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Shape Your Future with Hands-On Learning Through CTE

Shape Your Future with Hands-On Learning Through CTE
Story by Tristan Chavez, Photos by Jonason Pauley


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Student sewing

For many high school students, the future can feel like an uncharted map, filled with unknown destinations and uncertain paths. Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs help bridge the gap between an uncertain future and making informed decisions. Through experiencing work-based learning opportunities that align with their passions and talents, students can more confidently choose to enter the workforce or continue their education toward their desired careers.

CTE programs are a multi-year commitment, typically spanning two or three years in focused areas like AgriScience, Automotive, Bioscience, Engineering, Marketing, Photography, and more. This sustained engagement allows students to learn the ins and outs of their chosen fields by offering a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on workshops, and industry-based learning opportunities. CTE programs simulate working alongside professionals in healthcare facilities, working on car engines in automotive labs, creating marketing campaigns, or managing a photography business. This immersive experience, coupled with dedicated teachers and an industry-based curriculum, ensures students are gaining relevant, high-quality skills recognized by working professionals and future employers.

Teacher showing students x-rays

CTE programs offer students more than just a glimpse into potential career paths. It fosters self-discovery by providing hands-on experiences that unveil hidden passions and confirm existing interests. This exploration empowers them to make informed choices about their futures, aligning their academic and career trajectories with their unique talents. Additionally, CTE equips students with industry-recognized skills and certifications, giving them a competitive edge in the job market. By participating in work-based learning opportunities, they gain real-world experience that employers seek, setting them apart from the crowd. Moreover, CTE fosters leadership development and critical thinking skills, preparing students to not just succeed in their chosen fields but also thrive as well-rounded individuals. These benefits, combined with the supportive environment of Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs), empower students to confidently navigate their futures and achieve their full potential.

“We believe in investing in students' futures, not just their diplomas. Our commitment to students extends far beyond graduation, ensuring they're equipped to thrive both academically and in the workforce,” said Doug Daley, Director of Career and Technical Education at Gilbert Public Schools. “CTE programs provide students with the skills and confidence needed to navigate their career paths and achieve their full potential.”

Gilbert Public Schools offers 20 different CTE programs available at Campo Verde High, Desert Ridge High, Gilbert High, Highland High, and Mesquite High. Some of the CTE programs offered at each school include AgriScience, Business Management, Culinary Arts, Digital Communications (Journalism), Digital Photography, Early Childhood Education, Film & TV, Fashion Design,. and Sports Medicine. 

Explore the diverse range of CTE programs at Gilbert Public Schools. Schedule a tour or contact a program coordinator to discover all that CTE has to offer. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, including information on each individual program,