Academic Innovations Higher Ed

About Academic Innovations

Our Mission:
Academic Innovations, is an award-winning, mission-oriented educational publisher, whose primary goal is supply exemplary and innovative resources to both post-secondary and secondary institutions for the implementation of hybrid freshman transition/first year experience courses. We accomplish this by providing the high-quality textbooks, online enhancements, professional development and technical assistance to assure students graduate with the skills to be employable. Our unique area of expertise is a classroom-based comprehensive guidance program within the context of a 10-year planning process that culminates with a Skills-based Education Plan.

Annually, our course materials are adopted by nearly 500 schools in the U.S. On average between between 80,000 and 120,000 students per year take a course that uses one of our Career Choices texts and online course tools. Over 2 million students have been exposed to their contents over the last 26 years.

The pricing of our products are less than half of “traditional” publishers and as a “low profit” company, our challenge has been the scaling of this progressive concept in order that all students have a comprehensive guidance course. Happily research now supports this concept and educators are coming to the realization of the necessity of a program that helps students enter post-secondary education with an informed declared major based on a chosen career, a skills based-education plan and a long range, 10-year career and life plan.

“All or most students would complete a student success course in their first term and enter a structured program of study as soon as possible.”

Recommendations for Reimagining the Community College
American Association of Community Colleges, Reclaiming the American Dream: A report from the 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, April 2012, p. 25

A Brief History:
Since 1990, we have worked with thousands of schools and districts around the country. During this time we've conducted annual surveys, interviews and site visits asking the instructors and administrators from schools that have adopted the Career Choices curriculum to share both their successful and challenging experiences. Because this text and its online enhancements have been in use for so long, we've learned a lot of important lessons. We know what works AND probably more important - what doesn't. For detailed information visit

In 2012 we updated and adapted our curriculum for the college/post-secondary market after realizing that the decision-making process was ageless. If a student didn’t get this opportunity in high school, it was vital they have it at the beginning of college. Through our Higher Ed division we’ve worked with colleges across the country. In 2016 we joined the American Association of State College and Universities as a Corporate Sponsor for their Reimagining the First Year of College initiative and Long Beach State Unversity through that initiative adopted the Career Choices and Changes/ curriculum and experienced great success.

Professional Development:
For over a decade Academic Innovations and their certified trainers conducted between 60 and 80 workshops and institutes per year around the country. Our Focus on Freshmen conferences and Get Focused Stay Focused conferences trained over 5000 high school and college educators, since 2008.

Now as professional development moves online, we are drawing on our expertise, horned over the last 30 years and we are focusing on developing online professional development resources for instructors, counselors, deans and administrators so they have access to the best PD 24/7.

Strategic Partnerships:
In 2004 Academic Innovations began working with the Freshman Transition Initiative at the George Washington University to promote the concept of Freshman Transition Standards and the School-wide Initiative. We have supported their work and co-sponsored workshops across the country.

Building on that model, we’ve worked with Santa Barbara City College, (one of the top community colleges in the U.S. according to the Aspen Institute) on a Dual Enrollment Freshman Transition project in Santa Barbara area because their goals were our mission. As their curriculum partner we formed a public/private partnership and helped them launch their Get Focused...Stay Focused!® Initiative. For details on GFSF visit