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The Office of Academies and Career and Technical Education provides leadership and support to teachers in the advanced career and technical education fields, which prepares students for postsecondary education and the demands of the 21st century economy, including learning the relevance of combining technical skills with academic knowledge.
Our Vision: The Academies and Career and Technical Education department will support GCPS’s vision of becoming a system of world-class schools by facilitating unique and personalized real-world, hands-on, career-ready experiences to promote students’ success in college and career endeavors.
Our Mission: The mission of the Academies and Career and Technical Education department is to promote high quality instructional practices and community partnerships while preparing students for post-secondary education and employment.
Career Clusters and Pathways
Career clusters allow students to choose a career area of interest in high school. Students are enrolled in classes tailored to the career cluster (see list below), which helps them navigate their way to greater lifetime success.
Multiple career pathways make up each career cluster (i.e. STEM’s pathways are engineering, drafting and design, and electronics). Students begin to learn about careers in elementary and middle school, so they are ready to choose a pathway upon reaching high school.
Middle School Programs
CTE courses at the middle school level are part of the ‘Connections’ block for students. Depending on the school, students are exposed to careers, family and consumer science, computer science, business and marketing, engineering, and even possibly health science.
Junior Leadership Corps is a ‘Connections’ class offered, in many cases, consecutively from sixth through eighth grade. JLC is not offered in all GCPS middle schools. The program is meant to enhance students’ leadership skills, focusing on collaboration, communication, goal setting, and community outreach. Contact your local school to inquire if they have a JLC program.
High School Programs
CTE courses at the high school level cover 17 career clusters. Depending on the high school, the following clusters are available in GCPS:
- Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources - Veterinary Science
- Architecture and Construction
- Arts, A/V Technology, and Communication
- Business, Management, and Administration
- Education and Training
- Government and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Human Services
- Information Technology
- Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) is a four-year progressive program which is open to all students in grades 9-12. Students who complete three years of JROTC fulfill the health and physical education requirement for education. If your local school does not offer a JROTC program, students may participate by traveling to a school that does for part of the school day or transferring to one of the schools full time. Programs include:
- Army JROTC
- Air Force JROTC
- Navy JROTC
- Marine Corps JROTC
A complete list of schools with programs can be found on our website.
Students enrolled in the 9th through 12th grade may opt to take classes with a local college or technical school and receive dual credit for college and high school. This includes courses that are in the technical career fields. Interested students and parents should contact their local school’s counseling department for information about applying for and attending dual enrollment courses.
Work Based Learning
Work Based Learning is available to all students 16 years of age or older and is a program designed to permit high school students to complete local internships in a field of their interest. Work placements are meant to welcome students to apply their knowledge and skills learned in their CTE courses. Contact your local high school’s Work Based Learning coordinator for more information.
Maxwell High School of Technology
Maxwell High School of Technology is a public charter school that offers 17 cutting-edge programs to students from all Gwinnett County high schools. Students may be able to earn college credit or Advanced Placement through articulation agreements with post-secondary technical colleges and universities. Transportation is provided to and from GCPS high schools. For a complete list of pathways offered, visit our website. Students interested in attending Maxwell should contact their local school’s counselor.
Grayson Technical Education Program
Grayson Technical Education Program offers 11 innovative career pathway programs for juniors and seniors in all Gwinnett County high schools to explore. Students in each program earn four (4) total credits, with at least one academic credit. Transportation to the program must be provided by a personal vehicle or parent/guardian. Students interested in attending Grayson Technical Education Program should contact their local school’s counselors.
End-of-Pathway Assessment and Credentialing
Programs under CTE offer end-of-pathway assessments (EOPA) for students in the third year of their pathway courses. The majority of these assessments are attached to real-world, industry-recognized credentials that are resume differentiators for students going to either postsecondary college, training, or directly into a career field.
Resources and Materials
Each of the courses under CTE has Board-adopted core textbooks, materials, and digital resources. Additional non-core materials are frequently provided in support of offering current instruction in rapidly changing technology areas. In addition, we are regularly updating labs and spaces to meet the needs of 21st century learning and training.