Career and Technical Education (CTE) creates Pathways to lifelong career success for every secondary student by providing him or her with the technical skills and academic knowledge needed to prepare for future employment and/or a successful transition to postsecondary education.
CTE provides courses and Pathways consistent with industry standards. Exploratory courses begin in the seventh grade, and subsequent courses teach students specific job readiness and job skills, which can lead to employment and postsecondary education.
Role of Secondary CTE:
Career and Technical Education:
Utah’s College and Career Awareness program provides junior high students with the direction, decision making, and planning needed in order to select their career path.
Utah’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program assists students and their parents in the development of a College and Career Ready Plan. The program enables students to:
CTE provides skill certificates in courses and programs in grades 9-12. The Skill Certificate exams verify skill attainment and, where available, industry exams are offered. This accountability system assures that all courses and programs in the state are consistently teaching to the standards established by experts in that occupational area.
Utah’s Work-Based Learning program narrows the gap between theory and practice. Students have opportunities to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities through these activities.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) creates Pathways for all secondary students by providing them with the technical skills and academic knowledge needed to prepare for future employment and/or a successful transition to postsecondary education.
Career and Technical Education encompasses a variety of programs structured to equip students with work and life skills. In Utah, over 137,000 students (grades 9-12) participate in CTE courses annually that help them explore career options and develop occupational skills. The curriculum of CTE gives students the practical experience they need to succeed through a combination of classroom instruction, hands-on laboratory work, and on-the-job training. CTE is offered in all 141 public high schools, including public charter schools, and in 171 public middle/junior high schools.
Career and Technical Education jump-starts students’ careers by preparing them for postsecondary education and training for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations while they are still in high school. By following a CTE Pathway, students become college and career ready. Pathways give students many kinds of opportunities to acquire job skills and to get a head start in selected college programs. In Utah, all graduating students have taken a CTE course in high school, and approximately 30 percent of all high school career and technical graduates enter some form of postsecondary program.
Preparing students for meaningful work is an important goal of career and technical education because of the widening skills gap in the nation’s workforce.
Career and Technical Education prepares students for tomorrow’s workplace. Career and Technical Education educators work closely with the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and Utah employers to make sure students have the skills the labor market demands.
Encompasses agricultural business and management, agricultural engineering, animal science, and horticulture.
Business and Marketing Education
Encompasses core business and marketing classes such as: accounting, banking and finance, business computer technology, communications, entrepreneurship, social media marketing, and Web page design.
Family and Consumer Sciences Education
Encompasses child development/child care, food and nutrition, food services/ culinary arts, hospitality, interior design, and fashion design.
Health Science Education
Encompasses biotechnology, dental assisting, emergency medical technician, medical assisting, nurse assisting, and pharmacy technician.
Information Technology Education
Encompasses database development, digital media, network design, programming and software engineering, technical support, and Web development
Skilled and Technical Sciences Education
Encompasses a wide range of trades including auto mechanics, carpentry, commercial art and photography, commercial aviation, cosmetology and barbering, drafting, fire science, law enforcement, and welding.
Technology and Engineering Education
Encompasses materials, processes, and technologies used in manufacturing, construction, transportation, communication, and engineering-related technologies.
College and Career Awareness
Allows students, through activity-centered lessons, to utilize technology, develop beginning skills, and explore careers. This course provides information regarding additional courses and training related to each student’s career field of interest.
Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance
Assists students through specific self-appraisal and self-improvement activities to enable effective planning to meet their personal education and career goals.
Provides statewide competency-based student assessments. Student skill attainment is measured by core standards and competencies needed to be successful in the workforce.
Gives students the opportunity to learn a variety of skills by expanding the walls of classroom learning to include the community. By narrowing the gap between theory and practice, Work-Based Learning creates meaning for students.
CTE provides students with technical training to prepare for a successful career. The structured training each student receives gives him or her the tools needed to be successful in a career after high school and/or further his or her postsecondary education, whether technical school, two-year college, or four-year college. Each student is encouraged to explore various CTE Areas of Study and to develop the essential skills to feel competent in entering today’s competitive job market.
CTE has over 50 Career Pathways within seven Areas of Study. A Pathway is a sequence of courses within a student’s area of interest. A CTE Pathway connects from high school to college for a specific degree and/or career.
No. Career and Technical Education is essential for all students, providing them with a foundation of academic knowledge and essential technical skills. CTE courses and programs introduce students to career options and assist them in making informed educational choices.
CTE funding is based on regular Weighted Pupil Unit (WPU), including incentives to provide Career and Technical Education in schools throughout the state. CTE funding is also supplemented with a federal appropriation through the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act.
CTE courses and programs are offered in 47 public school districts and charter schools. Most Utah colleges and universities offer postsecondary CTE programs.
Students in grades K-12 are exposed to various aspects of Career and Technical Education.
Kindergarten – Sixth Grade
Students have the opportunity to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. Through the Core Curriculum, students see connections to the real world; through guest speakers and field studies, students gain understanding of the world of work and how learning today connects with careers of the future.
Middle School/Junior High CTE
Through the CTE Introduction program, typically taught in the seventh grade, every student is involved in activity-centered lessons which utilize technology, develop skills, and explore careers. Students are provided with the direction, decision making, and planning needed in order to select their career path. Additional courses offered at the middle/junior high level provide students with rich experience in computer technology and business, family and consumer sciences, information technology, and pre-engineering, with more programs being developed.
High School CTE
Students begin to acquire specific job training skills as they continue to take courses that meet their interests and abilities. A rich offering of courses lead students to employment, further education, or training offered in all high schools. Students have opportunities to take concurrent enrollment courses, which provide them with college credit while in high school. The CTE Skill Certificate program provides certification of specific occupational skills that students can take to employers or to postsecondary institutions.
Comprehensive Guidance Program
Assists students, through specific self-appraisal and self-improvement activities, in the development of a College and Career Plan to effectively meet educational goals.
Work-Based Learning Program
Gives students opportunities to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future careers.
There are over 202,000 secondary and postsecondary CTE students in Utah.
In Utah, CTE programs are offered in all public high schools, middle/jr. high schools, and some charter schools. There are nine postsecondary institutions in Utah that offer technical programs, including community colleges, technical colleges, technical education centers, and other public and private two-year and four-year colleges.
Talk to your high school counselor or contact the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).
i NRCCTE, Stone, 2013.
A Pathway is a sequence of courses within a student’s area of interest. A Pathway connects from high school to college for a certificate, a degree and/or career.
Many Pathways offer concurrent enrollment credit. A Pathway will save students time and money towards training and/or a college degree.
CTE Pathways help match education and workplace needs through partnerships with postsecondary institutions, the school districts, business, and industry.
CTE Career Pathways are the maps that can help guide students to:
Are Concurrent Enrollment Classes Included in a CTE Pathway?
Yes! CTE Pathways include concurrent enrollment courses, and credits earned can be transferred to a college or university.
Postsecondary education. High school students enrolled in CTE Pathways receive advanced occupational training to pursue postsecondary certificates and degrees.
Postsecondary education means a one-year certificate, a two-year associate or technical degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree.
A CTE Pathway includes both foundation and elective courses within a students area of interest. Students are required to earn a specific number of foundation and elective credits in order to be considered a CTE Pathway completer.
A student needs 3.00 graduation credits to be a CTE Pathway completer.
According to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, 35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor's degree and 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or and associate degree.
Utah recognizes over 50 Career Pathways within seven Areas of Study.
For a complete listing of CTE Pathways offered, talk to your high school counselor or access UtahCTE.org.
No. Each CTE Pathway is based on national skills standards and the national career clusters preparing students with academic and hands-on learning in order to successfully transition from high school to postsecondary education.
Yes. An award program recognizes students who successfully complete a CTE Pathway while in high school. This award is called the Secondary Pathway Completer Recognition Award. Students should talk to their school counselor about applying for this award.
Talk to your school counselor or contact the Utah State Board of Education (USBE).
Our vision is to see that every student has the opportunity to explore a variety of career areas throughout high school that will equip him or her with the academic knowledge, technical and employment skills vital for entry into the evolving workforce of the 21st century.