Every February, schools across the country celebrate National CTE Month. Career and Technical Education (CTE) is a national educational program dedicated to helping students advance and prepare for careers after graduation.
All high schools in the Queen Creek Unified School District (QCUSD) offer various CTE classes in various subjects, such as culinary arts, marketing, sports medicine, graphic design and early childhood education.
QCUSD programs help students find their path
CTE classes at each high school within QCUSD gives students the opportunity to develop skills and earn certificates to help them after graduation. Paired with these classes are additional resources to help students explore career options and further their understanding of what is available to them.
Hanging in the hallways of each high school and on their CTE web pages are career tree posters. Each poster shows a range of jobs students can earn in that specific area. The jobs are broken down into areas of no degree, a bachelor's degree or advanced degree/education. These posters paint a picture of the real-world potential careers for our students.
Every QCUSD high school student also utilizes MajorClarity, a site that helps guide students through academic planning and post-secondary decision-making.
This is a hands-on discovery and learning process for students. These career “test-drives” offer students interactive and visual content to explore career paths in a truly one-of-a-kind way. Activities are personalized to a student’s interests, according to an assessment of personality and learning styles.
Queen Creek High School College and Career Advisor Kenneth Peterson says the program helps open students’ eyes to plan for their future.
“The site offers learning assessments and interviews with each career cluster the student looks into,” said Peterson. “Students can learn from a professional what they do on a daily basis, pros and cons of their job, and what education they take.”
If you are interested in becoming a business partner with QCUSD schools, feel free to fill out the community partner information HERE.
5 things you didn’t know about CTE
CTE programs are designed to engage students in relevant experiences to help prepare them for a competitive workforce.
From many career path options to gaining life skills, here are some fun facts about QCUSD’s CTE programs that you may not have known before:
- Students can earn certificates. Students participating in CTE programs have the opportunity to earn industry certifications as they complete the program(s) of their choice. In Arizona, studies show CTE students who earned a certificate have a higher chance of continuing their education after high school graduation.
- CTE students have a higher graduation rate. During the 20-21 school year, studies show students who enrolled in a CTE program were more engaged, graduated high school at higher rates, earned industry-recognized credentials and had rewarding and family-sustaining jobs. In fact, CTE concentrators (students) in Arizona have a 95.1% graduation rate, compared to non-concentrator Arizona students, who have a 76.4% graduation rate.
- CTE students have a better chance of being placed in postsecondary education. CTE concentrators are slightly more likely than non-concentrators to enroll in postsecondary education and are just as likely to earn a degree or certificate. In the 2020-2021 school year, 76% of CTE high school students in Arizona received Post-Program Placement, with 45% continuing their education to earn a credential, certificate or degree.
- Health science topics are the most popular CTE classes. Although each high school in QCUSD provides different CTE opportunities, there is an overwhelming demand for health science classes within the district. For all three of our high schools, 24.6% of students have enrolled in health science-related CTE programs.
- QCUSD offers more than 20 CTE programs and clubs. There are numerous CTE classes students can take to enrich their education and plan for their future. Some of these classes range from media, health, woodwork and computer sciences.
Students can also continue their CTE experience with CTE clubs and organizations. QCUSD has had five students serve as state officers for local career and technical student organizations in the last five years:
- 2018–2019: FFA (Future Farmers of America)
- 2019–2020: FCCLA (Family, Community, and Career Leaders of America)
- 2020–2021: DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
- 2021–2022: ITS (International Thespian Society)
- 2022–2023: FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America)
View the links below to see the CTE courses offered at each QCUSD high school:
CTE certificates students can earn in QCUSD
Within QCUSD, students enrolled in CTE can choose from over 20 certifications. From design program certificates to hands-on experience programs, take a look at what each certification offered in QCUSD:
- Arizona Ag Skills and Competencies - This certificate is an opportunity to quantify and qualify skills learned through the completion of all three segments of the agriculture education model including Classroom Instruction, SAE and FFA. Learn more.
- OSHA-10 (Healthcare) - The OSHA Outreach Training Program provides training for entry-level workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. Learn more.
- Stop the Bleed - Students learn life-saving techniques that will assist in an emergency and potentially save a life. Learn More.
- OSHA 10-Hour Construction Industry - This training is designed for entry-level workers in construction, demolition, building development and other fields in the construction industry. Learn More.
- Culinary Arts
- ServSafe Food Protection Safety Manager Certificate - ServSafe program provides food safety training where students learn to implement the essential food safety practices necessary to create a culture of food safety. Learn More.
- Early Childhood Education
- Paraprofessional Certification - The ParaPro Assessment is for prospective and practicing paraprofessionals. It measures skills and knowledge in reading, math and writing and the ability to apply those skills and knowledge to assist in classroom instruction. Learn More.
- Film & TV
- Adobe Premiere and After Effects - Premiere Pro is a video editing software. After Effects is the industry standard for creating impressive motion graphics and visual effects. These certifications help students prepare for film-related industries. Learn More.
- Graphic Design
- Adobe Photoshop Certification - Adobe Photoshop is used for image editing, graphic design and digital art. Learn More.
- RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) - This certificate’s credential focuses on the business and economics side of retail in a range of retail environments, including inventory control functions, merchandising and marketing processes, loss prevention, workplace safety procedures and the retail profit model. Learn more.
- Nursing Services
- AHA BLS Certificate - The Basic Life Support (BLS) course trains participants to recognize life-threatening emergencies, give high-quality chest compression, deliver appropriate ventilations and provide early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Learn More.
- AHA K–12 Heart Savers (first aid) - The Heartsaver First Aid course trains participants in first aid basics for the most common first aid emergencies, including how to recognize them, how to call for help and how to perform life-saving skills. Learn More.
- AZBN CNA Certificate - Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) is a person who passes an approved CNA course and the state manual skills/written exams and whose name is placed on the CNA registry. Learn More.
- 10-hour Construction OSHA - OSHA 10-Hour Construction training is designed for entry-level workers in construction, demolition, building development and other fields in the construction industry. Learn More.
- OSHA 10-Hour General Industry (Healthcare) - The OSHA Outreach Training Program provides training for entry-level workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health hazards in workplaces. Learn more.
- Digital Photography/Graphic Design
- Adobe Certified Professional Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop - This certificate is an industry-recognized certification that demonstrates proficiency in Adobe Photoshop and foundational knowledge for digital media careers. Learn More.
- Adobe Certified Professional Visual Design Specialist - The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification program validates valuable digital communication skills. Earn certifications for Photoshop and either Illustrator or InDesign to qualify for a Visual Design specialty credential. Learn More.
- Adobe Certified Professional Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator - Validate your knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, the world’s leading vector graphics software. Adobe has worked with creative industry experts and the test design specialists at Certiport to identify the skills and concepts that are critical to using Illustrator effectively in a professional context. Learn More.
- Film & TV
- Adobe Certified Professional Visual Design using Adobe Photoshop - The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification program validates digital communication skills while providing credentials that demonstrate real-world prowess to prospective employers and academic institutions. Learn More.
- Adobe Certified Professional Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro - The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification program validates digital communication skills while providing credentials that demonstrate real-world prowess to prospective employers and academic institutions. Learn More.
- Sports Medicine
- Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) - For students who successfully complete an Arizona Department of Education, Career and Technical Education-approved Program of Study in Sports Medicine and Rehab Services which includes a coherent sequence of instruction that addresses all of the industry-validated technical standards for the program. This certification offers advanced Emergency Response and CPR and First Aid. Learn more.
- Coming soon (CHS is currently a 7–10 school).
To learn more about CTE in QCUSD, visit the Career & Technical Training page HERE.