students learn about responsibilities, roles, and business-related career paths, they are exposed to authentic learning experiences through competitions and practicum courses. 

Firefighter Academy

Working side by side with the Harlingen Fire Department, students in the Firefighter Academy will earn 468 hours of credit towards firefighter certifications while gaining hands-on experience in the field.

Health Science Academy

The Health Science Academy prepares students for healthcare-related professions. In addition to offering medical pathways at Harlingen School of Health Professions, students at Harlingen High School and Harlingen High School South have the opportunity to select from dental, emergency medical technicians, and certified medical assistant pathways. HSHP established a partnership with Valley Baptist Medical Center to provide a licensed vocational nurse program.

Information Technology Academy

As students foster creativity and innovation, the Information Technology Academy provides a pathway to explore design and digital programs. Working with computer networks and software, students have the opportunity to earn COMP TIA certifications.

Media Arts and Communication Academy

Students in the Media Arts and Communications Academy (MACA) become actively involved with local media production through graphic design and audio/video projects. As they complete their sequence of courses, students’ passions for potential careers in the industry are shaped as they work their way up to senior-level course work at the media arts facility.  

Natural Resources Academy

In the Natural Resources Academy, students have the opportunity to raise animals and greenhouse items. Students in the animal science and plant science pathway have the opportunity to participate in the FFA program to compete at regional and state levels.


Students are immersed in various branches of engineering through the Pre-Engineering Academy. The four-year sequence of courses also provides opportunities for students to explore career paths in robotics and renewable energy.

Pre-Law Academy

Students with a passion for service and public safety will gain hands-on experience learning the fundamentals of law and investigative techniques through the Pre-Law Academy. 

Pre-Veterinarian Academy

Students begin exploring the exciting field of animal science and care through the veterinary assistant pathway. On a path towards furthering their education as a veterinarian, this academy provides an excellent jumpstart for students interested in veterinary science. 

Teacher Academy

All careers begin with the work of an educator. Through the Teacher Academy, students gain authentic learning experiences inside HCISD classrooms as they earn their education aide certification.