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Career-Technical Education (CTE)


Here in Durham Public Schools students have the option to pursue CTE in different ways. DPS provides a comprehensive program for students in grades 6-12. CTE provides programs and support services in ten middle schools, five comprehensive high schools, one 6-12 magnet school and one alternative school. Additionally five new smaller schools will have strong career emphases also. These schools are the Hillside New Technology High School, Southern School of Engineering, Durham Performance Learning Center, City of Medicine Academy and Holton Career and Resource Center.

Mission Statement

The mission of Career-Technical Education, still known to some as Vocational Education, is to help empower students for effective participation in an international economy as world-class workers and citizens. CTE programs are designed to contribute to the broad educational achievement of students, including basic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as to their ability to work independently and as part of a team, think creatively and solve problems, and utilize technology.

Business Partnerships

Business PartnershipsCareer-Technical Education goes beyond classroom learning in ways that few other disciplines can.  Business and industry partnerships provide guest speakers and work-based learning opportunities, as well as equipment and supplies to CTE programs. One of the best ways for students to learn about careers is to actually spend time in internships, job shadowing, or career day visits.


Strong, active partnerships have been formed through Careers in Construction programs, Careers in Hospitality programs, Durham Sales and Marketing Managers, Business and Finance Executives, and the Area Health Education Center.  Many individual business and community leaders serve on local advisory boards and as mentors to DPS CTE students.  Strong partnerships exist with Duke/Durham Regional Hospitals, Nortel Networks, GlaxoSmithKline, the City of Durham, AW North Carolina, the Triangle Society of Human Resource Managers, CISCO, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and many others.  The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce is very involved in many aspects of the CTE program as well.


CTE welcomes business partnerships.  CTE plans to develop an advisory board to offer input into the program.   To get involved contact the CTE Office at 919- 560-3753.

Career Academies/Small High Schools

Durham Public Schools has been a leader in developing small high schools focused on particular themes.  Three of these schools opened in 2007-08.  The City of Medicine Academy moved into its own facility to begin the 2008-09 school year.  DPS also has two Academies which are similar in nature to the small high schools – Construction and Design Academy located at Southern High School and the Business Finance Academy located at Hillside High School.


Learn more about the small theme high schools/academies by clicking on the links below:


Additional Resources