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Career & Technical Education

What is CTE?


Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for a wide range of careers and further educational opportunities. These careers may require varying levels of education - including industry-recognized credentials, post-secondary certificates, and two- and four-year degrees.

Career Clusters help students investigate careers and design their courses of study to advance their career goals. A Career Cluster is a grouping of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. Within each career cluster, there are multiple career pathways that represent a common set of skills and knowledge, both academic and technical, necessary to pursue a full range of career opportunities within that pathway. CTE Pathways show students a direct connection between doing well in high school and being able to transition smoothly to post-secondary opportunities and getting a good job when they graduate. Based on the skills sets taught, CTE courses are aligned with one or more career clusters and career pathways.

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Grow the Skills You Need

To be career and college ready, you need to be able to integrate and apply 21st century skills, technical knowledge and skills, and core academic knowledge. With an emphasis on real world, real life skills, Career and Technical Education connects you to academics and training that will help you be successful in the future.

CTE courses offer you the opportunity to explore and prepare for post-secondary programs through community/technical or four-year colleges. A course or sequence of courses can also provide you with entry-level employment skills as well as provide options for further post-secondary training. CTE courses can develop "life skills" necessary for economic success, provide informational technology skills, expand educational opportunities, develop marketable skills and habits to apply to any career, acquire international business knowledge, encourage creativity and entrepreneurial thinking, broaden lifelong work and study options, pretest career interests before going to college, and provide two educational options in one -- college prep and career prep.

Opportunities to Earn Valuable Credentials

With CTE, add value to your overall education by earning industry-recognized credentials and college credit while still in high school. Credentials signal real-world preparedness to employers and post-secondary educators.


Certifications that reflect 21st century skills competencies will make you a more attractive candidate for college admission and career positions. Mastery of 21st century skills signals that you are ready to transition successfully to higher-level learning and earning. Central CTE courses help you prepare for the following certifications:

Articulation Agreements

Elgin Community College [ECC] awards college credit to Central High School students when learning experiences at the high school level of instruction duplicate those at the college level. College credit enables you to receive advanced placement, save time and money, and avoid duplication of material already learned. See ECC's website for more information: www.elgin.edu

The following CHS high school courses are articulated with ECC courses in the career and technical areas, and you may earn college credit for the high school course(s) if you earn an A or B.

  • 1030 Software Apps
  • 1042 Microsoft Word Certification
  • 1043 Microsoft Excel Certification
  • 1105 Web Design 1 or 1106 Web Design 2
  • 1052 Multimedia Production
  • 1100 Intro to Computer Program 1 & 1101 Intro to Computer Program 2
  • 1005 Accounting 1
  • 1015 Marketing
  • 1066 CADD2
  • 1085 Child Growth & Development & 1086 School Age Child Growth
  • 8080 Criminal Law
ACT National Career Readiness Certificate
Successful completion of ACT WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information show potential employers and post-secondary institutions the achievement of a certain level of workplace employability skills.
KeyTrain Users Zone
Assess your potential WorkKeys score, review topics in each WorkKeys skill area, and practice problems similar to those on an actual WorkKeys assessment.
Career Clusters & Career Pathways
Agriculture, Food & Career Pathways
Architecture & Construction
Arts, A/V Technology & Communications
Business Management & Administration
Education & Training
Government & Public Administration
Health Science
Hospitality & Tourism
Human Services
Information Technology
Law, Public, Safety, Corrections & Security
Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Transportation, Distribution & Logistics
Build Your Future
Internet & Computer Core Certification
Microsoft Office Specialist
Adobe Certified Associate Certification
Autodesk Certified User Certification
ACTE Links for Students

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