Career Technical Education

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Career Technical Education, also known as CTE, is defined as a program of study that involves a multiyear sequence of courses that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational knowledge to provide students with a pathway to postsecondary education and careers. CTE is designed to help students develop the academic, career, and technical skills needed to succeed in a knowledge and skills-based economy. CTE courses satisfy the SVUSD graduation requirement of 10 Units of a “Visual and Performing Arts, World Language, American Sign Language or Career Technical Education” within the 165 Units of required courses. In addition, most CTE courses offered through SVUSD and Coastline ROP articulate with a nearby community college and several courses satisfy the subject matter requirements for admission to the University of California and the California State University system (primarily in the “f” Visual and Performing Arts or the “g” College Prep Electives categories).

Los Alisos STEM Students CTE Students

Students at robotics competition FFA Students

CTE pathways and programs use applied, contextual learning to help students see the relevance of what they are learning and its connection to career opportunities and life goals. These pathways and programs also can provide innovative options for supporting students with different learning styles. The evolution of CTE is making it a more popular and viable option for students of all abilities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2011), 90 percent of high school graduates have earned some CTE credits. Furthermore, research on high-quality CTE programs and pathways shows that these programs reduce dropout rates; encourage participation in postsecondary education; and enable students to earn dual enrolment credits, industry-endorsed certificates, and technical endorsements on high school diplomas (Plank, DeLuca & Estacion, 2005). CTE pathways have the potential to engage many more students and increase high school graduation rates and postsecondary success.

These programs provide students with opportunities to acquire the future-ready skills required in today's workplace--such as critical thinking, collaboration, problem solving, innovation, teamwork and communication--and to learn about different careers by experiencing work and workplaces. CTE is no longer just about teaching students a narrow set of skills sufficient for entry-level jobs; it is about preparing students for careers

CTE Sectors

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Agriculture CTE Pathways Icon

The Agriculture and Natural Resources sector is designed to provide a foundation in agriculture for all agriculture students in California. Students engage in an instructional program that integrates academic and technical preparation and focuses on career awareness, career exploration, and skill preparation in seven pathways. The pathways emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant experiences of significant scope and depth in Agricultural Business, Agricultural Mechanics, Agriscience, Animal Science, Forestry and Natural Resources, Ornamental Horticulture, and Plant and Soil Science. Integral components of classroom and laboratory instruction, supervised agricultural experience projects, and leadership and interpersonal skills development prepare students for continued training, advanced educational opportunities, or entry to a career.

  • Agricultural Business
  • Agricultural Mechanics
  • Agriscience
  • Animal Science
  • Forestry & Natural Resources
  • Ornamental Horticulture
  • Plant & Soil Science

Arts, Media & Entertainment

Arts and Media CTE Pathways Icon

Of all the career industries, the Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector requires perhaps the greatest cross-disciplinary interaction because the work in this sector has a propensity to be largely project-based, requiring both independent work and interdependent management skills for career success. New technologies are also constantly reshaping the boundaries and skill sets of many arts career pathways. Consequently, core arts-sector occupations demand constantly varying combinations of artistic imagination, metaphoric representation, symbolic connections, and technical skills. Successful career preparation involves both broad and in-depth academic and technical preparation as well as the cultivation of twenty-first-century skill assets, such as flexibility, problem-solving abilities, and interpersonal skills. Careers in the Arts, Media, and Entertainment sector fall into four general pathways: Design, Visual, and Media Arts; Performing Arts; Production and Managerial Arts; and Game Design and Integration. The anchor and pathway standards make explicit the appropriate knowledge, skills, and practical experience students should have in order to pursue their chosen profession, whether that profession requires postsecondary education, graduate training, or apprenticeship.

  • Design, Visual & Media Arts
  • Performing Arts
  • Production & Managerial Arts
  • Game Design & Integration

Building & Construction Trades

Construction CTE Pathways Icon

This sector provides a foundation in the Building and Construction Trades industry for secondary students in California. Students engage in an instructional program that integrates academic and technical preparation and focuses on career awareness, career exploration, and skill preparation in the Building and Construction Trades industry. The sector encompasses four career pathways: Cabinetry, Millwork, and Woodworking; Engineering and Heavy Construction; Mechanical Systems Installation and Repair; and Residential and Commercial Construction. These pathways emphasize processes, systems, and the way in which structures are built. The knowledge and skills are acquired in a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates hands-on, project-based, and work-based instruction. Standards included in the Building and Construction Trades sector are designed to prepare students for technical training, postsecondary education, and entry to a career.

  • Cabinetry, Millwork & Woodworking
  • Engineering & Heavy Construction
  • Mechanical Systems Installation & Repair
  • Residential & Commercial Construction

Business & Finance

Persons trained in fields such as business management, international trade, and various financial services specialties (e.g., accounting, banking, and investing) will find that their skills are highly marketable. Students master basic business principles and procedures before proceeding to the career path specializations. The specializations emphasize concepts of accounting and finance, including computer applications, taxes, investments, and asset management as well as pathways in international business and business management. Because almost every business and organization has a financial and management component, students will find that opportunities exist in many career paths in addition to those in business and finance.

  • Business Management
  • Financial Services
  • International Business

Education, Child Development & Family Services

Education CTE Pathways Icon

The Education, Child Development, and Family Services sector provides students with the academic and technical preparation to pursue high-skill, high-demand careers in these related and growing industries. The sector encompasses four distinct, yet interrelated, career pathways: Child Development, Consumer Services, Education, and Family and Human Services. The Child Development pathway provides students with the skills and knowledge they need to pursue careers in child care and related fields, and the Education pathway emphasizes the preparation of students to become teachers. The Consumer Services pathway gives students the employment and management skills needed in careers that involve helping consumers. The Family and Human Services pathway provides students with skills needed for careers related to family and social services. The standards are designed to integrate academic and career technical concepts. The anchor standards include Consumer and Family Studies comprehensive technical knowledge and skills that prepare students for learning in the pathways. The knowledge and skills are acquired within a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates hands-on projects, work-based instruction, and leadership development—for example, through Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Standards in the Education, Child Development, and Family Services sector are designed to prepare students for technical training, postsecondary education, and entry to a career.

  • Child Development
  • Consumer Services
  • Education Family & Human Services

Energy, Environment & Utilities

Energy CTE Pathways Icon

This sector is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge and skills in careers related to energy, environment, and utilities. The pathways emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences of significant scope and depth in Environmental Resources, Energy and Power Technology, and Telecommunications. The standards integrate academic and technical preparation and focus on career awareness, career exploration, preparation for entry to technical-level employment, and alignment with postsecondary programs focused on energy, utilities, and related fields.

  • Energy & Power Technology
  • Environmental Resources
  • Telecommunications

Engineering & Architecture

Engineering CTE Pathways Icon

This sector is designed to provide a foundation in engineering and architecture sector pathways and occupations for students in California. Students are engaged in an instructional program that integrates academic and technical preparation and focuses on career awareness, career exploration, and career preparation in four pathways that emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant experiences of significant scope and depth: Architectural Design; Engineering Technology; Engineering Design; and Environmental Engineering. To prepare students for continued training, advanced educational opportunities, and direct entry to a career, the Engineering and Architecture programs offer the following components: classroom, laboratory, and hands-on contextual learning; project- and work-based instruction; and leadership and interpersonal skills development.

  • Energy & Power Technology
  • Environmental
  • Resources
  • Telecommunications

Fashion & Interior Design

Engineering CTE Pathways Icon

The Fashion and Interior Design sector provides students with the academic and technical preparation necessary to pursue high-skill, high-demand careers in these related and growing industries. The sector encompasses three distinct career pathways: Fashion Design and Merchandising, Interior Design, and Personal Services. The standards are designed to integrate academic and career technical concepts. The anchor standards include Consumer and Family Studies comprehensive technical knowledge and skills that prepare students for learning in the pathways. The knowledge and skills are acquired within a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates hands-on projects, workbased instruction, and leadership development such as that offered through Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Standards in this sector are designed to prepare students for technical training, postsecondary education, and entry to a career.

  • Fashion Design & Merchandising
  • Interior Design
  • Personal Services

Health Science & Medical Technology

Health CTE Pathways Icon

The standards in this sector represent the academic and technical skills and knowledge students need to pursue a full range of career opportunities in health science and medical technology, from entry level to management as well as technical and professional career specialties. The standards describe what workers need to know and be able to do to contribute to the delivery of safe and effective health care. The six career pathways are grouped into functions that have a common purpose and require similar attributes. The pathways are Biotechnology, Patient Care, Health Care Administrative Services, Health Care Operational Support Services, Public and Community Health, and Mental and Behavioral Health. Standards for each career path build on and continue the anchor standards with more complexity, rigor, and career specificity.

  • Biotechnology
  • Healthcare Administrative services
  • Healthcare Operational Support
  • Mental & Behavioral Health
  • Patient Care
  • Public & Community Health

Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation

Hospitality CTE Pathways Icon

The Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation sector provides students with the academic and technical preparation necessary to pursue high-skill, high-demand careers in these related and growing industries. The sector encompasses three distinct, yet interrelated, career pathways: Food Science, Dietetics, and Nutrition; Food Service and Hospitality; and Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation. The standards are designed to integrate academic and career technical concepts. The anchor standards include Consumer and Family Studies comprehensive technical knowledge and skills that prepare students for learning in the pathways. The knowledge and skills are acquired within a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates hands-on projects, work-based instruction, and leadership development such as that offered through Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). Standards in this sector are designed to prepare students for technical training, postsecondary education, and entry to a career.

  • Food Science, Dietetics & Nutrition
  • Food Service & Hospitality
  • Hospitality, Tourism & Recreation

Information & Communication Technologies

Information CTE Pathways Icon

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have expanded the need for employees who can understand, manage, and support all rapidly emerging, evolving, and converging computer, software, networking, telecommunications, Internet, programming, and information systems. Essential skills for careers in the ICT sector include understanding systems that support the management and flow of data, the ability to work well and communicate clearly with people, and the ability to manage projects efficiently. The ICT sector meets national criteria for high demand, high wages, and high skills and provides students with excellent opportunities for interesting work and good pay. More than 70 percent of jobs in this sector will require a bachelor’s degree or higher by 2018.

  • Games & Simulation
  • Information Support and Services Development
  • Networking
  • Software & Systems

Manufacturing & Product Development

Manufacturing CTE Pathways Icon

The Manufacturing and Product Development sector provides a foundation for secondary students in California in manufacturing processes and systems, including graphic design production, machine tooling and forming, welding and materials joining, and product innovation and design. Students engage in an instructional program that integrates academic and technical preparation and focuses on career awareness, career exploration, and skill preparation in four pathways. The pathways emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant experiences of significant scope and depth in manufacturing. The knowledge and skills are acquired within a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates hands-on, project-based, and work-based instruction. Standards in this sector are designed to prepare students for entry to a career, postsecondary education, or advanced technical training.

  • Graphic Production Technologies
  • Product Innovation & Design
  • Machining & Forming Technologies
  • Welding & Materials Joining

Marketing, Sales & Service

Marketing CTE Pathways Icon

The Marketing, Sales, and Services sector is designed to align career-path course work with current and projected employment opportunities. There is a basic business foundation in this sector: marketing and innovation are two major competitive issues for business today. Marketing includes the processes and techniques of identifying, promoting, and transferring products or services to consumers and is a function of almost every business. It exists within an environment of rapidly changing technology, interdependent nations and economies, and increasing demands for ethical and social responsibility. The three pathways in this sector (Marketing, Professional Sales, and Entrepreneurship/Self-Employment) emphasize training to meet the growing need for marketing professionals with skills in communication, small business, self-employment, advertising, marketing strategies, product and service management, and promotion and selling concepts. These pathways provide a firm foundation for advanced education, entry to a career, and success in the global marketplace. All industry sectors include entrepreneurship and marketing, and therefore students in the Marketing, Sales, and Services sector have a variety of career options.

  • Entrepreneurship/Self Employment
  • Marketing
  • Professional Sales

Public Services

Public Services CTE Pathways Icon

A public service is one that is provided by government to its citizens, either directly or through the financing of another entity to provide that service. Careers in public service are unique because they center on challenging issues that define the public agenda and involve the provision of vital services to the public—from local to international levels. Public service professions offer many career opportunities, including the following career pathways: Public Safety, Emergency Response, and Legal Practices. Students engage in an instructional program that integrates academic and technical preparation and focuses on career awareness, career exploration, skill preparation in the industry, and preparation for postsecondary education and training. Knowledge and skills are learned and applied within a sequential, standards-based pathway program that integrates classroom, laboratory, and project- and work-based instruction. Standards in this sector are designed to prepare students for technical training, postsecondary education, and entry-level employment.

  • Emergency Response
  • Legal Practices
  • Public Safety

Transportation

Travel CTE Pathways Icon

This sector is designed to provide a foundation in transportation services for all industrial technology education students in California. There are eight focus areas that fall under the Transportation sector, each with different career opportunities. The focus areas are On-Road; Off-Road; Stationary; Rail; Water/Sea; Air; Space; and Small Engines and Specialty Equipment. The pathways in the Transportation sector emphasize real-world, occupationally relevant experiences of significant scope and depth in three areas: Operations, Structural Repair and Refinishing, and Systems Diagnostics, Service, and Repair. The standards are designed to integrate academic and technical preparation and focus on career awareness, career exploration, and skill preparation in the three pathways. Integral components include classroom, laboratory, and hands-on contextual learning; project- and work-based instruction; and leadership development. The standards in this sector prepare students for continued training, postsecondary education, and entry to a career.

  • Operations
  • Structural Repair & Refinishing
  • System Diagnostics, Service & Repair
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