Career-tech programs emphasize real-world skills and knowledge to prepare students for college and a career. These programs help students gain the technical know-how, rigorous academic foundation, and career experience that’s needed to succeed in today’s world. Students usually begin career-tech programs in the 11th grade, but some programs start as early as 9th grade.
Career-tech programs are organized by 16 career fields and multiple pathways and specializations. They offer a range of career options for students, helping them discover their interests within the educational pathways.
Students enrolled in a career-tech program are required to meet the same academic requirements of all high school students as well as complete additional coursework in their chosen field.
Ohio’s College Tech Prep (CTP) is the college prep program within career-tech education. All career-tech programs are in the process of transitioning to College Tech Prep so that all students are prepared for both college and career paths. To learn more about CTP and what consortia are in your area, visit Tech Prep Ohio at www.techprepohio.org.
School districts are required to provide transportation for students from their assigned high school to the career-tech program, but some of the routes take a long time. Districts can provide transportation by giving students public bus passes too.
Career-tech programs are free, but costs can arise from program fees and career uniform costs. Some career-tech programs offer financial aid and scholarships for these costs. College credit that is earned in high school through College Tech Prep programs is free.
The career-tech program used to be funded through a combination of federal, state and limited local funding until federal funding was eliminated in 2011. Now, the program is funded completely by the state of Ohio. Ohio is one of the few states in the U.S. that worked hard to maintain its level of career-tech programs despite the lack of federal funds.
Per-student funding for the career-tech program is based on a student’s career path and the expense associated with each type of program. The career-tech supplements range from $1,200 - $4,750.
While there is not a standardized GPA requirement to be eligible to apply, some career-tech programs require at least a 2.0 GPA or a prerequisite class.
Students generally begin to apply for a career-tech program during the second semester of their sophomore year of high school. The application process starts with a student's high school guidance counselor. Parents should contact the career-tech center in their area to learn about specific deadlines and eligibility requirements. All career-tech centers are available from the Ohio Department of Education by clicking here.
Students enrolled in a career-tech program are required to take the Ohio Graduation Test.