Magnet programs & CTE pathways
  • CTE Pathways (información en español

    What are CTE Career Clusters?

    The mission of Career and Technical Education (CTE) is to empower students to be successful citizens, workers, and leaders in a global economy. CTE programs are designed to contribute to the broad educational achievement of students, including basic skills, as well as their ability to work independently and as part of a team, think creatively and solve problems, and utilize technology in the thinking and problem-solving process.

    CTE fulfills a significant role in schools. Students who concentrate in a CTE area, earning at least two related technical credits in a career pathway are better prepared for further education and advanced training required to be successful in future careers. CTE Educators partner with business and industry and with community colleges and other postsecondary institutions to ensure CTE serves the needs of individual students.

    Career Clusters are broad groupings of occupations/career specialties, organized by common knowledge and skills required for career success. There are 16 Career Clusters™ and 79 related pathways (subgroupings of occupations/career specialties) in North Carolina. Durham Public Schools offers 13 Career Clusters. Each course is placed in a Career Cluster based on a set of knowledge and skills common to all careers in the entire Career Cluster. Industry-validated knowledge and skills statements of student expectations identify what the student should know and be able to do. They prepare students for success in a broad range of occupations/career specialties.

    Durham Public School’s 13 Career Clusters

    • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

    • Architecture and Construction

    • Arts, A/V Technology and Communications

    • Business Management and Administration

    • Finance

    • Health Science

    • Hospitality and Tourism

    • Human Services

    • Information Technology

    • Law, Public Safety, Corrections and Security

    • Marketing

    • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

    • Transportation, Distribution and Logistics

    What are Career Pathways?

    Career Pathways are sub-groupings of occupations within a Career Cluster used as an organizing tool for curriculum design and instruction. Occupations are grouped into Pathways based on the set of common knowledge and skills required for career success. Each of the Career Clusters listed above have Career Pathway options.

    How can my child access a CTE Pathway?

    Students must enter the DPS Magnet & CTE Pathway lottery for potential placement in a program. Students residing in the school attendance zone have priority seating in the program. The DPS Magnet and CTE lottery is open in January of each year for the following school year.

    Students who do not reside in the attendance zone for these schools may enter the lottery for potential placement in these specific programs:  

    Northern High School: Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources

    Northern High School: Fire Academy and Public Safety

    Northern High School: Hospitality and Tourism

    Nothern High School Automotive 

    Jordan High School: Agriscience

    Hillside High School: Business and Finance Academy

    Southern School of Energy and Sustainability: Skilled Trades

    Southern School of Energy and Sustainability: Automotive 

    Riverside High School: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

    JROTC Programs

    While JROTC programs are not CTE Pathways, students can also enter the DPS Magnet & CTE Pathway lottery to participate in a JROTC program not offered at their base, districted school. Please contact the JROTC teacher at the school for more information.

    Riverside High School: Air Force JROTC

    Northern High School: Air Force JROTC

    Hillside High School: Army JROTC

    Please note this important information:

    • Continued placement in a CTE Pathway or JROTC program is dependent on meeting expectations for attendance, grades, behavior, and progress in the program.

    • Transportation to the CTE Pathway/JROTC school is provided to and from the districted base school. Transportation to the base school is the responsibility of the family.

    How do I know if a CTE Pathway is right for my child?

    For specific information about our Pathways, courses, and standards, please refer to our Course Management System website:  The N.C. Career Clusters site provides information on the knowledge and skills required for career success in these 13 as well as other industry clusters.

    Be sure to review the CTE Course and Program Offerings to know which schools offer the pathway that best aligns with your career interests. Find course descriptions in the DPS High School Course Guide.

    Speak with your school’s Career Development Coordinator, Special Populations Coordinator, School-based CIMC, or Counselor to learn more about CTE programs offered at specific schools. Middle school students interested in a CTE Pathway may visit the high schools during Showcase of Schools tours held during November, December, and January each year. Families should make note of transportation and athletic participation policies if considering attending a school outside of their attendance zone for a CTE Pathway.

    Who can I contact with questions?

    You can contact counseling staff at your child's current school (Counselor, Career Development Coordinator, Special Populations Coordinator or CIMC) or the counseling staff at the school with the program in question. 

    General questions can be directed to Darian Harris, Curriculum and Instructional Management Coordinator, DPS CTE ( 919-560-2000 x22772