Apprenticeship, Training, and Career Clusters

MCPS Apprenticeship Maryland Program

Apprenticeship Maryland is a youth apprenticeship program for students, ages 16 and up, designed to lead to sustainable employment and further education based on a student’s selected career. It was developed in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Department of Labor. The program is designed to create compensated, high-quality youth apprenticeships that prepare students to enter employment in high-skilled, high-growth sectors.

Participating students start the program in the summer or fall of their junior or senior year and must complete at least 450 hours of work-based training under the supervision of an eligible employer and at least one year of related instruction. Students from all 25 comprehensive high schools may participate.

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College/Career Research and Development

College/Career Research and Development (CCRD) is a career pathway program that prepares students with academic, technical, and workplace skills necessary to seek further education and employment in a career field of their interest upon graduating from high school.  The program contains two in-school courses, a portfolio development project, and a site-based learning experience. The CCRD program includes:

  • Effective career planning and career decision-making
  • Goal setting and financial literacy
  • Specified minimum 270 hours of paid or unpaid experience
  • Official school enrollment during employment
  • Formal recognition of the site experience on student record

Outcomes for the student:

  • Identification of abilities, personality type, and personal strengths
  • Integration classroom theory with workplace practice through Skills for Success competencies
  • Technical and research skills
  • Understanding of workplace culture
  • Identification of components of financial planning

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Career Technical Education Clusters

Today’s information-based economy demands highly skilled individuals with the ability to work with people from different cultural and educational backgrounds. The Career and Technology Education programs of study and the Foundations programs strive to provide students with an education that combines rigorous academic and technical study with the excitement of discovery through small learning communities and career-themed programs. With the support of the business and higher-education communities, students apply their acquired skills and knowledge to make informed decisions concerning education, careers, and a path toward lifelong learning.

The purpose of the career cluster model is to direct high school students toward focused programs of study that make their experiences more meaningful by relating future goals to current course work. The MCPS career clusters are based on what students need to know and be able to do in order to graduate prepared for further education and careers.

These clusters provide real-world learning experiences, including internships, while maintaining high academic standards. Students come to realize that graduation is a stepping stone to their lives beyond high school. They also acquire the skills, tools, and self-confidence to realize their dreams and goals. Additionally, the 11 career clusters allow business leaders to be partners in education by involving them in the development of curriculum that includes industry skills and standards to meet certification requirements. Each career cluster has a Cluster Advisory Board that collaborates with MCPS, Montgomery College, and other colleges and universities to align the high school and college curriculum to promote a smooth transition from high school to postsecondary education.

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Thomas Edison High School of Technology

Every high school offers courses linked to a variety of careers. Thomas Edison High School of Technology is unique among MCPS high schools. Students are co-enrolled at their home school and Edison and participate in programs at Edison in the morning or afternoon. Edison offers a variety of career and technology programs for students to experience hands-on vocational and professional training. Students can earn professional certifications and licenses and many programs are articulated with colleges and universities for college credit.

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