Career Technical Education (CTE)

If you’re interested in enhancing your knowledge and skills in a way that is focused on a particular career path, Career Technical Education (CTE), sometimes referred to as vocational education, may be the right track for you. Training is available in a variety of fields including the fast growing sectors of health care, transportation, construction, energy and information technology. These fields represent only a small sampling of the options available to you. There are literally hundreds of different programs to choose from. Short term certificate programs in a particular field (for example as a Medical Assistant, Auto Mechanic, Early Child Development Specialist, Landscape Designer etc.) can provide you with the skills and tools you need to find a job in your field of choice more quickly. If you decide to continue on or return to school later, these courses can be built upon towards an Associate (2-year) or Bachelors (4-year) degree.

Beware! Private vocational schools like those that you may have seen advertised on television offer CTE programs as well, but typically at a much higher cost. Some of these schools may charge tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, leaving you in serious debt at the end of the program which can lead to long-term financial problems, so you should exercise extreme caution and discuss the pros and cons with an advisor, mentor or other adult who you trust before choosing a privately based program.

To help you compare, you can see a list of how many students at each school in California take out federal loans, end up defaulting on their loans (not paying back student loans on schedule), and the percentage who graduate by clicking here.

CTE Benefits and Resources for Foster Youth:

  • Campus Support Programs for Foster Youth. Foster youth enrolled in a CTE program at Community College are eligible to participate in campus support programs. Many offer financial aid and scholarship packages, housing, and other support and resources. Click here to find a program and get more information.

CTE Tools for Students: