New Hanover County Schools


Engaging Students, Achieving Excellence



What is CTE?

Career and Technical Education (CTE) gives high school students the chance to get a head start on preparing for college and careers. In CTE programs you will learn how core school subjects like math, science and writing are used in real-life. As a CTE student you have the opportunity to participate in hands-on training in your chosen program and gain real world experience through job shadows and internships. Many programs offer you the opportunity to earn nationally recognized certifications which you can use to get a job, that will help you pay for college, or start off your career straight out of high school!

How Many Classes Do I Have to Take?

For most CTE programs, in addition to taking all the required CPS core courses, you will take 3 CTE courses.
Sophomore year: Your first course in your program will be in your sophomore year. In this year you will get a basic understanding of the field you have chosen and lay a solid foundation for the more advanced courses you will take.
Junior year: In your junior year, you will take the training level course in your program. In this course you will gain more advanced technical skills used in the field. You may participate in competitions, earn industry recognized certifications, and attend a job shadow.

Senior year: The last class you will take in your program is in your senior year. This class is meant to be an advanced training course that will build on all the knowledge and skills you have gained in the previous two years. During this course you will earn certifications, participate in scholarship competitions, and hold an internship.

What Career Fields Can I Study?

There are 12 different industries students can choose to be part of and 40 different programs of study to specialize in.


Student Organizations

Career -Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) develop citizenship, technical, leadership, and teamwork skills essential for students who are preparing for the workforce and further education. They enhance students' civic awareness and provide opportunities for developing social competencies and a wholesome attitude about living and working. CTSOs provide a unique instructional method for attaining the competency goals and objectives identified in each course. Their activities are considered a part of the instructional day when they are directly related to the competencies and objectives in course blueprints. 

DECA is a state and national organization available to all students who are currently enrolled in Marketing Education courses. DECA aims to prepare members for future careers in general marketing and business.

DECA National website      CTSO Conference Matrix - DECA
FFA Logo
FFA: The Organization for Agricultural Education Students - is a national organization that serves students enrolled in agricultural education courses. 

National FFA 
North Carolina FFA
           CTSO Conference Matrix - FFA
FBLA - Future Business Leader's of America mission is to bring business and education together in a positive working relationship through innovative leadership and career development programs. 

National FBLA 
North Carolina FBLA         CTSO Conference Matrix - FBLA
FCCLA- Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America is a national organization for Family and Consumer Sciences students. 

FCCLA National website
FCCLA State website        CTSO Conference Matrix - FCCLA

HOSA - is a state and national organization whose mission is to enhance the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all Health Occupations Education students, therefore, helping the students to meet the needs of the health care industry. 

HOSA National website
HOSA State website         CTSO Conference Matrix - HOSA

SkillsUSA Logo
SillsUSA - is a state and national organization that serves trade, industrial, and technical students in secondary and post secondary public schools. Members are part of a national group of skilled youth on the move – working toward future career goals. 

Skills USA National website 
Skills USA State website     CTSO Conference Matrix - SkillsUSA
TSA Logo
TSA - Technology Student Association mission is to prepare its membership for the challenges of a dynamic world by promoting technological literacy, leadership, and problem solving, resulting in personal growth and opportunity.

TSA National website 
TSA State website            CTSO Conference Matrix - TSA
National Technical Honor Society - is the acknowledged leader in the recognition of outstanding student achievement in career and technical education. Thousands of schools and colleges throughout the U.S. and its territories have a chapter of the honor society on their campus.  These member schools agree that NTHS encourages higher scholastic achievement, cultivates a desire for personal excellence, and helps top students find success in today's highly competitive workplace. 

National Technical Honor Society


Work-Based Opportunities

Job Shadowing is a work experience option where students learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker. The job shadowing work experience is a temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the student. Students witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training and potential career options. Job shadowing is designed to increase career awareness, help model student behavior through examples and reinforce in the student the link between classroom learning and work requirements. Almost any workplace is a potential job shadowing site. non-paid short-term exploration and observations in the workplace.
are a unique aspect of education that integrates study with planned and supervised career- related work experience.  Students are involved as non-paid “authentic employees” receiving academic credit for work experiences.  The purpose of the program is to develop and strengthen the student’s educational and career preparation.  An internship will expose the student to the interpersonal relationships a job requires, both with co-workers and supervisors that are essential in obtaining a successful, satisfying career.  Internships enable employers to assist the high school in preparing students to work in today’s business environment.

Career and College Promise- A student can enroll and attend two educational institutions at the same time provided that certain criteria are met. For example: In New Hanover County, high school juniors and seniors can concurrently enroll in high school and in college provided he/she meets established criteria.

Cooperative Education - An educational program consisting of in-school instruction alternating with on-the-job work experience in a business or industrial establishment. The school selects as a training agency a firm that will provide occupational experiences needed by the student and then coordinates the students’ experiences. Cooperative Education is a paid work experience.