Career and Technical Education

Career and Technical Education (CTE) affords opportunities to ALL students interested in acquiring the academic, technical, and employability skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education and/or high-demand careers.

CTE ​Vision

A sustainable future in which Hawai`i graduates can live and thrive in-state by being prepared to succeed in high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations.

CTE ​Mission

To serve our schools and the greater community by designing quality CTE programs that meet the needs of Hawai'i’s labor workforce—inclusive of new pathways and programs of study, industry standards, work-based learning, industry recognized certifications, dual credit opportunities, and professional development—as well as to ensure equity of access, and increase participation rates and successful outcomes.

New CTE Career Pathways

The impetus for expanding the CTE Career Pathways  was directly related to:

✔ The passage of Perkins V, which provided clearer language on CTE course rigor and alignment of secondary and postsecondary education with the workforce. 

✔ Findings from a Hawaii Department of Education CTE course inventory that found only 44 of 77 courses utilized industry standards.

✔ Uncertainty over whether secondary CTE offerings were vertically aligned with postsecondary education and fully aligned with Hawai’i economic and workforce priorities.  

An alignment study utilized state economic and workforce data to determine high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations for Hawai’i along with the stateʻs economic priorities and initiatives. The results were used to inform the selection of CTE programs to meet the needs of the alignment study. This led to the expansion from 6 secondary CTE Career Pathways to 13 and the redesign of  the CTE programs of study.

The redesigned secondary Career Pathways include:

✔ Revision of courses, program of study industry course standards, and recommended benchmark student learning activities to support deeper learning and the acquisition of academic, technical, and employability skills.

✔ A robust approach to work-based learning (WBL) consisting of embedded WBL benchmark activities that are aligned to standards and a capstone WBL course for each program of study.

  • Cultural Arts, Media, and Entertainment (SY23-24)
  • Business Management, Finance, and Marketing (SY22-23)
  • Health Services (SY21-22)
  • Information Technology and Digital Transformation (SY21-22)
  • Building and Construction (SY20-21)
  • Advanced Manufacturing (SY21-22)
  • Energy (SY21-22)
  • Architectural Design and Engineering (SY20-21)
  • Transportation Services (SY20-21)
  • Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (SY21-22)
  • Education (Summer 2020)
  • Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation (SY23-24)
  • Law and Public Safety (Summer 2020)

Refer to this timeline for more information on the rollout.

Pathway Goals

As written in the Hawaii Perkins V State Plan, CTE’s goals are to: 

  1. Ensure students have equitable access to high-quality CTE programs—those programs that meet size, scope, and quality criteria in their design and delivery; 

  2. Increase participation and improve the equity of participation in high-quality CTE programs; and 

  3. Improve educational and workforce outcomes of CTE program participants and improve the equity of those outcomes.

When Should Career Pathways Be Used?

Career Pathways provide an ideal organizing tool at all educational levels—kindergarten through college—to guide career exploration and planning activities, focus teaching and learning, and connect education with relevant, real-world activities.

How Can Career Pathways Be Used?

The Career Pathways are a tool for career awareness, exploration, preparation, and training for all students K-12. Introducing students to broad career pathways, and the numerous career clusters and occupations within, expands their list of career possibilities. Older students may also find the interest inventory test (RIASEC) helpful in exploring Career Pathway options.

At the secondary and postsecondary levels, Career Pathways provide industry standards that meet business and industry requirements. Implementing these program of study industry standards will ensure student attainment of a high level of technical knowledge and skills and a seamless transition from secondary to postsecondary education or careers.

Programs of Study

Pathways and Program of Study by District and School

Students may attain mastery of all specific Career Pathway course standards by completing a Program of Study, which spans four years at the high school level.  Programs of Study are designed to:  

  • integrate academic standards, career and workplace skills, and specific business and industry validated standards; 

  • incorporate work-based learning, industry recognized credentials, and early postsecondary opportunities where feasible and appropriate; and 

  • prepare students for further education and/or employment.

Hawaii State Department of Education 13 Career Pathways and Programs of Study:

Cultural Arts, Media, and Entertainment
  • Digital Design
  • Fashion and Artisan Design
  • Film and Media Production
Business Management, Finance, and Marketing
  • Business Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Financial Management
  • Marketing Management
  • Supply Chain and Logistics Technology
Health Services
  • Public Health Services
  • Diagnostic Services
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • Human Performance Therapeutic Services
  • Nursing Services

Information Technology and Digital Transformation
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Programming
  • Networking
  • Cybersecurity (Cyber)
  • Web Design and Development (WDD)
Building and Construction
  • Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Systems
  • Residential and Commercial Construction
Advanced Manufacturing
  • Automation and Robotics Technology 
  • Electro-Mechanical Technology
  • Welding
  • Alternative Fuels Technology
  • Power Grid Technology
  • Renewable Energies Technology
Architectural Design and Engineering
  • Architectural Design (AD)
  • Engineering Technology
Transportation Services
  • Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR)
  • Automotive Collision Repair
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Marine Maintenance Technology

Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources
  • Animal Systems, Food Systems
  • Natural Resources Business
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Learning Support Professionals (LSP)
  • Teaching As a Profession (TAP)
Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
  • Culinary Arts
  • Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism Management
Law and Public Safety
  • Law Enforcement Services
  • Fire and Emergency Services (FES)
  • Pre-Law

Performance-Based Assessments

The CTE Performance-Based Assessments (PBAs) evaluates a students' abilities to apply the academic and technical skills and knowledge they have learned in their CTE Programs of Study. The PBA includes three components:

  1. Technical writing
  2. Oral presentation
  3. Performance assessment

The PBA is conducted by a school or by a school district.

Pathway Advisory Councils

Pathway Advisory Council (PAC) members advise the Hawaii Department of Education on the skills, knowledge, tools, technology and tasks needed in today’s careers. The PAC objectives are to:

  • provide industry-specific expertise to inform student technical skills learning in secondary CTE programs of study and the associated industry standards
  • create linkages between industry, secondary and postsecondary education
  • enhance the industry and technical skills experiences of secondary CTE educators
  • provide collaborative opportunities for input and consultation
  • take on other actions as needed related to the pathway

Career and Technical Student Organizations

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) are an integral component of CTE classroom curriculum and instruction, and develop employability and career skills by engaging students in applied learning experiences. CTSOs enhance learning by providing opportunities for contextual instruction, leadership and personal development, and real world application. Through activities, programs, and competitive events, CTSOs help guide students in selecting a career path or program of study, and provide opportunities to gain the skills and abilities needed to be successful in those careers. In addition, students have opportunities to hold leadership positions at the local, state, and national levels and attend leadership development conferences to network with other students as well as business and industry partners.


The Hawaii State Department of Education currently has five CTSOs:

  1. DECA
  2. Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)
  3. FFA (formerly known as Future Farmers of America)
  4. HOSA - Future Health Professionals
  5. SkillsUSA

Annual Notice

Prior to the beginning of each school year, each high school offering a CTE program must advise students, parents, employees, and the general public that all vocational opportunities will be offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, or handicap. This notice is translated into 14 different languages. View the notice here.

Other CTE-Related Resources

The following are relevant topics related to CTE implementation: 

Hawai‘i Academies

Hawai‘i Academies provide systematic support to meet HIDOE's vision and mission by expanding Smaller Learning Communities (SLCs) in Hawai‘i to prepare all students for college and careers. Learn more about member schools and the career academy themes they are designed around by clicking on the header.

Hawaii Career Explorer

Online tool from the University of Hawai‘i Community College System that provides information on the credits, certificates and degrees that are available related to various careers.


The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) is a four-year CTE elective program of instruction cost-shared by the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. Two consecutive JROTC courses fulfill the CTE two-credit requirement for a high school diploma. 

The curriculum is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, personal responsibility, and teamwork, while instilling self esteem, self-discipline, and a sense of accomplishment. JROTC cadets earn advanced rank when enlisting into any branch of the military and advanced opportunities for federal/military academy appointments and ROTC college scholarships.​ JROTC is not a military recruiting program; cadets will not incur any military obligation upon completion of the program.

JROTC is a service to our nation, in that it provides cadets the motivation and skills to improve physical fitness; remain drug free; think critically and creatively; communicate effectively; work as a team member; graduate from high school; pursue meaningful careers especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); and become successful citizens. 

For more information on JROTC, contact Roger Rabiego at

Contact Information

Troy Sueoka

Phone: (808) 784-6456



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