Career & Technical Education (CTE)

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Career & Technical Education (CTE)

Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs in Washington are aligned with rigorous industry and academic standards. CTE offers students an opportunity to graduate from high school with career goals, job skills and leadership skills knowing where to go next to further their career or academic goals.  Teachers participate in meaningful professional development on curricula and instruction, standards and assessment, and academic integration.


CTE Circle Graph



Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction


CTE Student Organizations (CTSO)

Washington State has eight recognized CTSOs that have a definite impact on student’s overall college and career readiness. CTSOs provide relevant, engaging programs that improve student achievement, reduce dropout rates and help students discover the wide range of career options available. CTSOs engage the community and local businesses to help students understand global competition, develop 21st century skills focused on creativity, problem solving, teamwork, goal setting, and chart effective and efficient pathways through high school and postsecondary education for their personal success. Students who participate in CTSOs demonstrate higher levels of academic engagement and motivation, civic engagement, career self-efficacy and employability skills than other students.



CTE is an organized system of programs grades 7-12 which are directly related to careers and prepares students for further education or the ability to step directly into the workforce. Bringing employers and educators together on Advisory Committees provides a format for sharing information and ideas. The guidance and advice of local advisory committee members can help ensure students are learning the most current skills needed in the workplace. CTE Advisory Committee volunteers help plan the training for our future workforce.


Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning is a learning experience for a student at an employer's worksite. While on the job, a student's learning experience consists of four elements:


  • A planned program of job training/work experience supporting student's career goals.
  • Acquire skills increasing in degree of difficulty.
  • Exposure to a broad spectrum of employability skills.
  • Development of critical thinking and problem-solving skills.