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Career and Technical Education (CTE) at DCPS

The goal of DCPS’ Career and Technical Education Office is to ensure that our schools are offering high-quality CTE programs of study and Career Academies that align with the District’s high-wage, high-demand careers. Students enrolled in CTE programs complete a three or four-year course sequence (in addition to their core high school classes) that includes preparation for industry-recognized certification exams and participation in work-based learning experiences, including internships, job shadowing, and industry field trips. Students interested in enrolling in a CTE program are encouraged to speak with their school’s counselor and CTE teachers.

DCPS NAF Academies are rigorous, industry-aligned, career and college readiness programs that ensure students are prepared for in-demand, high-wage careers and postsecondary pathways. Academies are structured learning communities within high schools that provide career-themed project-based learning curricula, along with intentionally designed work-based learning experiences, to bring alive and connect career experiences to classroom experiences. Students in DCPS NAF Academies have higher grades, attendance rates, and graduate at higher rates than their peers.

Career Education Programs at DCPS from DCPS College Career.


Program Location Chart

Academy Theme


Director Contact Information

Academy of Automotive Service & Repair

The Academy of Automotive Service & Repair (Auto Tech) at Ballou HS gives students knowledge of the major automotive systems and the principles of diagnosing and servicing these systems. With a hands-on curriculum, rigorous classroom learning, and the opportunity to earn the ASE industry certification, the program prepares students for a varied automotive industry that requires skills in math, science, communications, and technical abilities. After three years of coursework, students will be prepared for growing careers in the automotive repair industry, which is expected to have a 30 percent growth rate through 2020.


Academy Director, Ballou HS - Calvin Ruffin

Academy of Health Sciences

The Academy of Health Sciences, located at both Coolidge HS and Eastern HS, develops a pipeline of students prepared to pursue health-related degrees and professions in one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy. The Project Lead the Way Biomedical Science curriculum provides students with activities like practicing suturing and constructing body structures from clay. The program empowers students to build knowledge and skills in biomedical science, as well as in-demand, transportable skills like problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, and collaboration. Work-based learning includes internships with Georgetown MedStar Hospital, Children’s National Medical Center, and the Emergency Preparedness Program.


Academy Coordinator, Coolidge HS - Oscar Platero

Academy Director, Eastern HS - Regina McClure

Academy of Biotechnology

The Academy of Biotechnology, at McKinley Technology HS is a four-course program which prepares students in the emerging and in-demand career fields of biotechnology such as agricultural, medical, regulatory, and forensics. In the classroom, students use sophisticated laboratory equipment, perform statistical analysis, and practice quality-control techniques. Outside of the classroom, students go on exciting site visits such as the DC Department of Forensic Science and attend a live thoracic surgery at GW Hospital.


Academy Director, McKinley Tech HS - Kathryn Breisch

Academy of IT/Networking

The Academy of Information Technology (IT) prepares students for career opportunities in programming, database administration, web design and administration, digital networks, and other areas in the expanding digital workplace. IT Academies are located at four DCPS high schools: Cardozo EC, Columbia Heights EC, McKinley Technology HS, and Woodson HS. Through classroom topics such as 3-D modeling, animation, mobile device applications, and coding, students will be prepared to develop solutions in a multitude of platforms and programming languages. Employment in areas of IT is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, giving students ample competitive tech opportunities upon graduation.


TransSTEM Academy Director, Cardozo EC - Cheryl Rodgers

STEM Academy Director, Columbia Heights EC - Krishunda Penn

Academy Director, McKinley Tech HS - Robert Holm

Academy Director, H.D. Woodson HS - Korey Morris

Academy of Engineering

The Academy of Engineering answers an acute need for engineers in the US by educating high school students in the principles of engineering and providing exciting learning in the fields of electronics, biotechnology, aerospace, civil engineering, and architecture. The Academy of Engineering, offered at six DCPS high schools: Cardozo EC, Columbia Heights EC, Dunbar HS, McKinley Technology HS, Phelps ACE HS, and Woodson HS, uses Project Lead the Way curricula to provide opportunities to apply science, technology, engineering, and math through project-based, hands-on courses. Students in these programs have completed internships with Pepco, the Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Transportation.


TransSTEM Academy Director, Cardozo EC - Cheryl Rodgers

STEM Academy Director, Columbia Heights EC - Krishunda Penn

Academy Director, Dunbar HS - Kourtney Purham

Academy Director, Phelps ACE HS - Olatundun Teyibo

Academy Director, H.D. Woodson HS - Renee John

Academy Director, McKinley Tech HS - Kenneth Lesley

Academy of Hospitality and Tourism

The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism are two of the world’s largest industries and one of the fastest growing in the District of Columbia. Students in the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism, offered at Ballou HS, Columbia Heights EC, and Wilson HS, complete a sequence of courses designed in partnership with the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Throughout the program, students learn about the hospitality industry and participate in work-based and experiential learning opportunities, including field trips to restaurants, postsecondary institutions, and wholesale food companies.  


Academy Director, Ballou HS - Andrew Barnes

Academy Director, Columbia Heights EC – Courtney Spinks

Academy Director, Ballou HS - Alex Wilson

Academy of Mass Media

Careers in audio and video technology and film production span all aspects of the audio/video communications industry, and is a fast-growing, high-skill area of need. The Mass Media Academies at Ballou HS and Coolidge HS develop students with technical knowledge and skills needed for success in arts, audio/video technology, and communications careers. Students in these programs develop an understanding of the industry with a focus on pre-production, production, and post-production audio and video products. Students leave the program with the industry certification Adobe Photoshop Premier Pro.


Academy Director, Ballou HS - Calvin Ruffin

Academy Director, Coolidge HS - Zakiya Edens


Academy of Public Safety

The Anacostia HS Public Safety Academy program consists of coursework designed to familiarize students with legal concepts and review essential cases in constitutional law. The Public Safety curriculum is designed to promote learning, trigger critical thinking, and expose students to complex theories and practices in today’s law enforcement industry. The classroom experience is complemented by work-based learning opportunities, including a robust partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Upon completion of the program and graduating from high school, students can enroll directly into the MPD Cadet Program and attend the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC). Upon completion of the MPD Cadet Program, students are eligible to become sworn MPD Officers with a starting salary of $55,000. 


Academy Director, Anacostia HS - Nakia Adamson

Academy of Finance

The Woodson HS Academy of Finance consists of coursework designed to familiarize students with the knowledge and skills in economies and private enterprise systems, the impact of global business, the marketing of goods and services, advertising, and product pricing. Students analyze the sales process and financial management principles. The Finance curriculum is designed to promote learning, reinforce, apply, and transfer academic knowledge and skills to a variety of exciting and relevant activities, problems, and settings in business, marketing, and finance.


Opening in SY 20-21

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