Menu Trigger


A look at Career Technical Education at LBUSD

February was Career and Technical Education (CTE) month 


Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) hosts five pathways on the Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) campus during the bell schedule and three after school. Beyond that, there are 15 additional pathways available to LBUSD students taught after school at high schools in the Capistrano Unified School District. The programs at these campuses typically meet once or twice a week and begin after 4 p.m. The CTE program is led by Kellee Shearer, the LBUSD Coordinator of Career Education, and supported by Lynn Gregory in the College and Career Center. 

"CTE courses are unique because they provide high-rigor, high-quality college-prep curriculum while incorporating career readiness skills, training and experiences." said Shearer, "CTE courses provide opportunities for students to earn industry certifications, which enhance the job search process and career development." 

According to Shearer, multiple examples of exciting work within the pathways exist. Including, but not limited to:

  • The student-run enterprises within the Graphic Design Pathway allow students to work with clients. 
    • "They create quotes, complete cost estimating, create invoices, manage accounts receivable and payable, develop mockups and proofs and then tailor to the client's requests," said Shearer
  • An internship provided by a course in the Patient Care Pathway.
    • "Students are placed in a doctor's office, urgent care center, hospital, or emergency room to practice the healthcare skills they have learned in the pathway," said Shearer. 
  • The "ride-a-longs" with ambulance companies or firefighters are offered through the Emergency Response Pathway.
    • "The students respond to real 911 calls with other EMTs in the ambulance and can assist victims at accident scenes," said Shearer.
Students in EMT Career Pathway

Kate Motherway and Riley McDennon in Emergency Medical Technician Honors

Kate Motherway has participated in the CTE program for two years, taking Medical Core and Emergency Medical Technician Honors. 

"CTE has confirmed my desire to work in healthcare and has given me an upper hand in the industry," said Motherway.

Estella Newton began the Systems Programming Pathway this year by enrolling in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles. 

“I plan on having a major in computer science. I feel that participating in a CTE has given me some advantage over my peers because it shows my commitment to this field and teaches me skills I need to know to pursue a major/career in this field,” said Newton.

Both students have found that their CTE courses vary from their traditional classes.

“My CTE classes have taught me how to save lives. None of my other classes have given me such essential skills,” said Motherway.

“It allows me to be more creative than other classes,” said Newton.

An important aspect of CTE is that all teachers must have a combination of direct industry and education experience of 3,000 hours to earn a CTE credential. 

To enroll in a CTE course on campus that meets during the bell schedule, a student will add the first course in a CTE pathway to their online course selection during the spring online course selection. 

To enroll for a course that meets outside of the bell schedule, whether it be on the LBHS campus or on a Capistrano USD campus, the student must complete the same first step of adding the course to their online course selection, and they need to talk to Mrs. Gregory in the College and Career Center. Lastly, the student needs to complete a Google form and a permission form.