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Frequently Asked Questions about CTE

1. What is CTE?
CTE programs prepare students to enter today’s competitive workforce. CTE courses support the California Common Core State Standards and CTE Model Curriculum Standards, preparing students for a successful high school experience, postsecondary options and the world of work.


2. What is a curriculum advisory meeting?
Annual curriculum advisory meetings are opportunities for CTE teachers to meet with content related business partners to review curriculum and equipment in order to keep courses current to industry standards. CTE business partners play an integral role in contributing to Vista Unified School District’s high quality CTE programs.


3. What is a Perkins advisory meeting?
The purpose of the annual Perkins advisory committee is for committee members to review the local state plan (EC 8070),  Perkins Core Indicators, share the district vision  for CTE and get input from local business/industry partners on workforce trends, needs,  and employee skills expected in today’s workforce. Committee members consist of the  Vista Unified School District Superintendent, district administrators, CTE teachers, parents, students, local labor organization representatives, chamber of commerce officials, and business/industry partners.


4. Where are Vista CTE courses offered?
CTE courses are offered at all Vista Unified School District high schools.


5. Is there proof CTE actually works?
Yes.  According to many studies, CTE graduates are 10-15% more likely to be in the labor force, and earn 8-9% more than graduates of academic programs (Sage, 2001).  Additionally, a ratio of one CTE class for every two academic classes minimizes the risk  of students dropping out of high school (Plank et al., Dropping Out of High School and  the Place of Career and Technical Education, National Research Center for CTE,  2005).  The average high school graduation rate in 2008 for students concentrating in  CTE programs was 90%, compared to the average nationwide graduation rate of 75%(U.S. Department of Education 2007-2008 data, National Association of State Directors  of Career Technical Education Consortium analysis).


6. Is CTE only for students who are not college bound?
No. CTE is designed for all students, providing a foundation of industry based technical skills and academic knowledge. CTE courses help all students make informed decisions about college and career choices.

7. Are CTE teachers credentialed?
Yes. All instructors who teach CTE classes hold preliminary or clear Designated Subjects CTE credentials issued by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  To qualify for a CTE preliminary credential, CTE teacher candidates must show evidence of a minimum of three years of work experience directly related to each industry sector named on the credential. They must possess a high school diploma, GED or the foreign equivalent of a high school diploma. Candidates must obtain a fingerprint clearance and recommendation by Commission approved CTE program sponsor.  Candidates are required to complete a rigorous teacher preparation program from an accredited LEA or university program. For additional information:


8. How do CTE internships work?
CTE internship opportunities are available for students who are currently taking a CTE course. CTE teachers arrange student internship opportunities and track student  progress of CTE course objectives during the internship.  Liability insurance is covered by the school district for unpaid internships and by the employer for paid internships.


9. Can students earn community college credit for taking CTE classes?
Yes. Many CTE classes have articulation agreements with local community colleges.


10. Do any CTE courses offer UC a-g credit?
Yes. Statewide there are over 11,000 CTE courses that earn UC a-g credit. Several CTE classes in Vista Unified School District have UC a-g designations.


11. Where can students find out about CTE classes offered at their high school?
Students should contact their school counselors for CTE course offerings and enrollment information.


C&I; 2015; SJ