College and Career Readiness
Planning for a career is a journey that requires an early start. Arizona has committed to helping school districts meet the needs of students by providing Arizona's K-8 Career Literacy Standards. In the elementary years, students need to become aware of careers and make connections to the real world of work. By the beginning of a child's 6th grade year, students need to begin to explore what careers are in general and have the opportunity to investigate the broader scope of work.
During the middle school years, students need exposure to all 16 career clusters in order to know how jobs are related to broader fields of study. In the United States, there are 16 major career clusters. SUSD's middle school students have the opportunity to explore all career clusters and get hands-on project-based learning experiences in trending industries in a course titled "Design My Future". Mountainside Middle School offers this course under the title of "Designing My Future" as a part of their Middle Years Programme for IB students. These two middle school courses are offered in SUSD with CTE-funded support for career exploration. The course will help any student figure out what might be of interest to pursue in high school and beyond for a career pathway, also known as a CTE Program of Study.
In high school, students need time to take a career and technical education program. It is a graduation requirement in Arizona to have a 1.0 credit in CTE/Fine Arts. Arizona CTE programs are designed to be 2.0 credits in total. Some programs are offered on a one-year block schedule for the 2.0 credits. CTE programs focus on technical and professional skills that prepare students for post-secondary education and the workforce. Students have the opportunity to earn industry recognized certifications and dual enrollment credits through our CTE pathways. Pairing robust academics with technical skills is what gives students a competitive advantage in post-secondary environments and the world of industry. SUSD offers a variety of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at our comprehensive high schools and through EVIT.
In the Fine Arts CTE courses, students are eligible to apply for the Seal of Arts for their diploma and can build a portfolio of work as an artist. CTE students leave high school with the skills necessary to be successful in the world of work and be better prepared for further education and certifications. College-going or not, all students need to consider a career that suits their strengths and interests. CTE provides students with the opportunity to discover talents and opportunities. Best of all, CTE students have a stronger grasp of what they want to do in the near future. Not all decisions are forever. Over the course of a lifetime, most people will have many different jobs in fields that may be unrelated. CTE students are more likely to graduate, which is the first hurdle to success. They will gain professional and technical skills to be successful in any path that they choose. Please visit www.susd.org/CTE for information on our Career and Technical Education Programs of Study, some of which offer college credit and many offer an industry certificate or credential. All programs participate in the Arizona Department of Education's (ADE) Career and Technical Education (CTE) Technical Skills Assessment (TSA) as the capstone exam that awards a completion certificate upon passing TSA.