Career Technical Education — or CTE — involves preparing students for life after high school by helping them identify and prepare for skills-based careers. 

According to Tom Lando, a Pivot North Valley Educational Coordinator who helped develop Pivot’s CTE Manual, the goal of CTE is to help students gain real-world experience that can lead to careers that will be engaging and fulfilling for them as adults.

The California Department of Education details 15 industry sectors for CTE:

  1. Agriculture and Natural Resources
  2. Arts, Media and Entertainment
  3. Building and Construction Trades
  4. Business and Finance
  5. Education, Child Development, and Family Services
  6. Energy, Environment, and Utilities
  7. Engineering and Architecture
  8. Fashion and Interior Design
  9. Health Science and Medical Technology
  10. Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  11. Information and Communication Technologies
  12. Manufacturing and Product Development
  13. Marketing, Sales, and Services
  14. Public Services
  15. Transportation

Within each industry sector, there are multiple pathways representing specific career specialties. Each pathway must be unique to an industry sector, be reasonable and appropriate for high school students, lead to high-skill, high-wage, or high-demand jobs, and be sustainable and viable over the next 10 years.

While Pivot has offered CTE courses in the past, 2019-2020 is the first year the school is structuring courses to help students complete defined pathways in partnership with local industry organizations.

“We are in the process of building out our CTE program and developing partnerships, and we are working on identifying two to three industry specialities that are local to each Pivot site,” Lando said. For example, Lando noted that Pivot San Diego is partnering with health services providers and Pivot North Bay is partnering with organizations specializing in technology and agriculture.  

The CTE program has been well-received by Pivot students and parents alike. Since the courses provide students a chance to focus on goals they are interested in, they can help students get excited about their education.

“I’ve seen some students who weren’t really enthusiastic about school become immediately interested in CTE pathways and building their experience around getting into a certain career field like veterinary science or agriculture,” Lando said. “This program helps students get excited about what their life looks like after high school is over; it’s a really big extension of the Pivot mission.”

As Pivot builds out its CTE program, the school is continuing to look for community partners in the various industry sectors. Pivot parents or other members of the Pivot community interested in partnering with the school are encouraged to contact Lando at tlando@pivotcharter.og