Career and Technical Education

About CTE

Seattle Public Schools is committed to ensuring our students are prepared for career and college readiness after high school.

Planning for a high skill, high wage, and high demand career?

Career and Technical Education (CTE) engages students and prepares them with the skills they need for fulfilling careers in vital, in-demand industries and occupations. To keep up with today’s growing economic demands, students are turning to CTE to help prepare them for the global workforce.

CTE. Learning that works for Washington

CTE accelerates a student’s college and career plans by strengthening technical skills and knowledge through hands-on project and problem-based learning. Students have opportunities for personal and professional growth through career connected learning and are prepared to enter the workforce, training programs, or college.

CTE Mission

The Career and Technical Education Department broadens career choices for students, supports and promotes high quality instruction, and ensures that every school has a range of CTE offerings for every student, including advanced Seattle Skills Center options.

Career Connected Learning connects the world of work to the classroom. Examples include worksite tours, career guest speakers, career mentors, internships, apprenticeships, health care clinicals, working in a school store and course related service projects. These opportunities allows students to interact with industry and community professionals in real workplace settings as they explore and prepare for careers that match their strengths and interests. 

In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in experiences such as an internship or pre-apprenticeship, paving the way to their future career and education plan.

Dual College Credit

Many CTE courses offer provides students with the potential to earn high school and college credit at the same time. Dual credit options can be earned by completing a CTE course or passing an exam. These options include:

Exam Based Courses:

  • Advanced Placement (AP
  • International Baccalaureate (IB)

Course Options:

  • College in the High School
  • Running Start
  • Career and Technical Education Dual Credit (Seattle Colleges and Shoreline College)

These tests or courses may result in college course credit. Earning dual credit in high school is connected to higher high school graduation rates, college enrollment, and degree completion. 

Student Leadership

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) and Leadership equivalent organizations enhance student learning through leadership and personal development, applied learning and real world applications.Leadership growth and development is an integral part of each CTE program area. Students demonstrate their professional skills through hands-on projects, presentations, competitions, and real life and/or work experiences.

Leadership helps guide students in choosing a career pathway, a program of study and provide opportunities in gaining the skills and abilities needed to be successful in those careers through leadership supported activities, including regional, state, and national. Students seeking leadership opportunities can hold leadership positions at their school, state, and national levels and attend leadership development conferences to network with other students as well as business and industry partners.

There are nearly 75,000 students in Washington who participate in Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO).  Students can become members of a CTSO or CTE supported Leadership Club in their middle and High Schools. Check your school for more information.

DECA, An Association of Marketing Students

FCCLA, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America

HOSA,  Health Occupation Student Association


TSA, Technology Student Association

WCTSMA, Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine Association

Industry certifications are a valuable tool used for achieving career success. Not only do industry certifications validate knowledge and skills, they also foster career development, boost employability and increase workplace productivity.

Below are a few industry certifications that CTE courses may provided to prepare students for career success.

  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)-InDesign, Illustrator 
  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)-Photoshop 
  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)-Premiere 
  • Backstage Exam 
  •  WA ST Dept of Health, Food Handlers Permit 
  • ParaPro – Paraprofessional Certification 
  • First Aid/CPR/AED and/or Basic Life Support (BLS) 
  • Bloodborne Pathogens 
  • CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant 
  • Unity Certified User 
  • Core Plus Student Certificate 
  • EMS 
  • Flagger 
  • NATEF – ASE – National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence 
  • OSHA 10 or 30-Hour Construction Industry 
  • SP2 – Safety and Pollution Prevention Certification 
  • TWIC 
  • WABO 

Are you interested in supporting and engaging with students in career exploration and preparation?

Developing strong partnerships with business, industry, and community leaders is an integral part of our middle and high school CTE programs. We have many different opportunities for your organization to get involved. 

If you are interested learning more please complete the Partner Interest Form.