Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

Career and Technical Education (CTE) is an essential component of high school curriculum and provides rigorous, high-quality programs that integrates core academic knowledge with technical and occupational skills to provide students with a pathway to post-secondary education, advanced training and careers. 

Who is eligible to take a CTE course?

Please check with your high school for eligibility and participation policies.  Career and Technical Education is beneficial for all students, providing them with a foundation of academic knowledge and essential technical skills. CTE courses and programs introduce students to career options and assist them in making informed educational choices. 


Yes, there are national studies that show:
  • Students who take two or more CTE courses are less likely to drop out of high school.
  • High school CTE programs prepare students for the many highly skilled, high wage, high demand careers.
  • Students concentrating in a CTE pathway are more likely to continue to post-secondary education or advanced training.

What is a Career Pathway?

A career pathway is a broad grouping of careers that share similar characteristics and whose employment requirements have many common interests, strengths, and competencies. Berrien County and the State of Michigan have six career pathways:
  • Arts and Communications
  • Business, Management, Marketing and Technology
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology
  • Health Sciences
  • Human Services
  • Natural Resources and Agriscience

How do I enroll in a CTE program?

Schedule a meeting with your high school guidance counselor or CTE Director to discuss your options for enrolling in CTE programs offered at your high school or in other school districts

If you attend a non-public, parochial, or are home schooled, contact your local public school and talk to the CTE Director or guidance counselor about enrolling in the CTE program of your choice.

Are there some programs that are just for male or female students (i.e. Certified Nursing Assistant for females and Welding for males)?

Regardless of your gender, all CTE programs are open to every student. We have many successful female students in our Auto Tech or Welding programs each year, as well as many outstanding male students in our Professional Health Careers Academy (PHCA) and Allied Health programs. 

What is the Professional Health Careers Academy and how do I get into it?

The Professional Health Careers Academy (PHCA) is a program that is made possible through a partnership between the Lakeland Regional Health System, Berrien County PA56 Consortium, Berrien Regional Education Service Agency and Lake Michigan College. PHCA is a rigorous program that combines high school and college classes with hands on experience in careers in the health field. PHCA students do seven rotations (hands on experiences or job shadowing) throughout the year beginning in October. Each rotation is for three weeks and is three days per week. The remaining week of each month is then spent back in the classroom.
The second semester includes a Monday through Friday LMC Anatomy and Physiology college class.

The PHCA program is a selective admission program that requires the submission of an application packet and a formal interview. There are limited seats available for the program, so students are encouraged to apply in a timely manner to be considered for admission. . Applications are normally available in your school's guidance office in mid-January to early February for the next school year, with interviews taking place sometime in March or early April. There are specific requirements to be accepted into this program, so talk to your school's guidance counselor or CTE Director to learn more. 

Can I earn college credits in my CTE class?

Many of our CTE classes offer opportunities to earn college credit through articulation, direct credit and dual enrollment. Please see the college credits section of the website for more information on earning college credits, or talk to your school's guidance counselor or CTE Director.

Will all of the college credits I earned while in high school transfer to the college of my choice?

Courses taken through dual enrollment and direct credit are true college courses and are designed to transfer to other colleges and universities. Students can visit the Michigan Transfer Network  to see how courses generally transfer from one institution to another. Because transfer requirements vary by institution, students should also contact the institution where they intend to transfer to verify how the courses will transfer to that institution.

Who do I contact if I have questions about CTE programs?

If you have questions about any of the CTE programs available in the county, you can speak with your school's guidance counselor or CTE Director. If you are not sure who the CTE Director is for your school, visit the Berrien County CTE webpage and click on the Staff link for a list of CTE Directors in Berrien County.