Fort Worth ISD Career and Technical Education Programs of Study
Click here FWISD Programs of Study to see where all of the Programs of Study are offered within Fort Worth ISD.
Fort Worth ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers many different focuses/pathways within the career areas for students to choose from. Each career focus has a coherent sequence of courses throughout high school that can lead to an industry endorsement on the student’s high school diploma. Each career focus begins with foundation courses that allow students to explore careers within the focus and to learn basic concepts and skills within those careers. As students move forward within the career focus, courses become more technical and provide students with more advanced knowledge and skills in preparation for postsecondary training for jobs within the student’s chosen career field and/or preparation for postsecondary education.
Through our district’s Vital Link program, many career focuses will lead into a capstone experience junior or senior year, that allows students to graduate with a performance acknowledgement on their diploma. These experiences include earning dual credit, a level I or II college certificate, an industry-based certificate, apprenticeship on-the-job training, a mentorship opportunity, an enterprise experience, training through a simulated lab environment, a work-based learning experience, and/or a paid internship opportunity. A CTE Capstone Experience will help students build industry relationships and prepare for the real-world which will, in turn, help students become more employable in high-need, high-wage jobs. Additionally, students use this opportunity to find a job that could help pay for college or post-secondary education.
Fort Worth ISD middle school counselors and CTE teachers review the various programs of study opportunities with middle school students grades 6-8 across the district. This includes the programs available at the students’ feeder campuses as well as programs that require an application and lottery selection, such as Gold Seal Programs of Choice, Gold Seal Specialty Campuses, and the Pathways to Technology Early College High School programs. The district is required to ensure that all students complete the House Bill 18 College and Career Readiness Standards before they begin high school. Counselors meet with each student to ensure that each student has completed all of the standards. By 8th grade year, the student will choose their program of interest and will sign off on a progression plan, which lists the courses within the pathway chosen. It is extremely important that the student and the parents are both aware and knowledgeable of the opportunities offered throughout the district prior to making their selection.
Career & Technical Education Resources
- Fort Worth ISD Programs of Study Categorized by Career Clusters – Include the CTE-specific programs offered within the district
- Statewide Programs of Study At-a-Glance – Has further details about occupations, wages, and education needed or career fields within the Programs of Study.
- FWISD Gold Seals Programs of Choice – Identifies all of the Gold Seal Programs and Specialty campuses across the district, including Gold Seal Career and Technical Education programs.
- OnCourse College & Career Readiness Parent and Student Resources – Includes additional information on how to prepare your students for college and career readiness, visit the OnCourse resources from the Texas Education Agency.
- OnCourse House Bill 18 Resources – Has further information about House Bill 18 requirements for middle school students.
Middle School Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Middle school CTE elective courses take on a more hands-on approach to career exploration and skill development through problem-solving, technology applications, and STEM-embedded curriculum. These introductory courses help students explore various careers and start developing their basic college and career skill sets, which further helps them identify the career field(s) that interest them. Many career counseling components of the mandated House Bill 18 are embedded within these CTE middle school courses. Additionally, some of the courses are also offered for high school credit. By starting these introductory courses in middle school, students can then get a jump start on their careers by selecting their high school CTE career pathway, further preparing them for their high school courses and to be college and career ready.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a career focus (program/pathway) and an industry endorsement?
A career focus, also known as program of study or pathway, is a sequence of courses within a career cluster and link what students learn in school with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers. Industry Endorsements require that the students take four courses from basic skills to advanced courses in the sequence to receive the endorsement when the student graduates from high school.
What is a coherent sequence?
A coherent sequence is a series of courses that relate to a student’s career interest and career focus. A coherent sequence builds from foundation and/or exploratory courses to courses that include higher level skills and knowledge to courses that allow the student to practice the high-level skills they have learned either in a lab setting or in the workplace.
Why is it important to have a coherent sequence of courses?
A coherent sequence of classes helps you focus your education on courses that will prepare you for your career goals both at the secondary and postsecondary level. The sequence lets you build your knowledge and skills from the basic level to a more technical and advanced level and provides you with the opportunity to take any industry certification offered in that career area and receive the industry endorsement when they graduate from high school.
How do you know if you have a coherent sequence?
A coherent sequence of courses builds from foundation-level to workplace-level skills and knowledge. If you follow one of the career focuses listed in this CTE section of the course catalog, you will be participating in a coherent sequence.
Is a career focus flexible?
Yes, a career focus can be very flexible. Since there are a variety of jobs and job levels within each occupational group, the courses you take for one career focus may be the same as the courses needed for another career focus within that general career area. Therefore, you have the opportunity to explore a variety of occupations within a career focus and to learn a variety of occupational skills that allow you room for flexibility within your education and career goals.
What if you change your mind?
You always need to take the basic courses before jumping into the higher-level courses, and career focuses are very flexible. If you take a principles class in one cluster, you may be able to move forward in a different cluster without repeating the principles class. Many courses can transition from one career focus to another. However, you should get guidance from your counselor and CTE teacher if you decide to transition from one career focus to another. Even if you have to start over at the basic course level, you really have not lost anything since you will have gained knowledge and skills from your last career focus that you can use throughout your life.