CMA @ PSCC Associate Celebration!

Last Thursday, we had the honor of recognizing our CMA high school juniors who have completed their PSCC orientation and will be our first group of scholars to attend college classes at the PSCC Strawberry Plains campus. Pellissippi State Community College hosted the event at the College Center on the Hardin Valley campus. Dr. Wise (PSCC President), Dr. North (Dean of PSCC, Strawberry Plains), and Leanne Hawn (Executive Principal, CMA) all shared words of wisdom and encouragement to a crowd of CMA scholars, parents, faculty, and staff.

Forty-eight of our juniors have met the requisite benchmarks to “go upstairs,” that’s 58.5% of the class of 2018! Additionally, these juniors earned an average of 19.5 on the ACT during their sophomore year! Cumulatively, the classes of 2018 and 2019 (139 students) have so far earned 240 college credits or 720 college credit hours! 

Read the article in the Knoxville News Sentinel here.

Read the article in the Shopper News here on page 9.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.59.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.59.28 PM

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.00.21 PM

Class of 2018 PSCC Orientation

Since Knox County Schools has been back in session, forty-eight of our juniors have been attending orientation at Pellissippi State Community College in preparation for their dual enrollment courses which begin on August 23rd. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of their achievements, not only because they are our first class of students or because they are the first of their kind in the state of Tennessee, but also because these students decided as eighth graders that they wanted to attend a “Diploma +” school that would challenge them in ways they never dreamed. During their freshman and sophomore years, these students earned six college credits through dual credit courses. Additionally, they have all scored the requisite benchmark scores on the Compass and/or ACT which is required of their respective pathways. These juniors have risen to every challenge we have put before them, and we can only imagine what they will achieve as they embark on their college careers!

Dr. North, Dean of PSCC Strawberry Plains, addresses the forty-eight high school juniors from CMA who have met the requirements to begin taking college courses at PSCC this fall.
Dr. North, Dean of PSCC Strawberry Plains, addresses the forty-eight high school juniors from CMA who have met the requirements to begin taking college courses at PSCC this fall.

Class of 2018 Joins PSCC!

We couldn’t be more excited to announce that forty-six of our sophomore scholars (51% of the sophomore class) have met the requisite benchmarks to begin making progress towards their associate degrees at Pellissippi State Community College next fall as they begin their junior year in high school. Overall, between our freshman and sophomore class together, our scholars have earned 325 college credits during the two years that Career Magnet Academy has been serving Knox County. We wish these scholars the best of luck as they begin their college careers!

Shout-out from TOSS!

Hello followers old and new! While I have lots of new news to share, things at CMA are moving so quickly I haven’t had time to post about them all . . . forthcoming, I assure you. In the mean time, here’s a quick shout-out we received from the Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents!regarding our sixteen sophomores who have received OSHA-10 certifications in the fields of advanced manufacturing and sustainable living during their pathway Wednesday sessions with Mrs. Rose and Mr. Blankenship.

Denso Visit

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 9.56.37 AM

CMA was happy to host representatives from DENSO Manufacturing who came out to learn more about our advanced manufacturing curriculum and to take a tour of our megatronics lab. We were happy to host the following individuals and look forward to future partnerships:

  • Charles Brewer – Section Leader Operation Machinery & Tools Division
  • Jeff Birkholz – Section Leader Education & Development Division
  • Emilie Denson – Section Leader Staffing
  • Sara Harris – Adv Specialist  Staffing
  • Hiro Masuo- Manager Machine Development
  • Tad Ono – Sr Mgr Operation Machinery & Tools Division
  • Al Paquette – Mgr Operation Machinery & Tools Division








Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning is a keystone of our CMA mission. PBL’s offer students the chance to learn their core curriculum and gain a deeper understanding of our career pathways through hands-on projects that require them to think critically and creatively.

Our freshmen scholars spend every Wednesday morning of their freshman year learning about each of our four career pathways. They spend five weeks exploring each pathway prior to choosing their pathway of focus in February.

Our sophomores spend every Wednesday morning of their sophomore year learning about their chosen pathway of focus and working on an extended PBL. Below is a sampling of some of the PBL’s we have going on around campus–just the ones I’ve found time to get some photos of during this whirlwind of a semester 😉

Mr. Anderson (Language Arts/Theater) and Mrs. Crowe (Math) have been introducing our freshmen scholars to advanced manufacturing by having them mass produce food items in teams, finding the most efficient ways to cut down on waste, maximize team efficiency, and create a quality product.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.53.08 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.53.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.04.46 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.05.15 AM


Mrs. Shinlever has been working with Beardsley Farms to teach her students about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids by having them identify foods at Beardsley Farms that provide essential nutrition and then creating healthy recipes that utilize those foods. The students’ recipes will be consolidated into a recipe book that will be donated to Beardsley Farms. They presented their findings to guests and fellow students.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.05.32 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.05.51 AM

Mr. Blankenship’s sophomore sustainable living scholars are working on designing a series of raised beds to install around our flagpole to increase our biological diversity and to enhance our campus with installations that will promote sustainable living as a pathway and as a life choice.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.06.14 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.26.29 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.26.45 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.27.01 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.27.17 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.27.31 PM

In order to receive dual credit in Mrs. Rose’s Computer Applications class (ENGT 1010), freshmen must demonstrate mastery of Office Suite through an in-depth presentation of our four career pathways. Students present before a live audience consisting of CMA teachers and parents as well as KCS supervisors and PSCC faculty and staff.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.07.15 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.07.42 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.07.58 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.08.14 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.08.29 AM

Mrs. Crowe’s geometry class and Mr. Vickers’s Algebra class are working on a sustainable living PBL that explores the benefit of using shade balls to reduce evaporation and conserve water.  First, they have to figure out how to determine the area of our CMA pond!

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.08.44 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 9.08.58 AM

Mrs. Blevin’s Criminal Justice (CJ1110) dual credit class has been working on a number of PBL’s. They are in the process of learning how to make plaster casts of footprints at a crime scene as well as exploring different aspects of contemporary law enforcement by looking at the relationship between social media, bullying, and terrorism.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.57.36 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.59.06 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.59.30 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 1.59.46 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.00.03 PM




Open House

Last Thursday, December 3rd, CMA had its first open house of the recruiting season. Our student ambassadors spoke on behalf of their classroom teachers, explaining to visitors how we use project-based learning to incorporate our career pathways into our curriculum. Our next open house is January 14th at 5:00. Check the Sunday News-Sentinels for our ads! Remember, if you are a Knox County resident and wish to apply to CMA, all you have to do is fill out the online transfer application.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.43.03 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.42.44 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.42.27 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.41.59 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.41.41 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.41.21 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 8.41.00 AM


Tennessee Board of Education Visits Career Magnet Academy

Every time we are out recruiting at Knox County middle schools, we open the presentation by explaining why our mascot is the Grey Wolf. Last year’s freshman class chose the Grey Wolf because we consider ourselves the leaders of the pack. We are the first school of our kind in the state of Tennessee, and people are starting to notice! Yesterday we had a number of dignitaries in the building who consider CMA a pilot school of sorts for the state of Tennessee. Our scholars and teachers are trendsetters, and we’re happy to share our vision any time! Thanks to all in attendance (listed alphabetically):

  • Dr. Elizabeth Alves: Assistant Superintendent Curriculum & Instruction, Chief Academic Officer, Knox County Schools
  • Patti Bounds: School Board Representative
  • Teri Brahams: Business and Community Services PSCC, Executive Director
  • Harry Brooks: State Representative
  • Gloria Deathridge: School Board Representative
  • Bill Dunn: State Representative
  • Mike Edwards: President/CEO, Knoxville Chamber
  • Sydney Gabrielson: Student Board Representative
  • Sara Heyburn: Tennessee Board of Education, Executive Director
  • Terry Hill: School Board Representative
  • Dr. Jim McIntyre: Superintendent, Knox County Schools
  • Randy McNally: State Representative
  • Dr. Mike North: Campus Dean, PSCC at Strawberry Plains
  • Pat Riddle: Mechanical Engineering & Technology, Program Coordinator

A special shout out to our student ambassadors for welcoming our guests and guiding the tours (from left to right in the first picture below):

  • Taylor Stephens
  • Heidi Brady
  • Alaysia Dyer
  • Dareece Blue
  • Mackenzie Hunley

Read all about the visit in the Knoxville News Sentinel’s article in today’s paper, “State Board’s exec director Sara Heyburn tours Career Magnet Academy” (pictures below are excerpted from the article):

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.26.31 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.26.20 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.26.10 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.25.59 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.25.48 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.25.35 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.25.23 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 12.25.06 PM



Field Experiences Round 1

During their freshman year, our CMA scholars circulate through five-week rotations focused on exposing them to each of our four career pathways before choosing a pathway of focus in February. Each rotation culminates in a field experience. The four dates for our field experiences this year are September 16, October 21, January 13, and February 17. Here are some pictures of our field experiences from September 16:

Homeland Security

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 2.34.37 PM

This year, our scholars were fortunate enough to get to visit the Knox County Jail (no pictures allowed) and the Federal Court Building. It just so happened that the federal building was hosting naturalization ceremonies, so our scholars were able to witness this ceremony and participate in a Q & A session with the judge afterwards. They also participated in a tour of the Knox County Jail across the street.


Advanced Manufacturing

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 3.43.54 PM

Our advanced manufacturing scholars got to tour the Provision Center for Proton Therapy where they were able to see how cancer is treated using proton therapy. Afterward, they traveled to the ProNova Solutions manufacturing site to see firsthand how the proton therapy machines are built using state of the art manufacturing equipment and methods.


Teaching As a Profession

We had two different field experiences for Teaching As a Profession, one for our freshmen who visited the University of Tennessee College of Education, Health, and Human Services, and one for our sophomores who visited Nature’s Way Montessori School.


Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 2.32.45 PM

Our freshmen were greeted at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences by Dr. Bell who discussed the importance of recruiting committed teachers to the teaching profession and provided an overview to the benefits of pursuing Teacher Education at UT. Dr. Phillips then discussed current trends in education. Our scholars then received an overview of the teacher licensure programs at UT and participated in a Q&A before visiting the Instructional Services Center & Curriculum Lab and touring the Hodges Library. Students finished off their trip with a tour of Vols Teach Greeve Hall and conference room. Read about their visit on the UTK website!



Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.44.42 AM

Our sophomore teaching as a profession scholars are currently working on a PBL which asks them to compose their own teaching philosophy and to design their own school and classrooms. To this end, they have already hosted such guest speakers as Buzz Thomas, President of the Great Schools Partnership and Dr. John Rysewyk, Founding Principal of Emerald Charter School. On Wednesday, our sophomore teaching as a profession scholars were fortunate enough to visit Nature’s Way Montessori School where they learned about the Montessori approach to education and were able to shadow a Montessori student for an extended period of time to observe the Montessori approach first hand. Our scholars were impressed with the students’ soft skills and their ability at such a young age to self-advocate and to manage their time and achieve goals independently.


Sustainable Living

Our sustainable living scholars had a blast visiting and working at Beardsley Community Farm where they got to tour the entire facility and learn not only about community farming but also about irrigation, honey bees, and community service. After the tour, our scholars participated in a Q&A and spent an hour working in the gardens on site. Thanks Beardsley for such an awesome, hands-on, educational experience!

photo3 Beardsley 9 15photo2 Beardsley 9 15

Updated Career Pathways at CMA @ PSCC

Pathway Charts

The charts below show the required coursework for each of the career pathways offered here at CMA. Below the attachments is a brief explanation of each of the pathways along with the criteria required to pursue them. For PSCC dual enrollment courses highlighted in orange and yellow on the “Plan A Registration Quick Chart,” type the course title into the PSCC Course Catalog.

Plan A Registration Quick Chart 

PLAN B Registration quick chart 15-16

PSCC degree chart for all pathways- Plan A and B

What are the four career pathways?

Our four career pathways are Homeland Security, Advanced Manufacturing, Teaching As a Profession, and Sustainable Living. Homeland Security contains two sub-pathways within it: Cyber Defense & Emergency Services. Sustainable Living also contains two sub-pathways: Sustainable Design & Agri-Economics.

What is the difference between Plan A and Plan B?

Each of the four pathways also has a Plan A and a Plan B.


Plan A consists of the pathways that lead scholars upstairs to take dual enrollment courses at Pellissippi State Community College and make significant progress towards an associate’s degree. In order to pursue Plan A, students must have a 3.0 GPA, meet ACT and Compass benchmarks, and must have the recommendation of a principal for attendance and behavior.


Plan B focuses on scholars earning their high school diploma along with possible work certifications. Students who do not meet the requirements for Plan A will automatically have to pursue Plan B.