Book Club

The Club is made up of 10 to 15 students that meet every other week to pick and discuss books that the group chooses.  They have read such books as: The Lovely Bones, Keesha's House, and The Help.  Twice a year, they take field trips to see a play or movie adapted from a book that they have read.  This group helps promote literacy in our school.

One School, One Read

Every semester the school chooses a book for all of the students and staff to read together.  All students receive a book that is theirs to take home and read.  Supported by our Advisory Program and English Department, students participate in various activities related to the book.  The whole-school project is an essential component of our learning community.

Louder Than A Bomb Competition

Austin Career also has a Poetry Club that participate in the largest youth poetry festival in the country, Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB). Our students compete with hundreds of other poets from across the Chicagoland area. They spend months preparing to compete in solo and group spoke word performances.They come together to share their stories, voices, and perspectives in an incredible experience that is truly transformative.

Student Supports

Magnificent Moms Club

We have a lunch group for expecting and young mothers. This group of 15-20 young women come together to share experiences about becoming and being a mother. With the support of trained staff members, the parents students are encouraged to share the positive and negative experiences of being a young mother.  There is an educational piece as well, focusing on parenting skills and community resources.


At the beginning of the school year, each teacher is assigned a group of students that they will advise through all of the semesters that the student is at Austin Career. Through Orientation and weekly advisory time, students create community and support with a group of students outside of a regular class setting. Students work on study skills, goals, and post-high school plans in Advisory.

College Planning

NIU Visit

In the fall a group of students is selected to visit Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois. The visit is an overnight trip so that students get a full tour and college visit experience. ACEC Alum assist NIU staff in introducing the college to our high school students. It is a memorable time that makes the high school to college connection a reality.

Dual Enrollment

ACEC's special Dual Enrollment Program allows students to take junior college classes and high school classes at the same time. This opportunity to navigate college systems and material with the support of high school teachers and counselors that meet with students daily ensures the best possible chance for our graduates to be college-ready.

Sister Colette Jolie Memorial Scholarships

In honor of the founder of Austin Career Education Center, the Scully Family sponsors full four year and partial scholarships available exclusively to graduates of Austin Career. In a careful selection process that includes two essays, teacher recommendations, and an interview, a select number of students of the opportunity to receive full four year scholarships to an Illinois institution. Such an opportunity helps keep our students focused on post-high school plans and reaching their full potential.