Frequently Asked Questions
What is career and technology education?
Career and technology education (CTE) prepares both youth and adults for a wide range of careers. These careers require varying levels of education—from high school and postsecondary certificates, to apprenticeships, or two- and four-year college degrees. Students add value to their overall education by completing CTE programs of study that provide opportunities to earn industry-recognized credentials and college credit while still in high school.
CTE programs are responsive to shifting workforce priorities and emerging careers. With science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) driving the 21st-Century economy and the military’s Base Realignment and Closure plan bringing tens of thousands more STEM-dependent jobs to Maryland, programs like Pre-engineering, Biomedical Sciences, Manufacturing Engineering Technologies, Computer Networking, and Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are attracting more and more students.
In Maryland, these programs of study and grouped into ten career clusters. Career Clusters allow students to explore a wide range of career options and to apply academic and technical skills in a career area. Career Pathways are like road maps of learning that help students plan for and pursue further education and careers.
How many career and technology programs are there in Maryland?
Career and technology education programs of study are offered in all 24 school systems in Maryland. The number of programs offered by school systems ranges from 9 to 45, with most offering between 20 and 35 programs. CTE programs are established in about 200 comprehensive high schools, 13 career and technology high schools, and 16 CTE centers, which serve students from several “sending” high schools. All 16 of Maryland’s community colleges offer CTE programs as well. Students may also elect to enroll in apprenticeship programs or pursue postsecondary CTE offerings at private career schools and colleges. This represents both locally developed programs as well as the state programs of study.
Number of CTE Program and the Percent of CTE Students by Local School System- 2015
The state programs of study are also offered in all 24 school systems and the number of programs ranges from 5 to 29 in each system. Since this model for program of study creation and professional development support was implemented in 2007, we have seen a consistent rise in the number of programs being implemented in the school systems and the related share of students enrolling in this state programs of study also rising from 16% of total CTE enrollment in 2007 to over 67% in 2015.
What is a program of study?
Maryland CTE programs of study are statewide model programs designed to prepare high school students for the 21st Century’s global economy and its rapidly changing workforce needs. Typically, these programs consist of four sequential courses that each strengthen and deepen a student's knowledge and understanding of the subject. All CTE programs are aligned to established academic and technical skill standards to ensure student preparation for college and careers. These programs also include work-based learning opportunities (e.g., internships, clinical experiences, or industry-mentored projects) tied to the student’s area of interest. Upon completion of a Maryland CTE program of study, students also have the option to earn college credits and/or industry-recognized credentials such as certifications and licenses.
Program of Study Example- Project Lead The Way: Biomedical Sciences
- Foundational Course- Principles of the Biomedical Sciences:
Provides foundational learning for the career area and provides an overview of the career filed options.
- Second Course- Human Body Systems:
Deepens the students learning and understanding of the content.
- Speciality Course- Medical Interventions:
Provides specialized learning in a specific area of the career.
- Capstone Course- Biomedical Innovation:
Students participate in a final course that brings together the learning from the previous courses into a practical work-based experience or other type of project.
Can a student complete a program of study and meet all of the course requirements for college entry?
YES! Students electing to complete a CTE Program as part of their high school program are prepared for entry into college and a career pathway. The chart below shows a typical high school program of study that includes a CTE Program Sequence beginning in Grade 10. It also depicts how students can earn industry certification and/or college credit while in high school.
In Maryland, all secondary and postsecondary programs are offered in related programs of study to advance student preparation and success in a career. However, specific program offerings vary by location. Contact the local school systems and/or community colleges who work together to identify areas of interest and program requirements.
In most CTE programs, the awarding of college credit and/or industry certification requires students to meet pre-determined standards and assessments as determined by the postsecondary institution and/or industry. A description of these requirements and opportunities for college credit and/or industry certification is included for each CTE program of study.