A new public schools initiative is expanding.

Chattanooga leaders from public, private and nonprofit sectors recently announced the collaboration that’s directed at better preparing students for life after high school graduation.

The new Future Ready Institutes initiative creates “schools within a school” that have career themes and connect classroom lessons to practical workforce skills.

Officials originally announced institutes this fall in 11 Hamilton County high schools.

Themes for the institutes include medicine, robotics, forensic science, engineering, hospitality and technology.

This week, officials said that two more high schools will join and there will be four new institutes with different focuses.

Central High School and Lookout Valley High School joined the list of high schools with an institute for next year and Hixson High, and Ooltewah High added programs for this fall.

“Future Ready Institutes are dynamic by design and will continue to evolve and grow as we move forward,” Future Ready Institutes Director Blake Freeman said in a prepared statement. “The application process continues for upcoming ninth-grade students in our high schools, and we are pleased to add these options for our incoming freshmen.”

Schools are accepting applications for the Institutes through May 4.

Future Ready Institute applications are available online. Applicants accepted to an institute will be notified between May 16 and May 22.

The new institutes are:

Central High School
The Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechatronics will open in the fall at Central High with a focus on the design and maintenance of automated robotic equipment. The program’s career focus will be on mechatronics professionals and engineering in the manufacturing process.

Hixson High School
Hixson High will add the Institute for Future Business Leaders and Owners to the two institutes announced in March. The entrepreneurial program will join the Institute for Integrative Agriculture and the Institute for Health Careers and Medical Advancement in the lineup of offerings at Hixson. The program will provide a background in business for students interested in becoming an entrepreneur after graduation.

Lookout Valley High School
The Institute of Digital Media Production will open in the fall at Lookout Valley. The program will provide experience in digital media and audio/video production. Possible careers include TV or radio producer, TV anchor, reporter, director, editor, radio personality, talk show host, broadcast traffic manager, or social media manager. The program will also offer industry certifications in Adobe ACE Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro X, Apple Certified Professional — Final Cut Pro X 10.3.

Ooltewah High School
The Institute of Architecture and Engineering Design will join the Institute of International Baccalaureate Studies at Ooltewah High. The new institute will focus on industrial, mechanical, environmental, electrical, nuclear, and civil engineering. The program will also introduce architecture, surveying, and mapping.