Career and Technical Education (CTE)

What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

CTE is a combination of academic, employability, leadership, and technical skills that help students achieve success in education and life. CTE programs are designed to engage students and allow them to explore, compete, and succeed as lifelong learners, equipped for our changing economy and their own path to success. CTE works in collaboration with business and industry partners to help our students fill positions that are available today, while closing the skills gap and preparing a qualified workforce for the high-skilled, high-demand, high-wage careers of tomorrow. CTE programs are developing Washington’s most valuable resource – its youth.

Today, in our rapidly changing economy it is more important than ever for us to recognize that education and skills are needed for all students. We call these skills 21st Century Skills. Take a look at this video about “Success In The New Economy: How Prospective College Students Can Gain A Competitive Advantage” by Brian Marsh. It provides a compelling case for exploring careers early in order to make informed decisions about college/educational goals. As part of this challenge, Washougal School District is working diligently with students to assist them in developing their “High School and Beyond Plans”. This plan is developed with the assistance of their Career Specialist (Lisa Leonard) using an online program called “Career Cruising”. This program allows students to explore their personal strengths in order to determine careers or “pathways” they might be interested in pursuing. Students then develop a four-year plan of courses that align with their career interests and post-secondary goals. The plan is developed as early as middle school and reviewed annually by students in cooperation with counselors, career specialist, advisory teachers and parents. Career Cruising provides activities that encourage students to explore their learning styles, abilities and career and education interests, set goals relative to their future, and then compile school and community involvement throughout sixth through 12th grades in an electronic portfolio/culminating project.

All CTE Classes fall into Career Clusters of which there are 16. A career cluster is a group of jobs and industries that are related by skills or products. Within each cluster, there are “pathways” that correspond to a collection of courses and training opportunities that prepare students for a given career. Click on these 16 clusters to find out more.


Washougal School District’s CTE Department’s Vision, Mission, Goals and Beliefs are as follows:

Vision: All students’ career and college ready.

Mission: To facilitate the teaching of relevant skills and knowledge for learning, career and life.

Goal: To increase graduation rates and prepare students for employment by engaging them in learning related to career interests and workplace readiness/21st Century skills.


  • We believe all students when provided the opportunity, will flourish in an environment that engages them in learning.
  • We believe through collaborative work, we can positively impact our students learning and their preparation for the world of work.
  • We believe that keeping programs current by staying connected to what is happening in business/industry will have a positive impact on our students.
  • We believe there are many paths traveled to get to a desired career and our job is to assist students in understanding those various paths so they choose the best one to fit their needs.

Below are the courses offered through the CTE Department at each school in Washougal. Click on the hyperlink to see a sample Program of Study Pathways and/or course descriptions.

Business, Management & Administration:
  • Financial Fitness
Information Technology:
Arts, AV Tech & Communications:
Human Services:
  • Family Health
Hospitality & Tourism:
  • Intro to Culinary Arts
  • Baking & Pastry Arts
  • Advanced Culinary Arts
Education & Training:

Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM)

  • Applied Math*

Architecture & Construction:

  • Small Engines
  • Metal Crafts & Production
  • Metals Technology & Manufacturing*
  • Basic Construction
  • Fine Arts Woodworking
  • Building & Scene Design

Worksite Learning* is also available to students who have successfully completed and passed a CTE course. This course allows students the opportunity to be involved in an internship (could be paid or unpaid) within their career pathway giving them experience in the workplace while receiving high school as well as potentially college credit too. If interested, come to the Career Center for more information.

*These courses are articulated with Clark College. Students can earn college credit through Clark College for successful completion of these courses with a “B” or higher. Students must complete a Direct Credit Student Registration online form within three weeks of course completion. This form is available from Clark College and assistance will be given while in the class. If a student doesn’t complete the paperwork while enrolled in the course, they will forfeit their credit (via Clark College policy) and it will not be transcripted.

**These courses are articulated with Mt. Hood Community College. Students can earn college credit for successful completion of these courses with a “B” or higher. Students must complete a College Now Student Enrollment and Registration form prior to course completion. These forms are available from MHCC and assistance will be given while in the class.. A one-time fee of $35.00 maybe required. This is a MHCC fee and is subject to change. If a student doesn’t complete all paperwork while enrolled in the course, they will forfeit their credit (via MHCC policy) and it will not be transcripted.

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math:

Want to learn more about career trends, wage earnings and educational paths needed to reach specific careers?

Here are some links to help.

You can also contact or come to the Washougal High School Career Center for more information on scholarships, military, apprenticeships, tech schools, trade unions, field trips and more.

How can you get involved?

There are many ways to get involved with Washougal CTE Programs from being a guest speaker in our classrooms to becoming a member of our Advisory Committee(s).  Your professional experience can positively impact the future of our students. We welcome your involvement. Should you have any questions or want more information, please contact us for more information.

Margaret Rice (CTE Director) or (360) 954-3121

Lisa Leonard (Career Specialist) or (360) 954-3117

Sharon Watts (Assistant, WHS Career Center) or (360)954-3119

Washougal School District © 2017 All Rights Reserved. NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION | ACCESSIBILITY