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Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Career-focused experiential learning programs, sometimes called Career and Technical Education (CTE), provide students with opportunities to explore careers and gain marketable skills while still in high school.

Students in CTE programs apply the information they learn in core school subjects like math, science, and writing to real-life work situations to become career- and college-ready.

There are a variety of citywide and school-based pathways that help students gain hands-on experience and work toward fulfilling CPS' Learn.Plan.Succeed. graduation requirements.

Many CTE programs also offer the opportunity to earn industry-recognized certifications that can be used to gain full-time employment or jobs to help pay for college. To earn a certificate, students must demonstrate competency in a skill or a set of skills and pass an examination or have a certain amount and type of work experience or training.


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8th grade students can apply for CTE/career-focused programs when they apply to high school through GoCPS. Freshmen and 10th graders can learn more about applying from their school counselors.


Email icon For more information, please contact Rhonda Patterson, Senior Manager of CTE Outreach & Program Support at,

In accordance with its Non-Discrimination Statement, it is the policy of The Chicago Public Schools to prohibit unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of any protected category for applicants or participants of Career and Technical Education programs. Read the full statement.

CTE Pathways

Agricultural Sciences

Students studying pathways in Agricultural Sciences learn about the science, business, and technology of plant and animal production.


Teacher showing four students various plants in an outdoor environment

Architecture and Construction

Programs in Architecture and Construction cover the lifecycle and roles of workers on a construction project – from idea to design to production.


Student working on cutting wood to various sizes


Pathways in Business introduce students to financial planning, banking, insurance, international finance, entrepreneurship principles, marketing, and accounting.


Female college student looking down at a laptop

Culinary and Hospitality

Culinary and Hospitality pathways introduce students to the skills needed to manage a hotel, prepare a restaurant menu, and provide excellent customer service.


Student cutting up a carrot

Education and Training

The Education and Training pathway helps to prepare students for college and a degree in education.


Student writing equations on a white board

Health Sciences

The Health Sciences pathway will expose students to the myriad of careers in healthcare and a future that is dedicated to helping others.


Student looking through a microscope

Information Technology

The programs in the Information Technology (IT) pathway prepare students for various occupations in computer operations and programming.


Two students looking at a computer screen

Law and Public Safety

In Law and Public Safety pathways, students are introduced to careers in law and criminal justice.


Four books with the words "Law Cases" printed on the binding

Manufacturing and Pre-Engineering

Pathways in Manufacturing and Pre-Engineering prepare students for college and a variety of entry-level jobs in advanced manufacturing.


Student using a mouse and keyboard to work on a computer

Media and Communication Arts

Pathways in Media and Communication Arts provide students with the opportunity to learn about the ever-growing array of new media forms.


Student working on laptop

Personal Care Services

The Personal Care Services pathway prepares students for careers in the professional hair and beauty industry.


Two students cutting hair on dummies


Students in the Transportation pathway explore careers that support equipment and transportation systems, keeping everything in motion in the air and on land.


Man smiling

Office of College and Career Success

Early College and Career Education


773-553-3543 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St
Chicago, IL 60602

Work-Based Learning

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