The Muscle Shoals City Board of Education, Colbert County Board of Education, Sheffield City Board of Education, and Tuscumbia City Board of Education entered into a cooperative agreement to build the Muscle Shoals Area Vocational School on December 20, 1994. The fiscal plant was designated to be constructed on the property owned by the Muscle Shoals Board and Education and general operation/supervision of the school invested in the Muscle Shoals Board of Education and the Superintendent.
On September 29, 1976, The Muscle Shoals City Board of Education applied to the Alabama State Board of Education for approval to operate a vocational school in Colbert County effective July 1, 1977. The Alabama State Board of Education approved the request on August 10, 1977.
Construction funds were procured through an Appalachian Region Construction Grant, $500,000.00 that was submitted by the North Alabama Council of Local Governments to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs submitted the construction grant to Governor George Wallace who forwarded it to the Appalachian Regional Commission, Washington D.C.
The Muscle Shoals City School System was awarded a $500,000.00 Appalachian Region Construction grant on May 13, 1975. The Muscle Shoals Board of Education contributed $359,545.28 of local support to construct the school. Total cost of the Muscle Shoals Area Vocational Center was $859,545.28.
In 1975, The Muscle Shoals Board of Education conducted a needs assessment in conjunction with the Alabama State Department of Education to determine the business and industry employment needs in the Shoals area. As a result of the needs assessment survey the following occupational programs were initially implemented at the vocational school: Auto Body, Auto Mechanics, Business and Office Education, Carpentry, Distributive Education, Health Occupations, Horticulture, Industrial Electricity, Radio and TV repair, Trowel Trades, Welding
The Muscle Shoals Board of Education expended $212,375.56 to acquire equipment to implement the vocational programs indicated above.
Since the original opening of the school in 1977, Cosmetology, Engineering Graphics, Electronics/Robotics, Principles of Technology, Technology Education, Family and Consumer Science, and Cisco Academy programs were approved by the Alabama Department of Education and implemented at the Muscle Shoals Area Vocational School. Due to economic shifts in the local economy Trowel Trades and Horticulture were eliminated from our vocational curriculum. The Industrial Electricity program was eliminated due to low student enrollment.
The Muscle Shoals School System implemented Principles of Technology into the curriculum in 1986 and Applied Math in 1988 as a local initiative effort utilizing local funds. Technical Communications was infused into the English curriculum for grades nine through twelve on August 20, 1991. The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Act of 1990 provided funding for the implementation of Technical Communications at Muscle Shoals High School.
Student enrollment the first year of operations at the Muscle Shoals Center for Technology was 168. In 1989 the student enrollment grew to 237. The 1991-92 school year had a enrollment of 329. The 2010-2011 year has an enrollment of 690 students.
The student body in 1977 was male with no program or facility design or intention to recruit female students. The facility initially housed only male bathrooms. With the implementation of Cosmetology, Cooperative Education, and the Principles of Technology one female bathroom was built on the Muscle Shoals Center for Technology's campus. There is a need for additional female bathrooms. The Board of Education has recently purchased property near the Muscle Shoals High School with plans to build a new Career and Technical facility that will accommodate both male and female students.
In 2000, the faculty and staff requested a school name change to reflect the curriculum changes that represented the technology and computer skills required for today's labor force. In October 2000, the name of the Muscle Shoals Area Vocational School changed to the Muscle Shoals Center for Technology.
An appraisal from RISK Management values the building on the school site to be $4,954,870.00.
In 2015 the doors to the new career and technical education building were opened for students across the street from Muscle Shoals High School. The new center, with a new name, is home to programs that include: Pre-Engineering, Multimedia, Engineering (STEM), Medical Science, Information Technology, Cooperative Education, Industrial Systems, Building Science, Welding, Automotive Technology, and Cosmetology. Exciting things are happening at the Muscle Shoals Career Academy!
The Muscle Shoals Career Academy continues to update our technological capabilities, as well as updating our hands-on skills equipment. Physical plant issues are on-going, and continue to be addressed. Many activities are planned throughout the school year to enhance our student employability, including Leadership Conferences, State Skills Competitions, Interviewing skills, etc. We continue to update our curriculum and course offerings to our students. We believe we offer ‘cutting edge' educational opportunities for our students.
Our mission is to prepare students to be college and career ready!