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Career/Technical Education (CTE)

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What is career and technical education (CTE)?

Career and technical education gives you the chance to gain a deeper understanding of academic concepts. You can also learn technical skills. Classes are offered in nearly every Minnesota high school. The programs are aligned with related programs at Minnesota’s public community and technical colleges. This allows you to easily continue your studies in college to earn a degree, diploma, or certification. You can study fields ranging from agriculture and art, to health and human services, to engineering and business.

What are the benefits of CTE?

CTE classes help you connect what you’re learning to the real world. It can help you gain key skills to help you get a job after you graduate. It's also a great way to explore career options and meet the people who work in them. You might be able to earn college credit in high school. That can save you time and money later on.

Research also shows that students in career and technical education programs are more likely to graduate from high school than those who don’t.

Who can take CTE classes?

You can take CTE classes in grades nine through 12. You can also participate if you’re in an occupational program at a public community or technical college.

How do I take CTE classes?

Talk with your high school counselor or college enrollment advisor to learn about your options.

How do I earn college credit?

Many high schools have agreements with the local community or technical college. This allows you to earn college credit at that college or at another college in the state system that offers a similar program.

CTE classes at your high school may also be offered through concurrent enrollment or the Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) program. Information about which Articulated College Credit courses are available at your high school can be found on the CTECreditMN website.

How many Minnesota students take CTE classes?

In 2011, more than 100,000 students were involved in CTE at their high school for more than 100 hours each.

How much does it cost?

Classes are free if you are in high school. You may have to pay fees for equipment or tools needed for a class. If you’re already at a public community or technical college, you must pay tuition and fees.

Where can I find more information about CTE?

Visit the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities website or talk with your school counselor.

pseospanishCreated by the Center for School Change, this video provides a brief, helpful overview of career and technical PSEO in Spanish.

Minnesota colleges now offering Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses to eligible 10th graders through the Postsecondary Enrollment Options program (PSEO)
July 15, 2012

New legislation passed under Minnesota Statutes, section 124D.09, allows eligible 10th grade students to enroll in one Career and Technical Education (CTE) course.  In order to be eligible, a 10th grade student must have taken the 8th grade MCA reading test in the 8th grade and have met the composite proficiency level of “meets or exceeds”.  If the student meets this standard, they may be eligible to enroll in CTE courses, as identified by the Minnesota State College and University System (MNSCU) if they meet the specific course requirements and pre-requisites of the CTE courses(s) they wish to enroll in.  This option is open to Minnesota public school students. View the MNSCU policy and procedures for PSEO.

Interested students who are enrolled in a district or an American Indian-controlled tribal contract school should contact the eligible postsecondary institution to find out what Career and Technical Education courses they offer and what the application process is at their college. Find the college that offers the career and technical programs you are interested in using the MNSCU Academic Program Searchable Database.  

Please note: This opportunity for students is effective for the 2012-2013 academic year.  For the 2013-14 academic year and beyond, a student must inform the district by May 30 of each year of the student’s intent to enroll in any postsecondary courses during the following school year.

  • Copyright 2012
  • Minnesota Department of Education