Education & Leadership Academy

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice program gives students the opportunity to explore careers in police work, criminal law, crime scene investigation, and other related vocations. Faculty works closely with the Des Moines Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Office to provide authentic experience in a vibrant law enforcement community. Students participate in mock crime scene scenarios and job shadowing professionals.

Dream To Teach

Launched in 2014, Dream to Teach is an initiative in Des Moines Public Schools to serve as a catalyst for the development of future educators who are representative of the Des Moines Public Schools student population. To this end, the mission is to support students from diverse cultural backgrounds who desire to become Des Moines Public School educators. Students in grades 9-12 are provided a teacher mentor who supports them in achieving success both inside and outside of school on their pathway to teaching.  Dream to Teach is continually working on partnerships with community and higher education institutions to provide scholarships, programming and support. This is a SEMESTER class.

Early Childhood Careers

The Early Childhood Careers program prepares students to work with children from infancy to eight years of age. Students combine classroom instruction with practicum experiences in child care centers, Head Start programs, and elementary schools. Successful completion of the second year of the program enables students to earn a national credential, Child Development Associate.

Sports Officiating and Leadership

In Sports Officiating and Leadership, students become IHSAA and IHSGAU certified officials in a variety of sports. They will have film study through industry-leading Hudl software to understand theories and movements of the sport to better understand rules and positioning. Along the way, they will have live on site training in cooperation with the other programs located in our facility performing “inter-mural” sports to gain experience and practice in live game situations. After students earn certification with the state of Iowa they will be placed in jobs within the DMPS District to start earning money as a fully certified official.

Urban Leadership Academy

Urban Leadership is committed to empowering students on their journey to becoming community-based activists and entrepreneurs. Based in the principles of hip-hop culture, students engage in an in-depth study of social movements shaping history and urban settings across the United States. Through the use of various mediums such as the written and spoken word, performance-based literacy, urban arts, and youth + community summits, and internships, students are given a platform to become the leaders of today.

Youth Voices for Equity

Grades: 9-12

This course supports teaching and learning that enables students to investigate social and economic problems within the school district while applying the tools of the social sciences to identify possible solutions. The students will learn how to design and implement an action research project that promotes equity within their school district and informs school improvement planning. This is a SEMESTER class


“What I remember the most about Central Campus is interacting with people from all of the other schools. The instructors here were a positive influences on me because I spent a lot of time with them. As a result, I made more significant friendships because of my time in JROTC.”
Alam Ramierez – Army JROTC – Lincoln High School