All students should graduate from high school ready for college and career. Career and Technical Education (CTE) is an education system that combines rigorous academic classes with industry-specific knowledge and skills to prepare students both for direct entry into industry sectors and post-secondary education. CTE programs offer students the opportunity to explore various career options and then put in place the classes and experiences they need to succeed in the career of their choice.
What is Career Technical Education?
Learn about what is Career Technical Education (CTE) and how it supports student learning and preparedness for life after high school. Explore industries and organizations in the Bay Area, as well as local CTE pathways in San Mateo County.
This video is part of a series exploring industries, CTE Pathways, and career opportunities in the Bay Area. Watch all the videos on the San Mateo County Office of Education's YouTube channel.
CTE Educator Resources
There are fifteen industry sectors identified by the California Department of Education. Click on the links below to learn more about each industry sector.
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Arts, Media and Entertainment
- Building Trades and Construction
- Education, Child Development, and Family Services
- Energy and Utilities
- Engineering and Design
- Fashion and Interior Design
- Finance and Business
- Health Science and Medical Technology
- Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
- Information Technology
- Manufacturing and Product Development
- Marketing, Sales, and Service
- Public Services
Below are the 11 anchor standards all students need to master in order to be successful in the CTE curriculum and in the workplace:
- Academics: Analyze and apply appropriate academic standards required for successful industry sector pathway completion leading to post secondary education and employment.
- Communications: Acquire and accurately use general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the (career and college) readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
- Career Planning and Management: Speaking and listening standard: Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (eg. visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
- Technology: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments and information.
- Problem Solving and Critical Thinking: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem, narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate, and synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
- Health and Safety: Determine the meaning of symbols, key words, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.
- Responsibility and Flexibility: Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
- Ethics and Legal Responsibility: Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the work.
- Leadership and Teamwork: Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making; set clear goals and deadlines; and establish individual roles as needed.
- Technical Knowledge and Skill: Use technology, including the internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.
- Demonstration and Application: Demonstrate and apply the knowledge and skills contained in the industry-sector anchor standards, pathway standards, and performance indicators in classroom, laboratory, and workplace settings, and the career technical student organization.
- Bay Region Dual Enrollment Administrators Guidebook v. 3: This guidebook provides insight into the practices and challenges of Bay Region dual enrollment programs and insights into best practices. Share with all programs participating in dual enrollment! Expanded sections on serving a broader range of students through dual enrollment, analysis of legislative changes, and suggestions on improved data collection and program evaluation.
- Active Website: Centralized resources can be found on the Bay Area Dual Enrollment Website - 153 new users, 183 users total, in California in the past 90 days engaged with the website.
- Dual enrollment instructor training - 10 week course offered to 29 dual enrollment instructors from 10 colleges in the Bay Region. These dedicated dual enrollment instructors are learning effective pedagogical practices for college courses in a high school setting, while also learning dual enrollment legislation, requirements, and guidelines. So far, the course has been very interactive with an active exchange of good practices and peer support. Participants will earn two continuing education units. The training will be followed by a community of practice for dual enrollment instructors to share best practices and provide support for instructors in the dual enrollment classroom. The hope is to offer this training to dual enrollment instructors twice a year and maintain a robust community of practice.
- Monthly Dual Enrollment Exchange Meetings and Dual Enrollment Office Hours - Providing timely and relevant dual enrollment information to regional K14 dual enrollment leaders. Active participation by both K12 and community college dual enrollment professionals. For past topics and associated resources, see Dual Enrollment Exchange Spotlight webpage. Email Mallory Stevens (email@example.com) to be added to the Dual Enrollment Exchange group. Exchange meetings are the 2nd Thursday of the month at noon (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6505762602)... join us! Upcoming topics include:
- April: Lessons Learned as a New Dual Enrollment Director (Vanessa Luna-Shannon, SRJC)
- May: Creating a Dual Enrollment Strategic Plan (Mayra Arellano, Cañada)
- June: Dual Enrollment Pathway Maps at College of Marin, Kathryn Horton
Distance Learning Resources/Opportunities for Career Technical Education and to support Career Readiness - San Diego County Office of Education
- BACCC February Career Awareness Month Webinar Recordings
- Free CTE Curriculum at https://www.cteonline.org/
- 12 Elements of High-Quality Career and College Pathways: New Elements
- Creativity: The essential future job skill
- Making Power Skills Your Own: Also known as soft skills, this is how you can apply these skills
- Core Messages for Attracting Students to CTE
- 21st Century Skills Primary Attributes for Classroom and Digital Badging Assessment
- CTE Completer Survey and Reporting Instructions
- California Career Zone Webinar Recording
- The BayICT Partnership is a collaboration between Bay Area community colleges, tech companies, and community organizations. Check out their site for their resources to support students through work-based learning and connect faculty with industry experts and resources.
- Bay Area Cyber League coordinates Summer CyberCamps and Fall & Spring Cybersecurity Competitions for high school and community college students in the greater Bay Area region.
K12 Strong Workforce Grants
In summer 2018, the California legislature introduced the K12 Strong Workforce Program (K12 SWP) as an ongoing statewide funding opportunity. It is designed to support K–12 local education agencies (LEAs) in creating, improving, and expanding career technical education (CTE) courses, course sequences, programs of study, and pathways for students transitioning from secondary education to postsecondary education to living-wage employment.
Please find information about San Mateo County's Grants and K12 Stong Workforce Resources below.
- K12 Strong Workforce Program Overview
- K12 SWP Grantees Resource Website
- K12 Strong Workforce Website
- 2021-2024 K12 SWP/CTEIG Reporting Schedule
- CalPASS+ FAQ Document
- CTE Completer Survey and Reporting Instructions
- 2021-22 BACCC Regional Plan
- Fiscal Reporting Overview Google (FROG) sheet - includes budget, financial match and expenditure data for each institution included in the selected K12 SWP grant (R2-R4).
Grant Title and Purpose
San Mateo County High School Districts will launch, expand/redesign, develop and deliver extensive career pathways. The outcome of this grant will increase dual enrollment and strengthen partnerships between the districts and the San Mateo Community College District. In order to accomplish this, specific strategies for effective communication will be developed between the 6 SMC districts and 3 community colleges.
Sequoia Union High
Sequoia Union High School District and Foothill College will launch, develop and enhance career pathways across 4 high schools in the following 5 industry sectors/pathways: Software Development, Web Design/ Development, Audiovisual Technology, Health Science, and Education/Child Development. The outcome of this grant will strengthen our 9-14 pathways by preparing students for living-wage, high need careers as well as college.
East Palo Alto Academy
East Palo Alto Academy seeks funding to expand the Dream Lab, a collaborative workspace where students create projects with STEM tools. We will include a full-length Dream Lab class in our college prep curriculum to expose more students to experiential learning and increase their college and career readiness. We will also launch dual-enrollment classes that make use of the Dream Lab in partnership with Foothill College to help students’ transition from high school to college and the workforce.
Grant Title and Purpose
Career exploration and preparation will be infused throughout current CTE classes. A county-wide license through Headed2 CareerZone will provide teachers, counselors and administrators access to professional development to develop, strengthen and implement career exploration curriculum. Access to local industry allows for field trips, mentors, guest speakers, and other industry engagement opportunities. Students in CTE pathways can start personalized exploration of emerging skills and interests in various careers.
Career exploration within this grant will inform educators and students how to find local employment with advancement opportunities, meeting the BACCC Strong Workforce Program plan. Similarly, the grant will provide a more equitable access, another regional priority, for student awareness in targeted underserved populations. Finally, this grant will develop a workforce readiness certificate, in partnership with the local WIOA board, to give students an industry recognized certificate.
Jefferson Union High
This project aims to achieve a concise and seamless pathway to post-secondary options, in addition to offering work-based learning opportunities. In partnership with Skyline College and PilotCity we will undertake the issues in the problem statement and meet the BACCC Strong Workforce Program plan of providing well qualified candidates that meet employers needs and ensuring equity.
Sequoia Union High
Goal 1: Create new certificate programs at Canada College with courses that can be dual enrolled in the high school CTE pathway and that are stackable towards Associate Degree programs in Engineering and/or related fields.
Goal 2: Create a 2-year pathway in Engineering that is aligned with Engineering Technology pathway standards as well as courses, certifications, and degree programs at Canada College being developed as stated in Goal 1. The pathway will also make use of currently un-used makerspaces at each of the sites.
Goal 3: Explore creating a mobile Makerspace (an excellent lab for Engineers!) that can be taken to any site and provide access to hands-on, state of the art technologies where students can apply their learning in Engineering principles, design thinking, etc. to determine feasibility, costs, staffing needs, and other considerations needed to be taken into account before pursuing.
Grant Title and Purpose
The issues and challenges that exist in San Mateo County, as well as those that are addressed in the BACCC's Regional Plan Priorities, have led us to the development of our vision of extending the CTE pipelines into the middle school level. By increasing community engagement and family outreach efforts, adapting instruction and professional development to the virtual space (Priority 1 Goal 4), bolstering priority pathways, and directing CTE Awareness and CTE Exploration courses' enrollment efforts toward students from underserved communities (Priority 2 Goal 1), we hope to address the aforementioned challenges and close equity and opportunity gaps. As such, we have developed a partnership with four, long-standing Bay Area nonprofit leaders, and are directly aligning our vision with the goals of the Regional Plan.
Curriculum & instruction:
- In collaboration with all partners, assess the needs of our underrepresented students and special populations to guide program development, targeting the needs of these students enrolled at our comprehensive high school and alternative high school settings
- Expand college access for disproportionately impacted high school students across San Mateo
- Increase the number of underrepresented students, as measured on the College/Career Indicator, enrolled in CTE courses and completing at least one semester of dual enrollment.
- Deepen connections between existing SMCC K14 CTE pathway teachers at the high school and community college levels through professional development, dual enrollment and other activities.
- Equip CTE dual enrollment courses with materials, equipment, and transportation for college visits/activities.
- New dual enrollment partnerships will take place in the following workforce sector areas: Engineering Technology, Computer Science, Data Science, Digital Arts and Media, Journalism/Public Relations, Construction Basics, Accounting, Education/Child Development, and Marketing.
- Expand dual enrollment pathways: Transportation, Health Care, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Biotechnology, Administration of Justice, and Business.
Post-secondary Transition and Completion:
- Identify and mitigate barriers preventing identified underserved students from enrolling and persisting in select pathways
- Increase high school graduation rates through the development of comprehensive dual enrollment programming that expands choice and relevancy of educational experiences for high school students and building seamless transitions to college.
- Engage CTE coordinators, CTE teachers, CTE counselors, and community college partners in foundational racial literacy training, pathway data walkthroughs, and other professional development targeted at increasing awareness of equity/gender issues and strategies to approach the issues in K14 CTE Pathways.
- Provide additional support for Special Ed and English Learner students via Bilingual and/or Special Education Instructional Aides in CTE class and providing staff professional development and materials from ELAchieve and Constructing Meaning.
Jefferson Union High
JUHSD in partnership with Skyline Community College and JESD will develop and host a 6th-8th grade career awareness event and a College and Career Awareness month at the middle school and high school level, along with marketing material. Career awareness within this grant will inform middle and high school students about the pathways offered at JUHSD, Skyline Community College postsecondary options, and local employment opportunities. The grant will provide equitable access for student pathway and career awareness in targeted student populations.
East Palo Alto Academy
Objective 1: Explore the creation of a new certificate program at Foothill College with courses that can be dual enrolled in the high school CTE pathway and that are stackable towards Associate Degree programs in Engineering and/or related fields.
Objective 2: Increase participation in the first course in the 2-year Engineering pathway that is aligned with Engineering Technology pathway standards as well as courses, certifications, and degree programs at Foothill College as stated in Objective 1.
Objective 3: Develop and pilot the second course in the 2-year Engineering pathway that is aligned with Engineering Technology pathway standards as well as courses, certifications, and degree programs at Foothill College as stated in Goal 1.
Objective 4: Support student engagement and success in the 2-year pathway and post-secondary transition/completion with a particular focus on special populations including young women, first-generation, low-income, and English language learner students.
Grant Title and Purpose
Radically Reimagining Pathways to Opportunities for Historically Marginalized Communities in SMC
This project intends to align SMCCD postsecondary pathways and bring a comprehensive WBL program specifically for historically marginalized groups to create opportunities to access and pursue high wage careers and occupations in the local labor market. This project has the following objectives that are aligned with the BACCC Regional Plan:
Sub-Regional Collaboration and Coordination
- Co-facilitate Community Collaboratives between SMCOE, CBOs, School Districts, community leaders, youth and families who will act as a stakeholder group to evaluate and guide program development
- JESD, Bayshore and JUHSD will align pathways with SMCCD certificate and degree programs
SSFUSD will create new CTE Pathways in middle-skilled, high wage, in-demand certificate and pre-apprenticeship programs in Building and Construction Trades, Auto and Health Sciences with CPR Certification and revamp the Folklorico Performing Arts Pathway
Provide equity, social justice and trauma-integrated Workforce Development Professional Development
- Develop a comprehensive, robust, equity-centered WBL program and Work Readiness Certificate with CBOs and the County’s Workforce Development Board to impact historically marginalized student outcomes on the CCI
Program Evaluation and Data Collection
- Utilize Freire’s liberatory education framework and Agile Development model to create program evaluation and continuous cycles of improvement to monitor program effectiveness
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging
- Development of culturally responsive, engaging outreach strategies and marketing collateral to increase enrollment and persistence in CTE Pathways, WBL and in postsecondary transition
- Create Early Warning Indicator system that identifies 7th-8th graders who may be off-track from graduating from high school and provide wrap around services from CBOs for student support
Sequoia Union High
As there are currently very limited internship and apprenticeship opportunities for high school students in the San Mateo County area served by SUHSD, we recognize the need to build a foundation on which opportunities can be built upon. In order to build the necessary foundation and infrastructure to support these opportunities, we need to hire a full-time Industry Liaison who’s sole focus can be on this project. Genesys Works, with their expertise in working with school districts, employers, and developing internship programs will be contracted to assist.
Once the foundation and infrastructure are in place, the Industry Liaison will be responsible for working with industry partners as they develop internship opportunities, the recruitment of students for the Summer Training Program and internships including coordinating the screening of applicants and assisting in the selection of interns, as well as serving as the liaison between intern supervisors and the district/school once students are placed.
By the end of the 30-month grant period, we will:
Establish a district-wide, formalized, internship program standardizing procedures and protocols to ensure compliance with EdCode, labor laws, insurance & liability requirements, etc;
Develop and implement a Summer Training Program that will focus on professional skills, aligned with “Top Skills In Demand” as identified in the Regional Plan (p53), that will prepare students for entering into the workforce and will include opportunities for dual enrollment credit and industry certification. Enrollment priority will be given to students who are behind in UC a-g requirement credits, behind in credits needed for graduating on-time, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and/or historically underserved in post-secondary opportunities, focusing on our Hispanic and Pacific Islander students;
Create a “Roadmap to Creating a High School Internship Program for Employers” that can be used to by our industry partners create internship and youth apprentice opportunities for SUHSD students;
Participate in Regional initiatives as outlined in the BACCC Regional Plan (i.e. Bay Area Opportunity Onramps, Bay Area Council and Silicon Valley Leadership Group) to help develop pathways to livable wage employment that include paid internships and apprenticeships that enable low-income and underrepresented students to attend classes and obtain the kind of work experience that enables economic mobility.
Round 5: 2022-23
Objective 1: SMCOE will design and train teachers to implement several, new, middle school career awareness instructional modules aligned with regional labor market needs. Existing and new modules are designed to promote racial and gender diversity in STEM/green careers, and are aligned with high school CTE pathway programs. Graduated 8th grade students experiencing these modules will gain access to our high school “Green Careers” Summer Program (obj. 2), while all students will gain access to our “Green Careers” field trips (obj. 3) to support transition into CTE.
Objective 2: The summer program has two components: The “Roots of Success” high school course and SMCOE’s “Green Careers” Fair. The course is composed of ten, career and environmental literacy modules that are aligned with our middle school program, labor market demands, and with most of our CTE Pathway programs. Students can earn up to six college credits and a pre-apprenticeship certificate (work-based learning hours) for successful course completion. Instructors who teach the “Roots of Success” course will receive a stipend and an advanced industry certificate teacher apprenticeship program.
Objective 3: SMCOE will partner with the Sustainable Future Outdoor Academy to design and facilitate “Green Careers” field trips related to Clean Energy, Sustainable Food Systems, and Net Zero Buildings. These trips will be available to middle school and high school CTE students from our partner LEAs. These trips are aligned to our districts’ Culinary Arts, Building and Construction, Product Innovation, Engineering and Architecture, and Energy, Environment, and Utilities CTE pathways.
Round 5: 2022-23
- Investing in 10th Grade college counseling classes that will give students an early incubated college/career readiness experience focused on supporting their exposure to and planning for the future in the pathways available to them in our schools and/or the Community Colleges.
- Investing in institutional infrastructure that will help our two institutions share information, address programmatic barriers and ensure that faculty who work for both institutions feel apart of both organizations and adhere to the norms and values of each - rooted in Anti-racism and the provision of a multi-tiered system of support for students.
- Continued investment in a Career/College Readiness Coordinator who leads the effort for the high school district as it interfaces with the three colleges with whom we collaborate on Dual Enrollment so that communication and coordination are seamless.
Flipping the College Decision-Making Paradigm
Traditionally, when students U.S. weigh their educational choices after high school, they consider the college they attend more important than the major they study and the career they choose. This helps us understand why many college students take a few semesters to settle on a major, why the U.S. has the largest college drop-out rate in the developed world, and why so many graduates end up in unfulfilling careers.
Get Focused...Stay Focused! is a program that helps students flip the college decision-making paradigm by helping them understand who they are, what they want, and how they are going to get it.