Career & Technical Education (CTE)

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    Begin Building your Bright Future through Career & Technical Education Industry Credentials and State Licenses While in High School


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    Career and Technical Education is the Best Preparation for GraduationRead ASCD article June 11, 2020

    Career and Technical Education programs prepare students for a more sustainable life, preparing students for education at two- or four-year colleges and universities, technical schools or career academies, apprenticeships, or to enter the workforce upon graduation from high school. Career and Technical Education instructional programs are correlated with Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) and provide opportunities to reinforce SOL instruction and Workplace Readiness Skills.  


    Students should take Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses for exposure to their career paths and interests. Students pursuing an Advanced Studies Diploma may enhance their career plans by enrolling in CTE courses. Dual enrollment and community college credits are also available for students in certain CTE courses. CTE courses support effective college planning by reducing indecision about college programs of study and can help families make effective use of financial resources.  Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO's) allow students opportunities for leadership in a student-led organization related to their CTE course of interest.  The CTSO enriches the class experience beyond the classroom with the integration of competitive events, public speaking, entrepreneurship, personal growth, community, and partnerships.


    CTE offers a competency-based curriculum at both the middle and high school levels. All middle school programs include keyboarding/computers, family and consumer science (FACS), and technology education. These experiences provide opportunities for students to explore careers, interests, and abilities, and life skills and prepare them for a more rigorous high school CTE curriculum. High school programs include agriculture, business/information technology, FACS, health and medical sciences, marketing, technology education, and trade and industrial education. Most high school courses offer the opportunity to earn industry-based certifications through national/industry assessments and/or licensure exams. Two sequential concentration CTE courses fulfill the elective requirements for graduation. Each CTE program offers co-curricular student organizations to enhance the CTE learning experience.

    SCPS Industry Certification Assessments Results


    Students may actively engage in research, practice, literature, discussion, and planning for action in service-learning opportunities offered at the high school level either as an elective class, Service-Learning, or independent study (Students Serving Stafford). Students at the middle and elementary school level develop civic knowledge, community awareness, and literacy through special projects.


    Events, programs, and resources direct students to develop and reflect on their career goals, and actively plan the most effective path to success. Thus, School-to-Career serves ALL students, enabling them to maximize their academic and career-related learning in high school with an eye to eventual employment. School-to-Career serves families by helping them allocate their financial resources most effectively for post-secondary education.  Please visit the 17 Career Clusters website to explore career options and gain information and resources.


    Parents and students should consult their CTE teachers, counselors, and the SCPS Program of Studies for additional information as to course opportunities, program requirements, and locations for high school CTE courses. Career and Technical Education Student Organizations (CTSOs), and Learn and Serve need parent volunteers as guest speakers for career information and technical resources, to assist in competitions and chaperone field trips, and to serve on advisory committees.

    Please contact your child’s school to volunteer. 


    The postsecondary education and employment data by the State Council of Higher Education can be viewed on current research and data here.