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Career and Technical Education

Jump to: Overview | CTE in Blueprint | Academic Requirements | Student Experience | Industry Credential/Certification | Career Academies | Contact


Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers courses to students in both middle and high school and provides students with the academic and technical skills as well as knowledge and training that is necessary to succeed in future careers and become lifelong learners.

CTE in Blueprint

Maryland’s Blueprint for the Future sets a goal for 45% of high school graduates completing an apprenticeship or an industry-recognized occupational credential by the 2030-2031 school year. HCPSS is at 18% as of the 2022-2023 school year.

Academic Requirements

To graduate high school, all students must satisfy these two academic requirements:

  1. One Computer Science, Engineering & Technology Education (CSET) credit
  2. Earning the CSET graduation requirement can be done by taking any of these courses:

    • Foundations of Technology (FoT)
    • Exploring Computer Science (ECS – Honors)
    • Introduction to Engineering Design (IED – GT)
    • Computer Science Principles (CSP – AP)
  3. A Completer Pathway
  4. Earning a completer pathway graduation requirement can be done by:

    • Completing a career academy pathway, which may require the completion of 3-5 courses. Note: CTE completer pathways are only available in high school, or
    • Taking two World Language (WL) classes (levels 1 & 2) in either middle and/or high school. Note: Many colleges require 2-3 years of a WL in high school so students who complete both levels in middle school should be prepared to take two more WL classes in high school depending on their college or university of interest.

Student Experience

Middle School Experience

In middle school, students will take one quarter of a CTE course with the option of building in additional electives:

  • 6th grade: All students take 1 quarter of Technology Education
  • 7th grade: All students take 1 quarter of Financial Literacy
  • 8th grade: All students take 1 quarter of a Careers Course
  • Electives for 7th and 8th grade students only: Students have the option to take Foundations of Technology (FoT) or Exploring Computer Science (ECS) in addition to either Financial Literacy or Careers courses. Students who take either of these courses in middle school will meet the CSET requirement for graduation and the course credit will be added to a student’s high school transcript upon completion.
  • Note: Students who take both FoT and ECS during the 7th and 8th grade will earn their CSET credit for graduation as well as a high school elective credit which qualifies as one of the required elective credits needed for graduation. Taking one or both of these courses in middle school will open additional spaces within a student’s high school schedule for further exploration.

High School Experience

High school CTE courses are a full-year commitment and can be part of a career academy pathway when students opt to complete a full course sequence within any academy. Students taking multiple CTE courses in high school are more likely to:

  • Identify possible career interests and pathways
  • Earn industry credentials
  • Move on to post-secondary educational opportunities (e.g., college/university, technical school, or trade area)
  • Improve likelihood of securing a job (if they do not pursue college immediately following graduation)
  • Maximize on course experiences available in high school

Industry Credential/Certification

Students can earn an industry credential or certification by passing an assessment or examination upon completion of many different CTE courses. In all of the career academy pathways, students who opt to complete the career academy pathway will meet the completer requirement that is required for graduation by the Maryland State Department of Education. For all of these pathways, students do not have to take courses in sequential order with the exception of all capstone courses within an academy pathway.

Benefits of Earning Industry Credential/Certification:

  • Can be added to your resume when applying for a job
  • May include licensure in a specified area
  • Can increase wages/earnings at entry level
  • Provides a steppingstone to make more money in a specified career pathway

Career Academies

A Career Academy offers high school students with similar interests a unique opportunity to prepare for college and entry-level employment in specific career areas. Each Career Academy offers a recommended sequence of courses, internships, capstone project, or research project related to students’ career goals, and the opportunity to earn college credit and/or industry certification while in high school. View all career academy options.

High School Career Academies

Each high school (excluding Guilford Park High School) offers up to 11 different career academy options directly within the school, which provide students with an opportunity to explore, connect and discover interests. Each career academy consists of a series of courses that gradually expose students to a specified content and career path. Students do not have to take classes in a specific order for most academies.

ARL Career Academies

The 13 Career Academies offered at the Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) require specialized equipment and labs that cannot be duplicated at home schools. Each Career Academy offered at the Applications and Research Laboratory (ARL) is a two-year program available only to students in their junior or senior year during which students work on advanced skills and participate in a worksite experience. Students benefit from learning from their teacher mentors/advisors who have industry knowledge and experience. Juniors attend classes at the ARL in the morning and seniors attend in the afternoon. Daily shuttles transfer students to/from high schools.

Enrollment in ARL Career Academies

Students may request courses online through the regular high school registration window, and the option to include alternate courses is available. If there are more requests than there are seats available for any given course, a randomized computer program is utilized for enrollment and the placement of students within courses. This process results in a waitlist being generated for applicable courses.

If seats become available between now and the beginning of next school year, students on the waitlist are offered the opportunity for enrollment based on the order in which they have been waitlisted.

Students on the waitlist should work with their counselors for guidance regarding alternate options for college and career readiness coursework that aligns with their career goals.


  • Daniel Rosewag, Coordinator, Career and Technical Education – 410-313-6797
  • Natalie Belcher, Instructional Facilitator, Career Academies and Family and Consumer Science – 410-313-6636
  • Tonia Ziegler, Instructional Facilitator, Engineering and Technical Education – 410-313-6777
  • Colleen Cotton, Instructional Facilitator, Business and Computer Management Systems, 410-313-8136
  • Amanda Malone, Resource Teacher, Work-Based Learning – 410-313-6627
  • Stephanie Discepolo, Resource Teacher, Apprenticeship Maryland – 410-313-7493
  • Stephanie Bateman, Specialist, Career and Technical Education – 410-313-6629