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Home » Student Success » Career & Technical Education » Program of Study, Career Clusters, and Career Pathways

Program of Study, Career Clusters, and Career Pathways

Program of Study

Under Perkins V, local education agencies and postsecondary institutions should offer more than one program of study that: A) incorporates challenging State academic standards; B) addresses both academic and technical knowledge and skills, including employability skills; C) is aligned with the needs of industries in the economy of the State, region, Tribal community, or local area; D) progresses in specificity (beginning with all aspects of an industry or career cluster and leading to more occupation-specific instruction); E) has multiple entry and exit points that incorporate credentialing; and F) culminates in the attainment of a recognized postsecondary credential.

The resources below are to support Program of Study and are not required for any OSPI submission.

Designing High Quality CTE Programs

Agriculture Sciences

Business & Marketing

Family & Consumer Sciences

Health Sciences

Skilled & Technical Sciences


Career Clusters

CTE classes fall into one of 16 "career clusters." A career cluster is a group of jobs and industries that are related by skills or products. Within each cluster, there are career pathways that correspond to a collection of courses and training opportunities to prepare students for a chosen career. The 16 clusters were established at the national level by the States' Career Clusters Initiative and are recognizable across the United States in middle schools, high schools, community and technical colleges, and the workforce. Each cluster has a page on this Web site and each contains information on careers, affiliated student leadership organizations, education and training options for high school graduates after high school, and other related student resources.

Explore Future Career Pathways

Find Your Pathway

Sixteen National Career Clusters

Career and technical education