Career & Technical Education

Academic Skills + Personal Skills = Lifelong Success

Garden Grove Unified School District offers rigorous and relevant career and technical education programs and pathways to 7-12 grade students at the intermediate and high schools and to adults in our community at Lincoln Education Center.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) in Garden Grove Unified School District is aligned with California’s CTE Model Curriculum Standards adopted by the State Board of Education, as well as Standards for Career Ready Practice and Common Core State Standards. Instruction follows pathways focused on preparation for post-secondary success and connects core academic content with real-world applications.

CTE course offerings include those taught by full-time single-subject-credentialed teachers holding subject- matter authorization in business, health science, home economics, or industrial and technology education, as well as courses taught by instructors holding Designated Subjects Teaching Credentials in a variety of industry sectors. Students may earn college credits in over 20 high school CTE classes with articulation agreements and via 19 dual credit course offerings. Most CTE courses also meet University of California A-G subject requirements.

CTE pathways offered at GGUSD include the following sectors: Arts, Media, and Entertainment; Business and Finance; Education, Child Development and Family Services; Engineering; Fashion Design; Health Science and Medical Technology; Hospitality; Information and Communication Technology; Public Services; and Transportation.

Support for the core academic courses, especially English language arts, math and science, is embedded and reinforced in all CTE curriculum. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) courses are offered at all intermediate schools with an emphasis on careers in computer science, patient care, engineering, robotics and industrial design. Rigorous and relevant pathways have been developed to align with high-skill, high- demand college majors and careers. Engineering, computer science, and medical pathways have adopted the highly regarded, research-based curricula and professional development programs offered by the nonprofit Project Lead the Way. The culinary program in the Hospitality pathway includes coursework in hospitality management and the California Restaurant Association Education Foundation program ProStart Culinary Arts. ProStart is a rigorous two-year sequence of coursework leading to industry-recognized certifications and college articulation.

CTE courses are offered throughout the school year, before and during the regular school day, after school, and during summer session. These courses are for all students: those in Avid and AP classes, two and four year college bound students, and students in both general and special education. Teachers have received training, professional development, and resources in differentiating instruction and assessments for diverse student populations, including English language learners and those with special needs. CTE teachers are included on student Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meetings. The active, hands-on, collaborative nature of CTE coursework and the connection to college and career exploration benefits all students and promotes 21st century skill development, equipping diverse students for success after high school. 

The CTE department reviews student GPA, attendance, completion, and graduation data to measure program quality and outcomes, comparing outcomes of students who completed CTE courses vs. the general student population. Two-thirds of GGUSD seniors who completed two or more CTE courses progress to post-secondary education. In addition, the department reviews certification attainment and student performance on common sector assessments developed and used by all CTE consortium member districts. Comprehensive end-of-program assessments taken by GGUSD students in CTE capstone courses are compared with outcomes on the same assessments by students within our district and in Orange Unified School District and Santa Ana Unified School District.

Students are surveyed annually regarding their CTE courses. At the end of the last school year, 96% of students surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that “because of my CTE class, I have gained many new skills that are important and valuable to me.” Ninety percent agreed or strongly agreed that “I have a clearer idea about what kind of work I might enjoy and be good at in the future.”

CTE Students Excel at Regional SkillsUSA Contests, Advance to State Competition - article thumnail image

GGUSD Students Excel at SkillsUSA Regional Competitions; Head to State Level in April

More than 60 student members of SkillsUSA from Bolsa Grande, Garden Grove, Rancho Alamitos, and Santiago High Schools; and Doig, Jordan, and Ralston Intermediate Schools spent Saturday, February 1st in Riverside competing at the Region 6 contests dre…

CTE Director's Message

CTE Director's Message

Garden Grove Unified School District provides a variety of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to secondary students and adults. CTE Courses are offered at all seven comprehensive high schools, our continuation high school, all ten intermediate schools, and to adults through Garden Grove Adult Education at Lincoln Education Center.

CTE course work engages students in dynamic, experiential learning that allows them to develop and master the technical, academic, employability, decision-making, and interpersonal skills needed for post-secondary success and satisfaction. It helps adults develop new skills in response to changing workforce demands and invest in their own lifelong learning.

Our programs apply rigorous academic content standards to relevant, real-world situations. Instructors have professional experience in the industry sectors and subjects they teach and students use 21st century, industry-standard tools and technology in the classrooms. Courses and pathways are developed in response to student interests and goals and in collaboration with business advisory committee members, local agencies, college and university partners, and the Orange County Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education partnership (CTEp).

Our CTE department promotes the district’s strategic plan of equipping all students for lifelong success. We currently offer over 70 courses in a variety of industry sectors to high school students and adults. Most secondary school courses are offered during the regularly scheduled day while many are offered before or after school and during summer session. Classes enable high school students to explore a career field of interest, prepare for college and other post-secondary endeavors, develop transferable skills, and meet graduation requirements. Many high school classes offer early college credit and most contribute to UC a-g requirements.

In response to changing policies, standards, and economic demands, Career and Technical Education in Garden Grove Unified is committed to developing increasingly rigorous and relevant programs, resources, and services to benefit students and the community. My goal is to foster innovation and continuous improvement of CTE instructional programs so that today's students are equipped to become tomorrow's leaders in a rapidly changing global economy.

Please explore this website for more resources and information about our classes, pathways, and programs. Allow us to assist you in developing the technical skills, leadership ability, and career preparation you will need to create a vision and action plan for a successful future.

Myra Clarke

Director, Career and Technical Education

About CTE

Career and Technical Education (CTE) prepares students for a wide range of careers and for post-secondary education. Careers require varying levels of education which could include: obtaining industry-recognized certification, community college CTE certificates and associate’s degrees, apprenticeships, baccalaureate degrees, and graduate school.

CTE is at the forefront of preparing students to be “college- AND career-ready.” CTE equips students with:

  • core academic skills and the ability to apply and transfer those skills to real-world settings
  • employability skills (such as critical thinking, communication, and creativity) that are essential in any professional domain
  • job-specific, technical skills related to a specific career pathway