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CTE Content Areas


What is career and technical education (CTE)?

Career and technical education is a kindergarten through adult area of study that includes rigorous academic content closely aligned with career and technical subjects. The Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Learning Standards serve as the framework. Students first formal introduction to CTE is through the middle-level courses. In grades nine through twelve, CTE includes the specific subject areas of agriculture education, business and marketing education, family and consumer sciences education, health occupations education, technology education, and trade, technical and industrial education.

The purpose of CTE is to provide learning experiences where students become aware of a broad spectrum of careers and develop skills that are applicable to personal and career roles and are necessary for employment in specific career areas or postsecondary study. Career and technical education prepares students for a wide range of careers. These careers may require varying levels of education from high school and postsecondary certificates to two- and four-year college degrees. Successful programs will prepare students for life as productive members of society.

Is career and technical education for all students?

Yes. Career and technical education provides foundation skills that enable high school graduates to be gainfully employed either full-time or part-time while in college. Nearly two-thirds of all high school graduates of career and technical education programs enter some form of postsecondary program. Rigorous academic content tied to technical subject matter in high school ensures that students will be ready for college. Internships and other work-based learning experiences that are a hallmark of career and technical education are attractive to all students who want to get a head start on a career, whether that career goal is doctor or nurse, automotive technician, chef, fashion designer, early childhood educator, or computer scientist. Student career organizations for every subject area, such as Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), also help students acquire the employability and leadership skills that will enable them to succeed in the workplace.

Is family and consumer sciences education a part of career and technical education?

Yes. Family and consumer sciences education is one of the subject areas covered by the career and technical education umbrella. As such, Commissioner’s Regulations and NYSED policies developed for CTE programs and students apply to family and consumer sciences.

Why is it important for students to study family and consumer sciences?

Family and consumer sciences is based on the understanding that the ability to reason, to think critically and creatively, and to reflect on one’s actions will empower students to act responsibly towards themselves, their families, their peers and society.

Can high school students earn college credits through coursework in family and consumer sciences?

Yes, many high school family and consumer sciences programs across New York State offer college credit through articulation agreements. Students may earn advanced standing, transcripted credit and/or dual college credit.

How can family and consumer sciences coursework help students meet high school graduation requirements?
  • Family and consumer sciences can help students fulfill the graduation requirement in science. New York State requires all students to complete of three units of commencement level science in order to graduate. The Food Science curriculum has been designed as a specialized course to fulfill the third year science requirement for all students. Specialized courses must be approved for academic credit by the appropriate school official, usually the superintendent of schools.
  • Family and consumer sciences can help students fulfill the graduation requirement in fine arts. New York State requires all students to complete one unit of fine arts in order to graduate. The Clothing and Textiles Core course (1/2 unit) and the Housing and Environment Core course (1/2 unit) have been designed to meet the commencement level New York State Learning Standards in the Arts: Visual Arts. When both Clothing and Textiles Core and Housing and Environment Core are completed, they are an approved substitution for the one unit fine arts graduation requirement for any student.
  • Family and consumer sciences can help fulfill the graduation requirement in foreign language. Students pursuing a Regents diploma with advanced designation who complete a five-unit sequence in family and consumer sciences, a career and technical education discipline, are not required to complete the additional two units of foreign language required for that diploma (CR 100.5(b)(v)(c)) It is possible to combine courses in CTE disciplines to create a CTE cohesive concentration. If you wish to have a 5-unit sequence you would need 3 units in one discipline and 2 units in another. The 5 units must include Careers and Financial Management (CFM).
  • Family and consumer sciences can fulfill the graduation requirement for parenting education. New York State requires all students to meet the parenting education learning standards either through a separate course in parenting or through integration in a course in health or family and consumer sciences (CR 100.5(b)(7)(iv)(k)). Students completing the family and consumer sciences Parenting course fulfill this requirement.
Can eighth grade students take high school family and consumer sciences courses?

Yes. School districts have the option of acceleration in family and consumer sciences, a career and technical education discipline, when grade eight students in the district have the opportunity to take high school courses in mathematics. Accelerated family and consumer sciences students can earn high school credit when they attend classes in a high school with high school students and pass the course on the same basis as the high school students. Alternately, these students can earn high school credit when they pass a course in the middle, junior high or intermediate school that has been approved for high school credit by the public school district superintendent(s), or his or her designee(s), of the district(s) where the middle, junior high or intermediate school and the high school are located (CR 100.4(d)).

Can students with special needs participate in family and consumer sciences courses?

Yes, family and consumer sciences educators acknowledge the need to differentiate instructions to accommodate all students. This can be accomplished through a variety of alternative instructional and assessment strategies. Family and consumer sciences teachers can serve as valuable resource persons, team teachers or consultants for special education teachers by providing strategies for teaching life skills.