CTE & Career Development

This program equips students with high-demand skills and leads to opportunities for continued education and careers.

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We’re strengthening the pipeline to success through Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Career Development

Denver Public Schools has set out on an ambitious path to dramatically improve how we’re preparing students for college and career. By implementing a pipeline of Career and Technical Education pathways, known as CTE and Career Development, DPS is preparing our future leaders for the very jobs that are in highest demand in Denver – ensuring that we are strengthening our city and our students’ futures.

In April 2014, DPS was chosen as one of 24 organizations nationwide to receive a four-year grant to enhance career-focused pathways in STEM. In partnership with the City of Denver, the Office of Economic Development, two and four year colleges and universities, and corporate and industry partners, DPS launched CTE and Career Development in eight high schools.

Career and Technical Education (CTE), previously known as CareerConnect School-based Learning, is a Career and College Success program that offers students hundreds of career-related courses at many levels – from introductory all the way to classes that offer opportunities to earn college credit or industry credentials. Through courses that are fun, real-world and project-based, students learn professional skills and are empowered to generate solutions.

Career Development, previously known as CareerConnect Work-based Learning, is a Career and College Success program designed to give students early exposure to many career options as they learn more about their own passions and interests. Students are partnered with companies, higher education institutions and non-profits in Colorado’s most in-demand industries to gain work-based learning experiences such as site visit days, internships, mentoring, apprenticeships and more. In addition to continued implementation of work-based learning programming, the Career Development team supports students through Meaningful Career Conversations so that students can learn of their CCS options and navigate their decisions.

The Need

Our schools must do more to engage, prepare, and inspire college- and career-ready students, and our STEM programs must be better aligned to employer and post-secondary needs.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, many high school graduates lack exposure to learning that would link their work in school to college and careers – especially in the critically important fi­elds of STEM.
  • Colorado’s students need to be adequately prepared for STEM occupations and we need a higher percentage of graduates to be on track to attain postsecondary credentials.
  • Many of America’s international competitors offer students a more rigorous and relevant education in their middle and high school years. 

What your support means.

Research shows that students engaged in a CareerConnect program have up to a 30 percent greater likelihood of graduating high school than their counterparts.


What makes CTE and Career Development so successful?

A clear sight line to the future

CareerConnect students’ studies are tied at every step to the opportunities that will be available to them after graduation – whether it’s higher education and graduate work, or immediate employment and a successful career.


Real world applications

Pathways courses all involve work-based learning such as job shadowing, internships and site visits. These experiences continually expose students to applications for their learning and skills in industry and higher education.


Focused and engaged students

Students enrolled in CTE and Career Development are far more likely to complete their studies and graduate from high school; and far more likely to become the future leaders we need to help Denver thrive.

We are proud to help Denver in leading the nation in this work, and creating a pipeline of talent specifically and strategically built to serve our city and our nation – now and in the future.

There are many ways to participate in CTE and Career Development in DPS. Corporate partnership options include fi­nancial support, in-kind support, and participation in job shadowing, mentorship, corporate volunteerism, career fairs and summer industry academies. Individual donations are also needed to purchase scientific equipment, supplies and computer equipment.

For more information about CTE and Career Development, how to get involved, or corporate volunteerism contact us at: info@dpsfoundation.org

View a full list of the 30+ partners who are helping make this work a reality.

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Our Impact by the Numbers

Twice the Number of African American and Latino Graduates in the Past Decade

More Graduates in 2018 than 2017

Graduates Over 10 Years

1860 Lincoln Street, 10th Floor
Denver, Colorado 80203-7301
p: (720) 423-3553
f: (720) 423-3968
e: info@dpsfoundation.org