Sonoma County Office of Education

Career Technical Education


CTE 7 It’s been said that today’s schools must prepare students to take on jobs that don’t yet exist, while using technologies that haven’t yet been invented, in order to solve 21st century problems that haven’t yet emerged. Through its Career Technology Education (CTE) Support Services department, SCOE supports the development and integration of a continuum of CTE activities that prepare students for their 21st century futures.

Career Pathways: A career pathway is a sequence of academic and CTE courses designed to prepare high school students for transition to more advanced post-secondary coursework in a career area of interest. Students take career pathway courses to enhance the relevance of their learning and to prepare for college and career.

Most career pathways combine academic classroom-based activities, hands-on project-based learning, and work-based learning experiences at business and agency work sites. Instruction is aligned with the Common Core State Standards, CTE Model Curriculum Standards, and current industry practices.

Career Pathway programs are offered in high schools throughout Sonoma County in industry areas that have been identified as viable sectors of Sonoma County’s economy. Many schools provide career pathways using Smaller Learning Community models.

Smaller Learning Communities are an educational model for structuring high school programs around career themes. English, science, and social science courses are oriented around career clusters—healthcare, engineering, media, public service, and others. Academic instruction is supported and reinforced by CTE courses that address the specific skills and knowledge necessary for future employment in the career cluster. Smaller Learning Communities schedule students in cohort groups so that they matriculate through the three- to four-year program with the same group of peers.