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CTSO - CTE Month
Posted in on February 1, 2024

CTE is a big deal in Arlington ISD

February is Career and Technical Education Month, so we’re highlighting the Arlington ISD’s CTE program. But in the Arlington ISD, CTE is a huge priority all year long.

“CTE programming is the catalyst in which students gain knowledge and skills that set them up to successfully transition to college, career, or both upon graduating from high school through students engaging in relevant, rigorous, and real-world learning experiences,” said Ginger Polster, the principal at the Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center.

CTC Auto services

There is something for every student in the Arlington ISD’s CTE programs. CTE courses offer technical skills, academic skills and employability skills that give students a head start after graduation. For non-college-bound students, the CTE classes provide hands-on training that translates directly into careers after graduation. For college-bound students, CTE classes provide a way to investigate potential areas of study in postsecondary education, and a CTE Program of Study completion gives them a competitive advantage in college admissions.


The Arlington ISD’s goal is to prepare every single student for success after graduation.

“Having a robust CTE program in AISD allows students and families to experience a vast menu of courses and gain job-ready skills that can lead to a positive income stream as soon as they graduate high school,” said Susan Patterson, Arlington ISD’s CTE director.

Patterson said CTE is all about opportunities. And that means opportunity for every single student.


With CTE courses offered at every high school campus, dozens of different programs of study and a state-of-the-art Career and Technical Center, the district’s CTE program is designed to serve every student. Here are just some of the highlights and benefits of the district’s CTE.

  • 52 programs of study – With 144 high school CTE courses in 52 different programs of study – from agribusiness, architecture and culinary to cybersecurity, nursing and welding, there is something for everyone. The district even has a police academy and fire academy for aspiring officers and firefighters.

“By providing multiple CTE pathways, each student has the opportunity to personalize his or her education based on their career interests and unique learning needs,” Polster said.   

  • 46 industry certifications – Students who earn an industry certification have an edge when they compete for their first jobs. That’s why the Arlington ISD offers 46 industry certification exams and covers 100% of the costs. There are certifications in a wide variety of fields, from software and technology to cosmetology and floral design to sports medicine and phlebotomy – and more.
  • On-the-job training – With on-the-job training in classes like construction, culinary arts, cosmetology, automotive and a whole lot more, Arlington ISD’s CTE students are workforce-ready by the time they graduate. Plus, students have access to internships and practicums with many local businesses, including Lockheed Martin, Bell, Texas Live, Medical City Arlington, several veterinary clinics and more.
  • Technical dual credit – With technical dual credit classes, students can take college career courses in high school. The classes are taught by college instructors at Arlington ISD high schools or even on college campuses. Courses include accounting, computer-aided drafting and design, metal repair, business administration, computer graphics, criminal justice and a lot more.
  • College prep – For students who choose to go to college after high school, CTE classes give them a jump on their post-high school education with courses tied directly to what they will major in in college, like health sciences, information technology, communications, agriculture, public services and, of course, a lot more.Students work on their phlebotomy skills as instructor watches on
  • State-of-the-art facilities – The Arlington ISD Dan Dipert Career and Technical Center is a state-of-the-art 169,800 square-foot facility that offers juniors and seniors from all Arlington ISD high schools 68 CTE courses in 27 programs of study. The CTC houses 16 specialized labs, plus additional computer and science labs and regular classrooms in an open design concept that creates a college-like atmosphere.

Then there’s the Agricultural Science Center, a net-zero building that gives any student in the district the opportunity to raise an animal and participate in ag education. The Ag Center includes 54 flexible-fencing pens for goats and sheep, 14 heifer pens, rabbit pens, an animal exercise area, two large classrooms and a metal construction lab.

There is truly something for every student. February may be CTE Month nationally, but in the Arlington ISD, it’s CTE Month all year long.