Bellingham Public Schools

Career and Technical Education

Nearly 90 percent of the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. require some form of education beyond high school. Almost 80 percent of all jobs in the foreseeable future will require some type of certification, credential, postsecondary degree or long-term training, though only 40 percent of these jobs require a four-year college degree. That means that every student needs to plan and prepare for education after high school, how to pay for that education, and how to thrive in and graduate from high school itself.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) in the Bellingham School District supports and guides all students as they explore and prepare for college and careers in the 21st Century. CTE emphasizes real world, real life skills to connect students to academics and training that will help them be successful in their chosen career. CTE courses are currently available in the following fields:

  • Architecture
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Culinary arts
  • Electronics
  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • Robotics
  • Video production
  • Visual communications
  • Web design/animation

Leadership skill development for all students is also an integral part of CTE programs.  Students participate in leadership activities through Career and Technical student organizations such as FBLA or DECA, local programs, and their CTE classrooms. Work-based learning activities are also available to extend the classroom into the workplace, connecting acquired knowledge and skills to a student‘s future employment.

Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to enroll in specialized CTE programs through a partnership with the Northwest Career and Technical Academy.  In addition, many CTE courses provide an opportunity for students to earn both high school and college credit through the Tech Prep program. Students who successfully complete high school classes indentified as “Tech Prep” with a grade of B or better may apply for college credit at Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College or Skagit Valley College.  For additional information about Tech Prep classes, contact the Career Center, counseling office or the teacher of the “Tech Prep” course


Bellingham High School

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