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What is CTE?

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What is CTE?

Ally Fung, Staff Writer

You might have heard of the term “CTE” … but what is it really?


Career Technical Education (CTE) is used to describe classes that are designed to prepare students for the job market. Many CTE programs and pathways are focused on areas that are associated with associate or bachelor’s degrees, such as engineering or agriculture. CTE programs aim to give students “hands-on” experiences while taking their classes, better preparing them for the fields they desire to go into.


The 2019-2020 Curriculum Guide states that “all CTE courses support the Common Core and CTE Model Curriculum Standards” at AHS. Five industry sectors and eight pathways are offered to students, each containing an introductory/beginning course, concentrator/intermediate course, and capstone/advanced course. For example, Computer Science (introductory), Computer Science Principles AP A/B (concentrator), and Computer Science AP A/B (capstone) is a computer science based CTE pathway. Stagecraft A/B and Advanced Stagecraft A/B, which acts as both the concentrator and capstone course is another CTE pathway.


Sophomore Zachary Green is currently taking AP Computer Science Principles, the concentrator course for the computer science CTE pathway, and likes that “ the labs that are done in the class because they’re interactive and interesting.” He also enjoys that he’s “generally free to explore” the material “because not everything is a lecture.” AP Computer Science Principles at AHS embodies the hands-on philosophy CTE aims to gives its students.


Classes aren’t the only things CTE targets: student organizations are also being impacted by CTE requirements in California. Organizations such as SkillsUSA, Future Farmers of America , and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in California are facing new regulations that require them to meet CTE requirements. The Arcadia FBLA chapter will possibly be impacted by these new regulations in upcoming years, as members are supposed to be involved in CTE business courses, and advisers will be required to be CTE certified. In California, teachers who wish to become CTE certified are required to have at least high school diploma, a minimum of 3,000 hours of work in the fields they wish to become CTE certified in such as engineering and architecture, be fingerprinted, and pay $100 after their CTE forms have been approved by a commission-approved CTE program sponsor. For Arcadia FBLA, this may limit the types of students who can join or compete and may affect who can advise the chapter. Current FBLA adviser and physics teacher Mr. Albert Chu “may get [his] CTE credential in the upcoming years” but doesn’t “understand why FBLA advisers need to be CTE certified,” as some may not be CTE Business certified.


CTE pathways are becoming more common in schools around the country to give students a more interactive experience in their classes, better preparing them for the work world. Many states, especially California, are pushing the CTE curriculum into its schools and student organizations. Of course, there are pros of CTE, like giving students hands-on experience, and cons, such as requiring teachers to get CTE credentialed to teach CTE classes. No matter what your opinion of it is though, CTE is becoming more prominent in students’ lives and possibly gives them real-world experiences that they would not be able to experience otherwise.


Graphic courtesy of WWW.ALEVINEFESLERI.COM

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What is CTE?