Skip to main content


California Department of Education CTE Glossary

industry sector A grouping of interrelated occupations and broad industries based on commonalities.

career pathway

A coherent sequence of rigorous academic and technical courses that allows students to apply academics and develop technical skills in a curricular area. Career pathways prepare students for successful completion of state academic and technical standards and more advanced post-secondary course work related to the career in which they are interested.

standards General expectations of what students should know and be able to do.

foundation standards

The standards all students need to achieve to master workplace competencies both in the career technical education curriculum and in the workplace. The Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills refers to these essentials as "foundation skills."

pathway standards

Concise statements that reflect the essential knowledge and skills students are expected to master. Each career pathway comprises three to twelve standards, with two to six subcomponents per standard.

secondary level

A term that describes students’ second level of education; elementary education is the first level. Although the secondary level of education is commonly associated with high school, it may cover grades seven through twelve.


An articulated high school course is a high school course or courses that the faculty in the discipline have determined to be comparable to a specific community college course.

Students whom have taken an articulated high school course may be able to earn college credit by choosing to participate in a credit by examination process. Specific credit by examination processes vary by institution.

College and Career Education Logo