Career and Technical Education

The Career and Technical Education programs prepare students for high-skill, high-wage or high-demand occupations in today’s workforce.  These programs are organized into different areas of study and available to middle and high school students.

Need Help?

Programs of Study

Programs of study provide career education students and academy students with a suggested four-year course schedule that will lead to program completion. Programs of study also outline post-secondary education options at technical centers and colleges, future career options and possible industry certifications.

Agriscience and Natural Resources

Agriscience and Natural Resources Education includes various combinations of subject matter and learning experiences in agriculture biotechnology, agricultural communications, agriculture production, agricultural supplies/services, agricultural mechanics, agricultural products processing, horticulture, natural resources, forestry, and leadership and employability skills.

Business Technology

Business Technology Education is a group of planned, specialized instructional programs structured to prepare students to enter, to advance, and to refine prescribed competencies requisite for employment in a cluster of business occupations or in a specific occupation chosen as a career objective.


Diversified Education is a critical, challenging discipline of study based upon a partnership between the school, the business community, and the student. Its successful performance depends on the mastery and application of mathematics and language arts principles, the integration of social studies philosophies, the use of scientific problem-solving, and the application of computer technologies to problem-solving, decision-making, and creative-thinking.

Family and Consumer Sciences

The mission of Family and Consumer Sciences is to strengthen families and empower individuals to take action for the well-being of self and others in the home, workplace, community and the world.

Health Science Education

Health Science Education comprises the body of subject matter and planned learning experiences designed to prepare students with competencies required to assist qualified health professionals in providing diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative services in health care facilities, in the home, and in the community.

Industrial Education

Industrial Education is comprised of instructional courses, programs, services, and activities at all educational levels for selected career occupations.

Industrial Education is a component of Career Education which, prepares persons for initial employment and offers opportunities for upgrading or retaining of workers in a wide range of career areas.

Marketing Education

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” Marketing Education seeks to provide students with the competencies they need to enter, progress, and improve in the many and diverse marketing occupations available in today’s global economy.

Public Service Education

Public service education comprises the body of subject matter and planned learning experience designed to prepare persons for selected occupations necessary to accomplish the mission of municipal, county, state, and federal governments. When private enterprise fails to provide adequate services, publicly institutionalized solutions are found.

Technology Education

Rapid advances in technology are forcing changes in educational content and methodology and are pointing out the necessity for preparing students who need to be technologically literate and ready for the future. We are in the midst of a technology explosion that will continue into the 22nd century. It is altering our lifestyle and our work style. Citizens of Florida must understand technology as an integral part of our everyday lives.

Polk’s Career Academies are small, personalized learning communities within a high school. Students enter the academy through a voluntary process; they must apply and be accepted with parental knowledge and support.

A career academy involves teachers from different subjects working together as a team.

Staff teams, who often share common planning time, work together to implement the key features of the academy and provide students with career training. Students may be grouped together for several periods every day with a core group of teachers. This promotes a family-like atmosphere and results in close student-teacher ties.

A career academy includes the following essential elements:

  • A small learning community supported by a local advisory committee
  • A career theme that may include a college-prep curriculum and lead to industry certification
  • Partnerships with employers, the community, and higher education

By design, these three central elements of a career academy lead to a school that is rigorous and relevant.

Career Pathways

Dynamic Educational Involvment:

Partnerships Between:

  • Schools (secondary and postsecondary)
  • Employers
  • Families and community leaders

A Process of Teaching and Learning That:

  • Expects high levels of achievement from all students
  • Recognizes and addresses various learning styles
  • Integrates practical applications into academics

A Curriculum Structure That:

  • Is central, but not limited, to grades nine through 14
  • Keeps student choices and career/educational options open
  • Prepares students for critical thinking and lifelong learning

Benefits of Tech Prep:

For Teachers

  • Student recruitment and retention
  • Establishes standards and benchmarks for student success
  • Presents networking opportunities with peers and colleagues from postsecondary institutions

For Students

  • Ability to earn tuition-free college credit
  • Ability to get a jumpstart on a high-wage career
  • Gain lifelong employability skills
  • Chances to network with potential employers

Workforce Alliance

Workforce Alliance is the department of the Polk County Public Schools Workforce Division that bridges the gap between the business community and the classroom. Students are able to earn industry certifications and gain real-world experience in the classroom through experiential learning opportunities inspired by collaboration between business partners and industry-specific teachers. Partnerships optimize desired soft skills needed to become hire-ready candidates in today’s workforce and can potentially extend to post-secondary partnership endeavors with local colleges and universities.