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Fort Worth ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) offers a variety of Programs of Study within TEA Career Clusters. Each Program of Study follows a coherent sequence of courses throughout high school that can lead to an industry endorsement on the student’s high school diploma. Each Program of Study 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 in the Program of Study, 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, Programs of Study lead to capstone experiences during the junior and/or senior year. As a result, students graduate with a performance acknowledgment on their diploma. These experiences include earning dual credit, a level I or II college certificate, an industry-based certification, apprenticeship/on-the-job training, mentorship opportunity, enterprise experience, simulated lab environments, work-based learning experience, and/or a paid internship opportunity.  A CTE Capstone Experience helps students build industry relationships and prepare for the real world, which, in turn, helps students become more employable in high-need, high-demand, and high-wage jobs.

Prior to the high school experience, Fort Worth ISD middle school counselors and CTE teachers share the Programs of Study opportunities with middle school students during the 6th-8th grade years. Through CTE courses and other experiences, counselors and teachers review the programs available at the students’ feeder campuses and programs that require an application and lottery selection, such as Gold Seal Programs of Choice, Gold Seal Schools of Choice, and Pathways to Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) 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. Many career counseling components of the mandated House Bill 18 are embedded within these CTE middle school courses. Counselors meet with each student to ensure that each student has completed all of the standards. By the eighth grade year, students have a foundation on which they may choose their program of interest. They are provided a Progression Plan, which lists the high school 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.  

Additional Career & Technical Education Resources 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a Program of Study and an Endorsement?

A Program of Study (or pathway), is a sequence of CTE courses within a career cluster, building from foundation to advanced. Fort Worth ISD offers 39 individual Programs of Study, such as Animal Science and Automotive Technology. A Program of Study bridges what students learn in school with the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers. An Endorsement consists of a related series of courses that are grouped together by interest or skill set and, when completed, earns students acknowledgment on their high school diploma. Endorsements are offered in five areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Business and Industry, Public Service, Arts and Humanities, and Multi-Disciplinary Studies.

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 focus the educational experience on courses that prepare students for career goals both at the secondary and postsecondary levels. The sequence builds knowledge and skills from the basic level to a technical and advanced level, culminating in the opportunity for a capstone experience and to take an industry-based certification.

What if a student changes his/her mind?

Foundational courses are vital to success at higher-level courses. If a student wants to transition from one Program of Study to another, he/she should seek guidance from the campus counselor and CTE teacher. Though the career focus may be different, employability skills are transferable amongst all Programs of Study.